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How to easily schedule meetings in Microsoft Outlook

One of the most annoying and easily confusing aspects of scheduling a meeting is figuring out when everyone who should attend is actually free to attend.
Fortunately, if your organization uses Office 365, Microsoft 365, or Microsoft Exchange for email, calendars, and contacts, you can avoid the hassle.
You can check participants’ availability in the Microsoft Outlook client for Windows, macOS, iOS, or Android. That is, you can check the availability of anyone in your organization who uses the same Office 365, Microsoft 365, or Exchange account.
Of course, people do need to keep their calendars current for this trick to work. Otherwise, the system won’t know when they are free.
Sadly, you can’t check the availability of people outside your organization. You still have to ask them directly when they are free!
After you add the participants to your meeting and set an initial date and time, use Outlook’s scheduling assistant to see who is free when. On Windows and macOS, or in a desktop browser, your proposed meeting time displays as a rectangle that overlaps everyone’s schedule. Adjust the proposed time so it lands in a time that is free for everyone. In Outlook for iOS or Android, there is no scheduling screen. But you will see icons for each participant. If a green checkmark appears next to a person’s icon, that person is free for your proposed time. If a red X appears, that person is not free. Adjust your proposed time until everyone who must attend has a green checkmark next to their icons.You can even check to see if meeting rooms are free for your meeting, and then book them.
In the Windows, macOS, or desktop web versions of Outlook, click the Add a Room button to check the availability of a room in the scheduling assistant. The room appears in the same grid as the invited participants. Just as with people you invite, you can see if a room is free at your desired meeting time. In the iOS or Android versions of Outlook, enter the name of the desired meeting room as an invited participant. The room appears as an icon in the same area as the people you invited, so you can see if that room is free at your desired time.
When you’ve found the perfect time — or least the most compatible time — send out your meeting invitation. The people invited will be much less likely to cite a schedule conflict. After all, you’ve already checked!

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