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Outlook 2011 - Calendar

The Office 365 calendar is the University supported calenadr for all staff. This is a brief guide for staff using Microsoft Outlook 2011, on a Mac, on campus, at the University of Bradford, to access their Office 365 calendar. Using Outlook 2011 for email is covered in a seperate help sheet.

Getting started

Navigating the calendar

You can change the dates of your calendar in a number of ways:

  • The calendar above the navigation pane.
    • Click on a date in the current month.
    • Move month by month using the arrows, then click on a date.
    • Click on the month (eg January 2015) and select a different month from the list.
  • The dates above the calendar main window.
    • Move day by day, week by week or month by month (depending on how you are currently viewing your calendar) by clicking on the arrows.
    • Click on View - Today to return to the current date.

Note: To view multiple days, in the Home tab – Arrange group, select Day. Then hold down the Ctrl key and click on the required days in the Navigation pane calendar.

Setting your working week

You can set the days and times that you work. You cannot select different hours for different days. As a workaround, you could block out the time by using recurring appointments or all day events.

  1. Outlook - Preferences - Calendar – set time required. Outlook 2011 only allows you to set in half hour time increments.

Searching your calendar

To search your calendar for events:

  1. Click search this folder, type the search text and press Enter.

Any events containing the text will be displayed with the search text highlighted. Attachments are also searched, but the results are not highlighted. Notice that when using the Instant Search box, the Search tab is displayed. Here you will find other options for refining your search. To clear the search:

  1. Click on the Close Search button next to the Instant Search box.

Viewing calendars

All your calendars and those you have permission to see are listed in the navigation pane. This includes your Office 365 calendar, a calendar for each shared mailbox (if you have any) and any calendars shared with you.

Note: You can view the calendar (free / busy time only) of anybody within the University as well as any Office 365 calendars published to the internet. However this cannot be done within Outlook 2011, use Outlook on the web for this instead. 

Viewing multiple calendars

You can view multiple calendars that you have permissions for at the same time, however, this only works in overlay mode in Outlook 2011. This means that all selected calendars will be shown on the same page and represented by different colours. To view multiple calendars select the calendars in the navigation pane. To stop viewing a calendar remove the tick in the box next the name in the navigation pane.

Best practice

  • Always respond (accept, tentative or decline) to calendar messages in your email inbox or calendar. This will ensure that the organiser is aware of your intentions and that your calendar is kept up to date. Never use the ‘Do not send response’ option.
  • Remember to send updates to all recipients where relevant, eg change of time.
  • Meeting attachments – we now advise against sending attachments with meeting invites as mobile device users may not be able to view them in their calendar. Once accepted, the meeting invite is deleted and cannot be retrieved on the mobile.
  • Keep recurring meetings simple:
    • If you decide to add attachments, don't add them to individual instances of a recurring meeting, as this can be problematic. Either email them separately or put them in a shared folder, adding information on where to access the documents in the meeting notes.
    • Always set an end date or limit the number of occurrences. Meetings change and all changes, attachments, responses etc are stored, causing issues over time. Create a task to remind yourself of the end date, as you may want to extend the end date or create a new recurring meeting.
    • If you want to cancel all future instances of a recurring meeting change the end date instead of deleting or cancelling, then you and attendees have a record of meetings in the past.
  • Reduce the number of places where you read messages eg create a rule to filter calendar messages into a folder. Always remember to check this folder frequently, to ensure your calendar stays up to date.
  • If a calendar has been delegated, only one person should manage it.
  • Instead of blocking time out in your calendar, it may be more appropriate to create a task. Tasks are displayed under your calendar and have the added benefit of being able to display progress, have notes added and be delegated.
  • Use the categorize feature to group similar tasks (emails, calendar events and tasks) for eg a project.

Appointments and all day events

Create an appointment or all day avent

  1. On the Home tab - New group, click on New Appointment. If this is an all day event tick the All Day Event box.
  2. Complete the subject, location, start and end details and add notes if required.
  3. In the Options group select a Show As type (eg Out of Office), reminder and recurrence pattern if required.
  4. In the Tags group, select an importance level, category or mark as private if required.
  5. If required add an attachment (eg a document), in the Insert tab – Include group, select an attachment option (eg Attach File).
    Note: If you add an attachment, be aware that mobile device users may not be able to view the attachment in their calendar, or retrieve the original email invite.
  6. When complete, click on Save & Close.

