6-Step Guide on How to Send a Calendar Invite In Outlook

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 21 August 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Outlook is a personal information system provided by Microsoft that many people use to email colleagues, schedule events, create calendar activities and manage tasks. Its calendar functionality can be an excellent tool for scheduling meetings and activities in the future with clients and colleagues. By exploring how to send calendar invites using Outlook, you can efficiently schedule your meetings and activities. In this article, we define a calendar invite, provide a guide on how to send a calendar invite in Outlook, detail the benefits of sending calendar invites and list several tips for inviting others to your scheduled activities.

What's a calendar invite in Outlook?

A calendar invite is typically an electronic request you send to a recipient asking them to accept or decline a scheduled activity. Many different applications may allow you to schedule events using a digital calendar, but the process of sending invites typically remains similar. You usually create an event on your digital calendar and send an invitation to a colleague or client. When the recipient receives the invite, they may accept or decline. If they accept the invitation, the application typically adds the event to their calendar.

When the scheduled event is near, you and the recipient typically receive a notification informing you that the event is about to start or that it's starting on the following day. If you view your calendar, you can typically see the scheduled event on the designated day, along with the individuals who may be attending. There are different reasons for sending calendar invites, but the primary reasons are usually to schedule an activity and determine the recipients' who're available to attend.

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How to send a calendar invite in Outlook

Below, you can explore six steps on how to send a calendar invite in Outlook:

1. Click the calendar icon

The first step in sending a calendar invite is to ensure you have an Outlook account. This account essentially represents your Outlook email address, for example, Smith123@Outlook.com. Once you have an Outlook account, you can access its web application, where you can find many features. The Outlook application typically has a tab on the left of the screen outlining several features, such as 'Inbox', 'Drafts', 'Folders' and 'Sent Items'. At the bottom of this tab, there are three icons set next to each other horizontally. The middle icon represents a visual for a calendar.

2. Create a new event

After clicking on the calender icon, Outlook navigates you to your calendar feature, where you can perform varying functions. Before you send a calendar invite, you typically require an event. There are two methods for creating an event. You can either click on a date on your calendar or click on the 'New Event' icon at the top left of your screen. Either of these two options opens a small window with several pieces of information to fill. If you click on a date instead of clicking 'New Event', the application pre-fills the date information.

3. Fill in the event information

When creating an event, the small window has several fields to complete. There are typically sections for an event name, date, start time, finish time and location. Some options allow you to repeat the event with a designated frequency and calibrate the reminder notification. For example, you can make the event repeat every seven days and notify recipients 24 hours before the event begins. You can also toggle the 'All day' option that makes the event a 24-hour activity.

4. Customise event invitation

Once you fill in the event information, you can click on 'More options', which you can find at the bottom right of the event creation window. When you click on 'More options', it shows you a more advanced version of the event creation window with several more features. You can add a note or description of the event along with any attachments for recipients to receive. For example, if there are documents you want your attendees to print before the event, you can include those documents with the invitation.

5. Add invitation recipients

In the advanced event creation window, there is a section called 'Invite attendees', located beneath the event title. In this section, you can add individuals to receive the event invitation. To add an attendee, you type in their email address. You can include as many attendees as you desire.

6. Send the invite

When you add an attendee in the advanced event creation window, a new icon appears at the top left of the window called 'Send'. You can usually find it to the left of the 'Discard' icon. When you click the 'Send' icon, it sends invitations to the attendees' email addresses you included in the event creation. The attendees receive a calendar invite with the option to decline or accept. You typically receive a notification informing you if they accepted or declined. If they accept, the event usually appears in their calendar.

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Benefits of sending calendar invites

Below, you can explore the typical benefits of sending calendar invites:

Improves scheduling

The primary benefit of sending calendar invites is usually that it improves scheduling capabilities for both employees and management. Employees who accept calendar invitations receive notifications, reminding them of the event start time. This can help employees arrive on time and avoid missing scheduled meetings and events. Managers who send invitations can experience improved scheduling as they can easily determine their employees' availability.

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Minimises human error

If you're planning an event and sending invitations manually, there is usually the potential for human error. You might create an event on the wrong day or forget to send invitations to specific individuals. By using a digital calendar, you can save event information, so if you're sending repeat invitations, the information is likely to remain correct.

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Saves time

Sending calendar invites through Outlook can provide you with many features that may save you time. If you schedule an event to repeat every week, such as a weekly safety meeting, you can save the event information and automate invitations. This means you can create an event once and then Outlook automatically sets the event to repeat at the designated frequency. It also automatically sends the event invitations to the designated recipients. This might save a substantial amount of time, allowing you to focus on more important activities.

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Tips for using Outlook to send calendar invites

Below, you can explore several tips for sending calendar invitations through Outlook:

Avoid moving a date of a recurring meeting

If you schedule a recurring meeting, it's usually a good idea to not change the date of the event. This is because recipients might not notice the changed date or they might not be available. This is because they agreed to the original date. If you change the date, they may receive a notification, but they don't receive an option to accept or decline, as it's technically the same event. If you want to change the dates of an event, it's usually best to create a new event, as the recipients can review the change and accept or decline.

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Consider the mobile application

Outlook has a mobile application that provides you with most of the same functionality as the web application. Using a mobile application can be helpful, as it can sync to your mobile phone, improving your connectivity to your calendar. You can send calendar invites and create events anywhere, provided you have your mobile phone and a network connection.

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Be aware of time zones

If you're sending invitations to recipients in different time zones, they can typically see the associated time zone of the event. This means you can set the time of the event in your own time zone. The reason it can be helpful to be aware of recipient time zones is that they may respond at different hours of the day. For example, if you require an immediate response to an invitation, a recipient might only respond in eight hours. It can be helpful to review the different time zones and ensure you provide recipients with a reasonable time frame to respond to the event.

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Create a clear event title

When recipients receive an invitation, they can see the event title. It's usually a good idea to ensure the event title is clear and accurately represents the event. For example, if the event is a weekly safety meeting, the title might be Weekly Safety Meeting. This allows recipients to respond to the event promptly without enquiring.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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