Finding a common meeting time

October 22 2015

Love them or hate them, in person or virtual meetings are a part of our professional lives at Cal Lutheran. There are many ways to find a common meeting time. Back and forth emails checking availability are probably the least efficient method. Hit and miss phone calls aside, some on campus have started using tools such as Doodle to schedule on-campus meetings. These types of scheduling services are ideal for meetings with non-CLU attendees, but don’t do well with notifications in changes to meeting times or location. The organizer and attendees all have to look-up available times on their calendars, while entering the same information on another screen.

The most efficient way to schedule a meeting with other Cal Lutheran staff is to use Outlook’s Scheduling assistant, which is available on both Mac and Windows versions of Outlook. This feature allows for email notification of meeting times, as well as a visual grid search for times available to all attendees. Changes to a meeting time or location, adding attendees at a later time can all be handled on one screen, using Cal Lutheran’s email for notification. To check availability of others for a meeting:

  • Click on Calendar from the Outlook app bar located at the bottom left of the Outlook screen, this changes your view from Mail to Calendar.
  • Navigate to an ideal date and time for your meeting, name the meeting, then click Scheduling Assistant from Meetings (New Meetings in the Windows version).
  • Under “All Attendees” enter the names or email addresses of the individuals you would like to invite. Click on Check names to make sure all users are found in the directory.
  • The calendar grid will automatically populate the free-busy times for each individual.  If your desired time slot is not ideal for everyone, use the scroll bar at the bottom of the grid left or right, changing the time and even date until a convenient time is found.

Visual learners can view this session for Windows or this session for Apple computers.

If you have questions about this subject or any other technical matter, please call the Help Desk at (805) 493-3698 or e-mail to

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