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Fast adding an appointment to Outlook and getting it right

Despite all the possibilities for importing or sharing appointments, most of the time we have to manually type in new appointments or events.  Here’s some tips to do it faster and get it right.

We’ve all been there, a web page or email (below right) with details that need copying into a blank Outlook appointment (below left). It’s a fiddly, tiresome task and there’s the risk of getting something wrong.

Here’s some suggestions for fast and accurate conversion of web page or email text into an Outlook appointment.

See Send and Receive appointments via Outlook

Web links adding Outlook appointments – tricks and traps

Like many things in Microsoft Office and Outlook, there’s the official ‘trick’ which tells part of the story.  Then there’s the full practical advice to complete the task.

Check the Date first!

The first thing to check is the date of the new appointment.

Outlook inserts a default date which can be today or the date selected in the calendar view.  Either way, it might not be what you expected or wanted.  It’s too easy to add an appointment, with everything just right except the damn date!

Copy to Title

Instead of switching back and forth between the two windows, copy everything you need into the appointment Notes or Title line.

Sometimes all the key information is on a single line which can be copied across to the top Title field.

From there it’s easy to edit the new appointment with an easy, direct reference to the source.

The order details are pasted into Notes, just in case there’s a problem getting the tickets.

Reminder change from the default 30 minutes.

Duration also changed from the default.

Once you’ve checked the appointment and happy, remove the extra details from the Title line.

Copy to Appointment Notes

For more complex appointments like flights, better to copy all the key details from the confirmation email or web page into the Appointment notes.

Drag and Drop

A long-standing Outlook feature is ‘drag and drop’ from one type of Outlook item to another.  A confirmation email can be dragged to the calendar.

Drag n Drop in Outlook creates a new item which opens for editing. The email subject becomes the appointment Title with the rest of the email body dropped into the Notes (in plain text).

Whichever way you do it (copying manually or Drag n Drop) there’s still work to do.  At least all the info is in one place.

Copy and check the appointment details from the notes.  The copy of the complete, original booking is very useful if there’s a major problem. Instead of fumbling for some detail, all the info is there in the appointment.

Don’t forget attachments

Drag n Drop a complete email to calendar does NOT copy any email attachments (Microsoft, please note).

To copy attachments between an email and appointment, separately drag the attachment/s from the email to the appointment.

That works from either the reading pane or a fully open email window.

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