Amending an event

  1. Double click on the event or appointment to open it. Make any changes required and click on Save & Close.

Cancelling an event

  1. Ctrl and click on the appointment and on the pop-up menu click on Delete.

Adding an external event

If you book, for example, train travel, you can have confirmations sent to your email address. If the confirmation contains an .ics attachment, you can add the event to your calendar.

  1. Open the email containing the .ics attachment.
  2. Click and drag the attachment from the email to the Calendar icon in the Navigation pane.
  3. Click on Save & Close. A new calendar item will be created containing the event and details.


Meetings can be created with anyone within the University (staff and students) or external contacts, if they are using a compatible system. 

Creating a meeting

  1. On the Home tab click on Meeting, or Home - New - Meeting. This will open a new Meeting window.
  2. Add a Subject for the meeting.
  3. Type in a Location, or if you are booking a room or resource, click on Resource.
  4. Add invitees in the To… field in the same way as you would using email. These can set to required or optional.
  5. If required, select; an alternative status and reminder setting, a recurrence pattern, category or mark the meeting a private.
  6. If you want to add an attachment (eg a document), click on Meeting - Attachments - add or ¿E.
    Note: If you add an attachment, be aware that mobile device users may not be able to view the attachment in their calendar, or retrieve the original email invite.
  7. In the meeting window click on Scheduling to see if there are any conflicts for the proposed meeting. Click on Message to return to the meeting proposal and make any changes required.
  8. Add any notes for the meeting in the text area. These will be visible to all invitees.
  9. When complete, click on Send. 

Creating a meeting from an email 

  1. With the email message open, on the Home tab (or Meeting tab if you have the reading Pane turned off) click on the calendar icon. This will open a new Meeting window.
  2. The To and Subject field will already be populated and the text of the email will be copied into the meeting notes area.
  3. Add a location and a start and end time as required.
  4. Set the options as outlined in the Creating a meeting section above and then click on Send.

Creating a meeting for a group

  1. In the Outlook navigation pane, click on Contacts.
  2. With the group selected click on the Meeting on the Home tab.
  3. Set the options as outlined in the Creating a meeting section above and then click on Send.

Tracking responses

You can only track responses for meetings that you have proposed.

  1. Double click on the meeting to open it.
  2. On the Meeting tab - Show group, click on Tracking and select View Tracking Status from the drop-down list.
  3. A list of everyone who has been invited and their responses will be displayed.

Amending a meeting

  1. Double click on the meeting to open it. Make any changes required and click on Send Update.

Cancelling a meeting

  1. Double click on the meeting to open it. On the Meeting tab in the Actions group, click on Cancel Meeting.
  2. The meeting window becomes an email. Make any changes to the email and click on Send Cancellation

Responding to an invitation

You receive meeting invitations in to your email inbox. They appear in your calendar as Tentative until you respond to the invitation. Once accepted, they will show as Busy by default and will update with any changes the meeting proposer makes.

Note: All meeting requests and updates are sent via email. We advise that you keep all of these emails in a dedicated folder. Then, if you decline or delete a meeting invitation in your calendar, you can refer back to the original email to subsequently accept it.

  1. In the email inviting you to a meeting, click on ACCEPT, TENTATIVE or DECLINE as required.
    Note: If your response is ACCEPT or TENTATIVE the meeting will be displayed in your calendar.
  2. Select either Edit the response before sending or Send the response now.
    Do not select Do not send a response as this option does not notify the owner of the meeting of your intentions.

Note: If you can no longer attent a meeting you should open the meeting in your calendart and decline it, so that the organiser is aware of your intentions.

Locations and resources

Locations are rooms within the University and locations outside the University. Resources are bookable items of equipment, eg Kettle.

