Managing a Calendar

Setting up a meeting manually
The procedure might differ depending on your particular office and manager; but, in general, the following steps are useful for setting up meetings without the aid of meeting planner software.

By S. Alket Thomas
Determine meeting times
Obtain desired meeting times from your manager, in order of preference, and find out how long the meeting will last, who is a mandatory participant and those who are not critical to the meeting, and whether the attendees will need to prepare or bring anything with them to the meeting. 

Contact each attendee
· Phone or e-mail each attendee to determine, out of the manager's preferred times, which time(s) the person is available.
· If you leave a message and have not received a response by the next day, follow up immediately. If you haven't received a response to an email, telephone.

Select date
· After you determine each attendee's availability, select a date that coincides with everyone's schedules and immediately send out the meeting information. If you let even a little time pass, the attendees' availabilities may change, and you may need to repeat the process from the beginning. 
· Obtain confirmation from each attendee that they have received the meeting information and can attend.

Inform your manager
Once all the attendees have responded to your invitation, tell your manager that the meeting has been set up, and re-confirm the date, time, and location.

Send a reminder
· Contact each attendee a day or two before the meeting to confirm the date.
· Let each know what, if anything, the attendee needs to bring to the meeting, and re-confirm the location of the meeting.

Setting up a meeting electronically
While procedures may vary depending on your company's intranet set-up or your electronic calendar application, there are basic steps for setting up a meeting using an electronic meeting planner. These steps are used with Microsoft Outlook.

Use meeting planner 
· Go to the calendar function within Microsoft Outlook.
· In the Actions menu, choose "Plan a Meeting."

Enter names
· Enter the attendees' names under "All Attendees," and scroll across the calendar on the same screen.
· Outlook is set up so that you can see all the attendees' availabilities—provided, of course, that all the attendees use the Outlook calendar to register their other commitments.

Enter details
· Enter a meeting date, start time, and end time that does not overlap any attendees' "busy" blocks.
· Click on "Make a Meeting."
· Fill in the meeting's subject, location, and any other notes, such as preparation required or documents to bring.

Send invite
Click on "Invite attendees" to send the invitation.

Virtual Assistant, S. Alket Thomas specializes in assisting entrepreneurs and small business owners run their businesses efficiently by handling all of their administrative tasks virtually, without the cost of a fulltime employee.  For more information please visit her at

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