Have you found yourself, as a VA or PA, being asked to manage the diary or calendar of your client, director or colleague? Many of you may well have even been asked to manage the calendar of several people at the same time.
Now, if you don’t manage this properly, it can be messy! You don’t want to put your client/boss’s appointments and meetings into your own calendar, otherwise, it would become overloaded and difficult to read – and of course then your client or boss wouldn’t be able to see their appointments. So you need to see their calendar as well as yours; that way you can ensure you don’t double book appointments or move a meeting when you shouldn’t – after all, it’s your reputation at stake as well as theirs!
So, what’s the best way to do this in Outlook?
The best way is to become a delegate for the client/manager(s). Being a delegate for someone means you are delegated to perform the tasks that they give you permission for, in this case to manage their Calendar, though you can of course also have delegate permission to manage the manager’s Inbox.
In order to be a delegate, you will need to have an account at the manager’s organisation with the same email suffix – such as tomorrowsva.com.
Let’s say that shelley@tomorrowsva is the manager, and you want to set up Veronica@tomorrowsva.com as a delegate for Shelley.
To give Veronica Delegate Access, you need to start from Shelley’s (the manager) account.
- Click the File Menu
- Click Account Settings
- Choose Delegate Access
Click Add on the next screen to select the person from your Address List.
Once you click OK you will be asked to confirm what you would like the delegate to do. Set the required permission level for each area of Outlook.
It’s a good idea to send the delegate an email summary of their new permissions so they know they have been made a delegate and what they have permission to do.
If you don’t tick the “Delegate can see my private items” box, the delegate will not be able to see any items on the calendar that have been marked private.
The last item to set is who gets meeting requests, and here there are three options.
- My delegates only but send a copy of meeting requests and responses to me (recommended) – this means that the delegate will accept or reject etc., but you will still see the meeting requests.
- My delegates only – you don’t get to see the meeting requests
- My delegates and me – both the delegate and the manager get the meeting requests and either one can respond.
Now Veronica is a delegate and can open Shelley’s calendar in her Outlook account. She can see and create meeting requests for Shelley.
To open Shelley’s calendar
Click on File then select Open & Export and Other User’s Folder
Type in the name of the person whose calendar you wish to open:
The other calendar will open alongside Veronica’s and is also added to the list of shared calendars on the left.
Overlay the calendars
To see the calendars together simply click the little arrow top left of the second (or third …) calendar and the calendars will be shown one over the other.
The appointments in each calendar will show in a different colour so that you can distinguish between them.
I’ve always found that having the two (or three …) calendars nicely side by side on the screen makes it easy to schedule appointments and accept or reject meeting invitations, but don’t forget that if you don’t want to see one of the calendars at any time, you can simply tick it off on the left-hand side of the Calendar screen – and tick it back on when you need to see it again.
To learn more about Microsoft
Outlook and see more mind-blowing shortcuts, head over to the Course Directory and check out Microsoft Outlook Email – Take Back Control of your Inbox for Windows or Microsoft Outlook Email for Mac – take back control of your Inbox for Mac users.