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Sometimes I want to decline meeting invitations I receive in Outlook 2007 but keep the meetings on my calendar. That way, I have a reminder of when people who are attending won't be free. However, whenever I click "Decline," the meetings and invites disappear.

I'm aware of the Delete meeting request from Inbox when responding option, but I don't want the invites to stay in my Inbox; I only want the calendar events.

I'm also aware of two workarounds, but neither one is very good. Using "Tentative" instead of "Decline" could be confusing for other attendees, and creating a dummy event on my local calendar could be annoying if there are lots of changes to the event time.

Ideally, these events would be marked as Free on my schedule, but since this is for my own reference, that's not a requirement. How can I set this up?

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Is this an exchange setup? If so, is there a public calendar you can view to see people's availability? – CharlieRB Oct 11 '11 at 15:06
It is and I don't know, respectively. – Pops Oct 11 '11 at 15:15
You can only see people's calendars if it's set up and people allow access to their calendar. – BBlake Oct 11 '11 at 15:20

Here's how you do this in Outlook 2010:

  1. Decline the meeting so the person knows you aren't attending
  2. Go to the deleted items folder and open the invite
  3. Click "Tentative" and then "Do not send a response"
  4. Open the appointment and then change your time to "Free"
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So basically just what Microsoft says:… Unfortunately this works only when you just received the invite. Good luck finding the invite when for instance declining one occurrence of a weekly meeting that has been running for a year or two. – MarcH Dec 17 '15 at 22:55

Here's what I do:

1) Respond to the invitation by Accepting as Tentative, using the EDIT response option.
2) In your EDIT comment, paste or type in some text saying "I will not be attending this meeting, but in order to keep it on my calendar, I'm responding as tentative but will show this slot as free."
3) Send your response.
4) After the appointment appears on your calendar, open it and change the "show as" to "FREE", indicating to you and to others that this time slot is open.

The appointment will remain on your calendar, but the time will show as free.

OPTIONAL - Select a color in your pallet for meetings that you've tentatively accepted, but do not plan to attend ... perhaps black. Change the color to help remind yourself that this is a meeting you know about but won't be attending.

Truth be told, MS should include a "Decline but keep on calendar option" ... but we all know that. :)

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I found this solution:
Part 1:
decline by either "send response now" or "edit response before sending"
Part 2:
a) go back to the invite (most probably in your inbox or the deleted items)
b) open the invite
c) accept tentatively with "do not respond"
d) answer the pop-up with YES
e) You will see this meeting invite in your calendar, accepted tentatively.

The sender will see, that you declined. Should the sender re-send the invite (with additional or changing info), you will receive an update. Take it from here ...

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Do you know about the Free/Busy service that outlook/Exchange provides to allow you to see others status? Also, if you run Lync, it reports others status based on their calendar.

Specific to your request, you could drag the meeting request from the Deleted item folder back to your calendar and set the time to Available.

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I tried moving the request back to the inbox and setting the time to available, but it didn't work. Actually, it told me that I needed a folder that supported meeting reminders, and asked me if that was okay, but the "Yes" and "No" buttons didn't seem to have any effect. – Pops Oct 11 '11 at 15:56
I had never heard of Lync until I read this answer, but I do use Communicator, which is apparently its predecessor. As far as I know, that won't tell me which meeting an "Away" person is at, which is sometimes useful. – Pops Oct 11 '11 at 16:00
You need to drag it to the Calendar folder, not the inbox – uSlackr Oct 11 '11 at 16:55
I don't have a Calendar folder; are you telling me I need to create one? – Pops Oct 11 '11 at 17:00
yes you do. If you click the folders icon at the bottom of the left-most column (below the bars for mail, Calendar, Contacts, etc) it will show all your folders including the calendar folder. However, you can just drag drag it to the calendar itself. – uSlackr Oct 11 '11 at 17:05

You can decline the invite and still have the meeting invite show up. This also allows you the option of changing your mind.

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Yes, that sounds like what I want, but how do I make it happen? – Pops Oct 12 '11 at 14:07
?? hit decline ?? – surfasb Oct 12 '11 at 15:02
But how do I have the meeting continue to show up once I hit decline? – Pops Oct 12 '11 at 17:24

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