Office 365 does not contain all bookable rooms and resources. For those managed elsewhere in the University, the room information can be typed into the location field. The actual booking should be requested in the usual way (eg via the Room Bookings department).

Note: You can book rooms and resources managed within Office 365 up to 2 years in advance.

Rooms and resources

Rooms and resources are managed in Office 365 by having a delegate assigned to them; this can be either an individual or a shared mailbox. If the delegate is a shared mailbox, anyone with access to that shared mailbox will be able to respond on behalf of the room or resource.

When you add a room to a meeting, you will receive an automatic ‘Tentative’ response. You will receive a further calendar message when the delegate has accepted or declined the invitation. However, when you invite a resource, you will only receive a response when the delegate has accepted or declined the invitation.

External Locations

You can add external locations, which can include a map for the venue. This should be done using Outlook on the web as Outlook 2011 does not support this function.

Sharing and delegating calendars

The fundamental difference between sharing (by giving calendar permissions) and delegating is that by delegating you can allow someone else to send meeting requests on your behalf, and also to accept and reject meetings on your behalf. The majority of users would give calendar permissions to certain colleagues, whereas a manager may wish to delegate their calendar to a PA, for example.

Note: By default, anybody within the University can open another member’s calendar to view free / busy time. Outlook 2011 does not support this feature, use Outlook on the web instead.

Calendar permissions

Giving calendar permissions

To allow colleagues to view more than just your free / busy time: 

  1. Ensure your calendar is selected and on the Home tab - Share group, click on Calendar Permissions.
  2. Click on Add… and search for the person with whom you wish to share your calendar.
  3. Select the person, click on Add-> and then OK.
  4. In the Calendar Properties dialog box, select the user and choose a permission level from the drop-down list. Notice what permissions are granted for the different levels under the Read, Write, Delete items and Other headings.
  5. Select further Read, Write, Delete and Other options as required and click on OK.

Note: The Folder visible option will be checked by default if you give a permission of Contributor or above. 

Remove permissions

As Outlook must run in cached mode, to be sure that permissions are removed it is recommended that you amend their permission level to Free / Busy time, rather than remove them. This will ensure that the user will only see the default view and will not see any details (eg subject and location).

Creating a new calendar to share with others

You can create a new calendar to share with others to use, eg for a project. Other people can then see free and busy time for this calendar.

  1. In the Navigation pane under My CalendarsCtrl and click on your calendar and select New Calendar.
  2. Type the name for the calendar and click on OK. The calendar will be displayed in the Navigation pane. 


Delegating your calendar

Note: This will only delegate your calendar. If you need to delegate your Office 365 account (including email) to another user (eg a PA), request via ServiceNow (self service portal)

  1. Click on Outlook - Preferences - Accounts. Ensure you Office365 account is highlighted then click on Advanced.
  2. Click on Delegates and then the + under Delegates who can act on my behalf.
  3. Type the users name and click on Find. Select the user and click OK.
  4. Check the box next to Delegate receives copies of meeting-related messages sent to me.
  5. Select NONE for the Tasks, Inbox, Contacts, Notes and Journals boxes.
  6. If required, check the box next to Automatically send a message to delegate summarizing these permissions and Delegate can see my private items.
  7. Click on OK and OK again.

View a calendar delegated to you 

  1. On the Outlook - Preferences - Accounts - Advanced - Delegates - People I am a delegate for.
  2. Click on +, select the person, click on OK and OK again. The calendar of the person will appear under Shared Calendars.

Adding University holidays

IT Services has created a file containing University holiday dates which can be quickly downloaded and imported into your Office 365 calendar.

Further features


Categorize enables you to colour code activities across Office 365 (emails, tasks, calendar events and contacts). This helps to organise your activities and makes searching easier. You can apply more than one category to an activity. Each colour can be assigned a name.

You can assign a category when you create an event. Alternatively, to apply a category to an existing activity: 

  1. Ctrl and Click on the event to select it.
  2. Select Categorize and select a category from the list.

Publishing calendars

You can publish a calendar to the Internet allowing others (internal and external) to view your free and busy time. You can also control the level of detail people can view, along with the time span and who has access. This can only be done in Outlook on the web.