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How to Manage Multiple Outlook Calendars

Simon Vreeswijk

Director of Marketing - 23 Feb, 2022

Calendar apps serve as a great way to track everything. With the right tool, you can view and edit your appointments from wherever you are, with the information syncing across all your devices.

But if you have more than one Outlook calendar, things can get a little tricky. You might have your personal account, along with one you were issued for work or school. Some Outlook users are asked to help maintain a calendar for someone else, such as a boss or colleague. You can even create multiple calendars of your own.

As you add calendars, you’ll need a way to manage everything. There are apps that can help, or you can choose to work within the Outlook environment. It’s important to know all the options so that you can find the method that works for you.

The Problem With Multiple Outlook Calendars

You likely count on your calendar apps to be accurate and up to date. In fact, an outdated calendar could lead you to miss an important meeting or event. Outlook uses ActiveSync to ensure calendars remain updated across devices, and the more shared folders you’ve added to your Outlook calendar, the more likely you’ll experience some known issues with the technology.

Complicating matters, Outlook can get out of sync merely because you’re using an older device or you haven’t dropped the latest update onto that device. Over time, this type of thing can happen to anyone. It just takes one missed Microsoft update for syncing to get off track. By the time you realize your calendars aren’t synced, you might have already missed an important appointment.

Flawed syncing isn’t the only risk you take when adding shared calendars to your Outlook account. Users have reported system slowdowns as an issue. This can be particularly likely if you have an older system or the mailboxes themselves are larger. These slowdowns can get frustrating. The resolution to the issue is simply to reduce the number of shared folders and mailboxes you have open, which could also lead to you missing something important.

For those managing calendars for a boss or client, these issues can go beyond being annoying. You might find that you’re unable to do your job due to your Outlook calendar problems. But if the go-to solution is to close some of those calendars or buy new hardware every year or two, you might need to look at some other options.

How to Manage Multiple Outlook Calendars Using an App

The best way to get around the issues with Outlook Calendars is through the use of an app like Shift. With Shift, you set up each calendar as a separate shortcut, logging in only once to get things in place. Once you have each of your calendar accounts set up, you can move between them effortlessly throughout the day.

With this solution, you won’t have to worry about multiple calendars slowing down your system. You can set up a separate shortcut for each account you manage and toggle between them. This means you can check your work calendar, school calendar, personal calendar, and any calendars you manage for other people without ever having to log out or worry about how much bandwidth each account is taking up.

But Shift’s benefits don’t end there. You can set up shortcuts to all the other apps you use throughout the day. You could check your various email accounts, with a shortcut for each login, and popular apps like Trello, Slack, and Google Docs all in one place. A full list of apps supported by Shift is available here.

Related Article: How to Manage Multiple Microsoft Outlook Accounts

How to Create a Second Outlook Calendar

There are two ways you can end up with multiple calendars to manage. You might have a calendar shared with you by someone else. That will be the second part of this. But you can also create a secondary calendar of your own, whether it’s your personal calendar or a calendar for your businesses.

Here’s how to create an additional calendar on your primary Outlook account.

  • Go to the Folder tab in your main Outlook calendar
  • Go to the New group and choose New Calendar
  • Name your new calendar
  • Under Select where to place the folder, choose Calendar and OK
  • You’ll now see the new calendar you created when you look at your calendars in the navigation pane

Someone can also share a calendar with you. If you have a second calendar you want to manage, you can use this feature to share the calendar with your primary account. To share a calendar, go through the following steps.

  • In your calendar view, select Share at the top of the page
  • Enter the name or email address of the person you want to share your calendar with
  • Choose the access level of the user: Can view when I’m busy, Can view titles and locations, Can view all details, Can edit, or Delegate

Keep in mind, if you grant access to the other person to view all details, all the information on your calendar will be visible. You can mark some items as private, at which point other people will only be able to see the time of those appointments, not the content of them.

Once a calendar has been shared with you, you’ll get an email notifying you. You can only accept the invitation using an Outlook.com or Microsoft 365 account.

Related Post: How to Manage Multiple Office 365 Accounts

Manage Multiple Outlook Calendars on Desktop

The best thing about Outlook is that you can view all the items at the same time. Each will be color-coded to help you identify which entry goes with which calendar. You can change the color of those calendars by selecting the calendar, then right-clicking to open the menu for that calendar.

Obviously, you won’t always want to see all your calendars at once. You can turn a calendar view off temporarily at any time by simply removing the checkmark next to it. If you ever want to permanently remove a calendar from your main view, you can right click on that calendar and choose to delete from the menu. This doesn’t delete a shared calendar. It simply removes it from your view.

Manage Multiple Outlook Calendars Online

You may prefer to access and manage your calendars from your browser, you’ll need to know how to manage your calendars online. The best thing about using Outlook.com is that you can access your calendars from anywhere.

The process to manage your Outlook calendars is the same on Outlook.com as it is on your desktop. You’ll right-click on the calendar to get to the menu and uncheck and check various calendars to temporarily turn them off. Anything you change in the web view should sync with your desktop view, provided you don’t encounter the syncing issues that can come if you miss an update or have an older operating system.

Related Post: How to Manage Multiple Google Calendars

Manage Multiple Outlook Calendars on Mobile

If you have an Outlook account, you can use the Outlook app for iOS and Android to view and edit your calendar. Viewing multiple accounts isn’t quite as easy as it is if you’re on a computer, but it can still be done.

You’ll manage your views using the calendar gear icon. There, you can add a calendar someone has shared with you and change the color for their events by tapping the gear icon next to their name. As with the desktop version, you can temporarily turn off a shared calendar by unchecking the box next to the calendar name.

Outlook Calendar Fact and Fiction

Q: Can people see when and how I view calendars that they’ve shared with me?
A: Fiction. No. There’s no way for someone to see how you’ve interacted with their calendar, just as you won’t be able to see the activities of someone viewing your calendar after you’ve shared it. System admins might be able to see your activities through an event log, though.

Q: Does the desktop version of Outlook take up space on my hard drive?
A: Part fiction. Microsoft 365 is housed in the cloud. If you use the desktop version, the software and PST files are housed on your computer but the rest stays in the cloud.

Q: Do I have to share all my appointments for someone to manage my Outlook calendar?
A: Fiction. Outlook offers multiple options when you’re sharing your Outlook calendar. If you choose for the person to only see titles and locations, details will be hidden. You can also only give someone access to see when you’re busy, which can come in handy if someone’s helping with your scheduling.

Q: If I accidentally delete something from a shared calendar, is it gone forever?
A: Fiction. The good news is, when you delete something in Outlook, it goes in the Deleted Item folder. If your Outlook is connected to an exchange server, you’ll choose Recover items from server.

Manage Multiple Outlook Calendars with Ease

Shift is the easiest way to manage multiple calendars, letting you keep everything in one place without having to combine all your calendars in one place. You can keep separate logins alongside the logins for all your favorite apps. To learn more about how Shift can help you be more productive, check out our demo here.