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Best Practices for Scheduling Meetings Using Exchange

Introduction

Calendar issues with Microsoft Exchange are common. You may have seen problems with your calendar, including missing calendar appointments, lost meetings, delegate issues, or meeting updates coming from someone other than the original organizer. Exchange Outlook problems can occur with versions of Outlook, Apple iPhones/iPads, iPods, Android devices, Active Sync Devices, and Blackberries. The problem is not usually Exchange itself, but the mail client running on the device (ActiveSync, iOS, iCal) and the way it connects to the Exchange server. Sync timing can also be an issue.

Below are some dos and don’ts to minimize calendar issues.

 

Meetings and Invitations

  • Do act on invitations as soon as you receive them
  • Do have just one person process meeting requests. If you use delegates, designate just one person/machine to respond to the requests to avoid corruption.
  • Do Accept, Accept as Tentative, or Decline requests rather than deleting them, even if you’re not attending. Choosing a response notifies the meeting’s organizer, and the chance of a lost meeting is reduced.
  • Do accept meeting cancellations. Ignoring meeting cancellations will not always remove the meeting from your calendar.
  • Do have an end date for a recurring meeting. Meeting data can become corrupt if a recurring meeting is modified without an end date.
  • Do make notes as an organizer, not as an attendee. Notes made as an attendee may be lost if updated meetings are sent.
  • Do interact with meeting requests from only one application. Responding to requests on many devices can corrupt or damage calendar data.
  • Do run the same version of Outlook on all of your computers. If your OS environment is mixed, each device within each platform should have the same version, service pack, and updates.
  • Do cancel and recreate a meeting if an entire series needs to be changed. Always cancel and recreate to prevent synchronization and corruption issues.
  • Don't drag an instance of a recurring meeting to a new date or time. If you must change one meeting occurrence, delete it for all attendees and recreate it.
  • Don't decline a meeting until you’re sure you aren’t attending. Declining a meeting invitation moves it to your Deleted Items folder. If you empty the folder, the invitation is lost and meeting details won’t be available if you change your mind.
  • Don't forward meeting requests to other recipients. Forwarding doesn’t add recipients to the attendee list, and they will not receive meeting updates.
  • Don't accept or decline meetings from anywhere else but your email inbox. Responding to meetings from anywhere but the inbox might result in missed meetings or updates.
  • Don't leave corrupt meetings hanging. If a meeting is corrupt, delete it. If it’s a recurring meeting, delete all occurrences of the meeting and reschedule it.

Mobile Devices

  • Do update your mobile device with the latest iOS/OS.
  • Do use your mobile device as a viewer only. Never respond to meeting requests from your mobile device to avoid synchronization and corruption issues.
  • Do turn off synchronization from your mobile device calendar to your account. Synchronization should occur from your account to your mobile device, not from your mobile device to your account.
  • Don't respond to meeting requests from your mobile device. You can create new appointments from your mobile device, but responding to meeting requests can cause corruption and synchronization issues.

Delegates and Owners

  • Do try to have as few delegates as possible. The more delegates you have, the more likely you’ll run into synchronization and corruption errors.
  • Do have everyone use the same Outlook version.
  • Do use delegates if you have them. If you don’t plan to use a delegate, do not designate one for your account.
  • Don't auto-accept requests if you have a delegate. Only delegates should deal with your meeting requests.

 

Additional tips and best practices to follow when working with Outlook Calendar can be found on the Some best practices when working with Outlook Calendar web page.
 

Reviewed: 1012 By: JB

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