Creating & Viewing Multiple Calendars in Microsoft Outlook

Do you often run into problems scheduling everything in your complicated life? Do you find yourself missing appointments or double-booking because you can’t keep track of all the things you need to do? How about a need to track both personal and business activities in Outlook, without exposing your personal life to colleagues? If you answered “Yes!” to any of those questions, Outlook’s ability to handle more than one calendar at a time could be very useful to you. With multiple calendars you can keep track of everything, avoid double-booking yourself, and still keep your personal and work life separated.

Creating a New Calendar

To create a new Calendar, follow these steps:

  1. Starting in Calendar view, click File, then, New, then Calendar. The Create New Folder dialog box appears.
  2. Enter the name of your new Calendar and accept all the other default options. This creates the new Calendar in the current Calendar folder.
  3. Click OK. It will now appear in the My Calendars section of the Navigation Pane.

Tell Outlook Which Calendars You Want it to Display

Telling Outlook which Calendar or Calendars you want it to display is easy. Just set the checkbox for each Calendar you want to be able to see right now, and clear the checkbox if you want that Calendar hidden. If you select more than one Calendar, Outlook will display them all simultaneously.

There are two unique ways Outlook can display multiple Calendars, and if three or more Calendars are visible, you can mix and match them to suit the needs of the moment. Outlook can display Calendars side-by-side or one overlaid on top of the other. The overlaid view is one of the new Calendar features introduced in Outlook 2007.

In the side-by-side view, the Calendars appear next to each other on the screen, much as they would if you laid two printed calendars side by side on the kitchen table. In this view, it is easy to read each Calendar by itself, but to compare schedules you need to keep looking back and forth between them, which can lead to mistakes.

In the overlaid view, it is if each Calendar was printed on a transparent sheet of plastic, and you’ve stacked the sheets on top of each other. They each show the same period of time in the same place, and you can see all the information from each ‘layer’ of Calendar. Because they are physically in the same place, when the Calendars have overlapping appointments it’s easy to see. The stacking effect makes it easy to spot scheduling conflicts or open times in all the Calendars. At the same time, with all the information stacked up the way it is in overlaid view, this view can be confusing, especially if one or more of your Calendars is crowded.

There’s a lot more to working with multiple Calendars, but now you at least know how to create them and view them.

Creating and viewing multiple Calendars is just one of the things covered in Lesson 6 of the 6-week online course, Introduction to Outlook 2007. There we talk about how to work with multiple Calendars, along with all other major aspects of using Calendars in Outlook. If strengthening your skills with Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 makes sense to you in these uncertain economic times, and you like the idea of a structured class with the ability to interact with your instructor, I suggest you visit to learn more about the course.

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