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This isn't as basic a question as it may seem. Hence all the descriptive text...

I and my team use Outlook 2007. I have my own personal calendar and also I share a calendar with others in my team (which is mainly used to notify everyone of vacations etc.). The others in my team are NOT technical people.

I would like to create a shortcut or template that any of us can use to create an appointment in the shared calendar. My initial though was to create a new appointment, but rather than actually put it in the calendar, I would save it as an Outlook Template (.oft) file. Once created, I would send this to my team and tell them to put it in their Templates file and put a shortcut on their desktop. Then, if they want to put a vacation in the shared calendar, they just double-click on the shortcut, change the dates etc. and then save & close it.

However, when I do that, it doesn't save the fact that it's an appointment on the shared calendar - it just adds the appointment to the team member's personal calendar. There doesn't seem to be a way to specify a calendar in the template. I've also tried this by saving the template as a .ics or .vcs file, with no better luck.

Additionally, if a team member adds an appointment to the shared calendar, other 'sharees' aren't notified, unless the appointment is actually created as a meeting and the other sharees are explicitly invited.

I found this online (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/keep-everyone-informed-about-time-away-from-the-office-HA010209819.aspx) which APPEARS to say that what I want to do isn't built in functionality (since it shows a bunch of steps to go through. I'd PREFER not to have to add this stuff to everyone else's personal calendar directly.

So...

  1. Is this possible to do, natively (i.e. directly in Outlook)?
  2. Would a Sharepoint calendar make more sense and allow this functionality?
  3. Is there a way to do what I want which will allow the other team members to be notified?

Like I said, I'm looking for as simple an interface as possible - these people aren't going to want to do much more than open something and change dates. Additionally, they're probably not going to have any fancy software on their PC's, although they will be up to date with Java and (maybe) .NET frameworks.

Also, before anyone gets funny, yes, this has to work with Outlook 2007, as it's a corporate standard - we're not able to change that, even though e.g. Google Calendar would do this wonderfully. Obviously if this functionality is available in Outlook 2010, then fantastic - we might be able to upgrade.

Thanks!

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jul 1 '11 at 22:05

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1 Answer 1

Are you connecting through an Exchange server? What is the mail server? Your team should be able to send out invitations to each other to share out the calendar. Once they do that and the other members accept the invite, that person should be able to right click on their calendar and set the permission levels. We use MSExchange2003 and Outlook 2007 and are able to accomplish this.

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Yes, we're going through an Exchange server. I don't know the details - it's controlled by 'corporate'. we can send invitations to each other - that's not a problem. We all have access to the calendar and can add events to it. However, this is a manual process - I'd like to be able to create a template or whatever so that when they add an event, it is automatically added to the shared calendar, rather thahn to their own personal calendar. –  roryhewitt Jul 2 '11 at 1:11

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