Calendar template

How to Add Your Calendar to Outgoing Email in Microsoft Outlook

You can share your Microsoft Outlook calendar with people inside and outside your organization.

Image: Tada Images/Adobe Stock

Have you ever spent a lot of time leaving voicemails or sending multiple emails trying to pick a time to meet someone? By the time you pick a good time for yourself, the other person has already scheduled that time with someone else. It’s cumbersome and unnecessary, because you can actually send your Microsoft Outlook calendar to someone outside your organization, and the recipient doesn’t need to be using Outlook to view your calendar.

SEE: Windows, Linux, and Mac Commands Everyone Should Know (Free PDF) (TechRepublic)

In this tutorial, I’ll show you several ways to fine-tune your availability when sending your calendar to someone outside your organization. This way the recipient only sees what you want them to see. It’s not an alternative to sharing your calendar with someone in your organization. However, if this option is missing or temporarily unavailable, you can email the schedule instead.

I’m using Microsoft 365 desktop on a Windows 10 64 bit system, but you can use older versions. There is no demo file, because you won’t need it.

How to add your calendar to an email in Outlook

The first step in sending your calendar to someone outside your organization is to create an email and attach your calendar to it.

You won’t believe how simple it is: open a new, blank email to initiate contact, or open an existing email from the person you want to meet to respond. Fill in the appropriate fields, such as email address and subject. When you’re ready to attach your calendar, click the Insert tab. Click Calendar in the Include group.

Figure A displays the resulting dialog box. You can accept all the defaults, but you probably don’t want to.

Figure A

Image: Susan Harkins/TechRepublic. Microsoft Outlook lets you choose what a recipient sees when they email your calendar.

How to send email to specific calendar in Outlook

The first option is a drop-down list that displays all of your calendars. As you can see in Figure B, I have Outlook’s default calendar and one that uses my name — that’s the one I want to send. You may only have one email account or you may have several, so be sure to send the correct schedule.

Figure B

Image: Susan Harkins/TechRepublic. Choose a schedule.

How to set date range for calendar in Outlook

The second drop-down list allows you to determine the calendar dates you want to send. There are several options here, as you can see in Figure C.

Figure C

Image: Susan Harkins/TechRepublic. Choose a date range.

Today is the default, but there are other options, including Specify dates. When you choose the latter option, Outlook displays two date controls: Start and End. Use these two controls to send a custom time period as shown in Figure D.

Note that the default end control is one month later than the current month. Make sure you select the correct month — don’t assume it’s the same month in the Start control.

Figure D

Image: Susan Harkins/TechRepublic. Select a specific time period.

How to choose calendar details sent in Outlook

The next option lets you determine what the recipient will see in your calendar. As you can see in Figure Eyou can send everything only at available times.

Sending your complete calendar, unless requested, is probably not a good idea. Not only does it show everything, including private appointments, but it will overwhelm the recipient.

Figure E

Image: Susan Harkins/TechRepublic. Determine which part of your calendar the recipient sees.

In most cases, you’ll choose Availability Only. This will send the opening hours in the period you chose earlier (Figure D).

Once you have chosen a Details option, check the option Show only the hours included in my working hours, displayed in Figure Funless you want to be available at all times.

If you know your working hours are set correctly, you can skip the next option. If you want to check or even change them just for this recipient, click the Set working hours link. In the resulting dialog, you can set or change the current working hours settings.

Figure F

Image: Susan Harkins/TechRepublic. You can limit the details to your working hours.

How to include private items and attachments in Outlook

G-figure displays three advanced settings. They are self-explanatory, but the private element requires a warning. It will send all private items within the time frame you send, so be very careful when checking this item.

G-figure

Image: Susan Harkins/TechRepublic. You can also send private items and attachments.

The last element allows you to determine the format of the calendar. The default, Event List, sends a simpler visual calendar, as shown in H-figure. As you can see, the rest of the month is open.

H-figure

Image: Susan Harkins/TechRepublic. A short list will usually do.

Before sending your calendar, take a good look at the events listed. A potential client doesn’t need to know you’re meeting a competitor during the same time frame, so be careful.

Sending your calendar to someone outside your organization is an easy task, and options in Microsoft Outlook let you control how much information the recipient sees.