Office 365 (Outlook 2011) - Check Availability using the Scheduling Assistant
Microsoft Outlook's Scheduling Assistant is a tool which allows you to invite groups of people to meetings or events without having to email them individually. You may complete a new meeting request which Outlook emails to the desired recipients in the form of an invitation. When the invitation is sent, a tentative appointment will appear on the invitees' calendars. Potential attendees can then accept or reject the invitation. If an individual accepts, Outlook will automatically mark the time as busy on his or her Calendar. This document covers the process involved in using Outlook's Scheduling Assistant.
This procedure instructs you to set up a meeting invitation. However, you can then delete the invitation without sending it.
- On the Home tab, click New, and then click Meeting.
- In the To box, type the name or address of the person whose schedule you want to look up.
- In the Starts field of the meeting, enter the day for which you want to check the schedule.
- Click the Scheduling Assistant tab, which is located under the date and time text boxes.
A calendar grid appears that indicates the free/busy times for the person in the To box.
- To show all the hours in the day -- not just the hours of your work day -- clear the Show work hours only check box.
- To delete the event without sending it, close the meeting window.
Tip: When you look up someone else's schedule, the information that you see reflects how they have set their free/busy (free/busy: A feature that allows users within an organization to see each others' availability when organizing events. When creating an event, after adding contacts to the Invite box, you can click the Scheduling button to see each person's availability. When creating events or editing events on your calendar, you can click Status on the event's toolbar to set availability status during that event to be "Free," "Busy," "Tentative," or "Out of Office.") status for each event. If someone has marked a meeting status as "Free," you will not see that meeting on their calendar.