Do you often run into problems scheduling everything in your complicated life? Do you have trouble keeping track of all the things you need to do? Do you have a need to track both personal and business activities in Outlook? If you answered “Yes!” to any of those questions, Outlook’s ability to handle multiple calendars simultaneously could be very useful to you. With multiple calendars you can keep track of everything, avoid double-booking yourself, and still keep your personal and work life separated.

Creating a New Calendar

Create a new Calendar by following these steps:

  1. Make sure you are in Calendar view and click File, then, New, then Calendar. The Create New Folder dialog box appears.
  2. Enter the new Calendar’s name. Accept all the other default options to create your new Calendar in the existing Calendar folder.
  3. Click OK. It will now appear in the My Calendars section of the Navigation Pane.

Telling Outlook Which Calendars to Display

Telling Outlook which Calendar or Calendars you want it to display is easy. Just set the checkbox for each Calendar you want to be able to see right now, and clear the checkbox if you want that Calendar hidden. If you select multiple Calendars, Outlook will display them all simultaneously.

Multiple Calendars can be displayed two ways, and if you have three or more Calendars visible at once, you can mix and match the two ways in whatever manner suits the needs of the moment. Outlook can display Calendars side-by-side or one overlaid on top of the other. The overlaid view is one of the new Calendar features introduced in Outlook 2007.

In the side-by-side view, the Calendars appear next to each other, much as they would if you laid two printed calendars side by side on the kitchen table. In this view, it is easy to read each Calendar by itself, but comparing two or more Calendars is hard since you need to keep looking back and forth between them. This can lead to more mistakes.

To picture the overlaid view, imagine that each Calendar was printed on a transparent sheet of plastic, and you’ve stacked the sheets on top of each other. They each show the exact same period of time in the same place, and you can see all the information from each ‘layer’ of Calendar. Because they are physically in the same place, when the Calendars have overlapping appointments it’s easy to see. This makes it easy to spot scheduling conflicts or open times in all the Calendars. That said, with all the information stacked up the way it is in overlaid view, this view can be confusing, especially if one or more of your Calendars is crowded.

There’s a lot more to working with multiple Calendars, but now you at least know how to create them and view them.

Creating and viewing multiple Calendars is just one of the things covered in the sixth lesson of the 6-week online course, Introduction to Outlook 2007. There we talk about how to work with multiple Calendars, along with all other major aspects of using Calendars in Outlook. If strengthening your skills with Outlook 2007 makes sense to you in these uncertain economic times, I strongly suggest you visit IntroToOutlook2007.info to learn more about the course.

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