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Calendar Best Practices

 University IT offers the following recommendations to keep calendar usage consistent, courteous, and professional.

Some departments may want to incorporate a subset of these practices in a policy they establish for how their employees should use the Office 365 Calendar.

  • Respond to meeting invitations promptly with an Accept, Decline, or Tentative. By making a choice, you keep the meeting organizer informed so that they can better decide if they need to reschedule an appointment, plan for refreshments, or work with you outside of the scheduled meeting time.
  • If you must cancel or reschedule a meeting, please try to notify attendees at least 24 hours before the scheduled start time. Many staff check their calendars only at the beginning of their day. Last-minute changes or cancellations can go unnoticed.
  • If you want to discontinue a recurring meeting, open the series and add an end date. All meetings scheduled after that date will be deleted automatically from the attendees’ calendars. If you delete the series entirely, all past occurrences of the meeting are removed as well.
  • Notes included in the body of the Appointment Details are emailed to all meeting attendees. Keep private meeting notes separate.
  • If you want to invite people to a meeting without letting them know who else is invited, please send an email rather than an appointment. All meeting attendees can see who else is invited, but cannot see their attendance status. Only the organizer of the meeting can see attendee status.
  • If you are invited to a meeting, but feel a colleague should also attend, email the organizer of the meeting and ask to have that individual added. Don’t forward the meeting invitation to the colleague without informing the meeting organizer. No one likes surprise guests.
  • When inviting a group to a meeting, invite using individual email addresses (or a Contact Group). Do not invite Mailman mailing lists to a meeting. While the list may have a free schedule, the members of the list may be busy. When a member responds, that person’s email address will be added to the invitation, and the member will receive two copies of all further messages about that meeting.
  • Block times on your calendar when you are not available. This includes vacation time as well as setting your calendar to show when you are routinely out of the office. Your closest colleagues may be aware that you work an unusual schedule, but others may not and could request a meeting with you before your train arrives in the morning or after your carpool leaves in the afternoon.
  • When scheduling a vacation day on your calendar, be sure to show your time as Free if you are inviting others.
Last modified September 16, 2016