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Queen's University

Creating a Meeting in Outlook 2011

This tutorial shows how to create meetings on Outlook 2011 Calendar




Meetings vs. Appointments


An appointment is only for you, it does not require a booked room and occurs at a scheduled time.

A meeting is between two or more participants. The location of a meeting can be a bookable room, or an informal location. 

ALWAYS send emails when scheduling or changing a meeting and to ALWAYS accept or decline a meeting via email.


Example of Meetings: Departmental meetings, appointment with an equipment

You can tell an appointment from a meeting by looking at the bottom right corner of the entry – a meeting would have a little icon of a person while an appointment would not.


    there's an icon of a little person at the bottom corner of every meeting


Creating a Meeting Without Resources


  1. On the Home tab on the ribbon, click Meeting.

  2. Click the Appointment button on the ribbon
  3. This will open up the New Meeting window; this looks a lot like an email message, it has aTo: field and has a Send button instead of Save.
    • Enter a Subject
    • Enter attendee(s)' email addresses into the To: field.
    • Enter the location (informal location for now)
    • Enter start and finish times.
    • Enter in the details (Optional).
    • Change your reminder if you want, the default is 15 minutes.
    • Click Send to send your attendee(s) email invitations - you cannot opt out of email notification! In order to invite someone to a meeting, you must email them.

    NOTE: If you click cancel - it cancels the invitations and the meeting becomes an appointment. To make it a meeting again, click Invite.

    fill in the fields as the instructions above describe



Editing Meetings


  1. Double click on the meeting to change any of the fields.
    • Whenever you change anything on a meeting (even adding notes) you must send the changes  to attendees. The only exception is when you are adding or deleting an attendee - in that case, when you click Send Update, a window will open asking if you would like to  send update to added or deleted attendees only.
    send update to the invitees after you make changes to the meeting.


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How to Add Attendees


There are three ways to add attendees to a meeting:

  • Typing in the email address or using your address book
  • Check Names
  • GAL
  1. Typing in the email address into theTo: field is the most intuitive way of adding someone to a meeting.
    • Once you've emailed people a few times, your Outlook 2011 will populate with recent contacts - as soon as you start typing their email address, the option will pop up!
  2. Check Names:
    • If you know part of someone's name (ie their first name) but don't know their email address, this is useful.
    • Type in a part of the person's name and click Check Names on the ribbon

    • use check names when you know part of someone's name
    • a window will open with the list of people who match the name. If there is only one person with that name, it will automatically add it into the To: field without showing you any options.

    • a list of names matching yours will pop up
  3.  Using the GAL
    • Click the address book icon on the right of the To: field

    • click on the address book icon
    • The Contact Search window will open.
    • Ensure All Folders is selected from the dropdown box on the top right of the window.

    • ensure all folders is chosen
    • Begin typing in the Search box. It will filter the GAL results as you type.
      NOTE: The default setting for the GAL is to search on the first name of a person, to change it, select Search All Fields instead of Search Names Only
    • Select an attendee by clicking the Required or Optional button below their name. Use “Optional” to invite attendees who are not essential to a given meeting. This allows attendees to prioritize their schedules
    • When you have finished adding attendees, close the Contact Searchwindow..

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Room Booking


  • Similar to a person, rooms and other resources in Exchange are “invited” to meetings.
  • Just because you can see the rooms, does not mean you have permission to book them. Be weary of this!
  • If you are inviting a room that you've never invited before, MOST IMPORTANT thing about booking a room is to ALWAYS invite the room FIRST. The room will accept or decline your meeting (just like a person) based on its availability and whether or not you have permission to book it. If you invited people at the same time, and the room declined, you would need to find a new room and email all the invitees this update. 
  1. Click on the address book icon next to the Location: field.

  2. The Contacts Search window will open, with Meeting Rooms being the default search.
    • The departmental 3-lettered acronym will preceed any meeting room.
      Eg. ITS Dupuis Rm. 216
    • Click Add to Meeting.

    • select a room to add to meeting
  3. Send the invitations as per usual.


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Scheduling Assistant


When booking a group of people and/or room, it is very handy to be able to overlay the schedules and determine a free time.

The Scheduling Assistantallows you to do this. Switch to Scheduling Assistant view by clicking the Scheduling button in the Showgrouping on the Home tab.


Here, you can see when the attendees are free or busy. The top row shows the collective schedule of all the attendees.



  1. Scheduling button – toggle between the Scheduling Assistant view and Message view by clicking the Schedule button.
  2. Invited attendees, including rooms.
    • Required attendeesshow up as a purple arrow
    • Optional attendees show up as a blue squiggly line
    • Resources or rooms show up as a green house
  3. Current selection for meeting time – can be changed by clicking and dragging.
  4. Combined availability of all attendees
  5. Add another attendee (or resource) from this box.
  6. Availability legend, explaining the colours in Scheduling Assistant

  7. allows you to view everyone's availability in one screen.


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