When are you free?

A colleague asked me when was I free for a 30-minute meeting. I thought the answer should be pretty obvious and can easily be found out if he’d check my calendar. But then again, people don’t use the calendars the same way all throughout the company. So it might not have crossed his mind to check my Outlook calendar at all because he was using his calendar differently.

For my part, at the very least, I try to observe the following:

  • Set the work hours in the Outlook Calendar. This can be set by going to File > Options > Calendar. The work hours specified more or less identifies the window when I’ll be available for work or meetings.
  • When I need a particular time blocked off from meetings, I set an appointment to block it off. So just in case someone wants to set a meeting with me and checks my Outlook calendar, he/she can see that I’m not available during that particular time, and he/she can refer to my available blocks instead.
  • I mark off local holidays as an all day appointment. ¬†Recently, I’ve been doing the same for my planned vacation leaves.
  • When I receive calendar invites, I try to send a response (accept / decline / set as tentative) as soon as possible. This is so that accepted invites would already show up on my calendar to hopefully keep other folks from using the same schedule.

Essentially, I try to keep my calendar clean and up-to-date for my own reference, and for reference of other folks who might need to schedule something with me.


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