Free/Busy Settings in Exchange Calendar
With Exchange calendar, people can schedule you for meetings using what's called your "free/busy" times.
Your free/busy times are shown when someone invites you to a meeting they are scheduling. The meeting proposer can see your free/busy times in the Scheduling Assistant (Outlook or Outlook Web Access).
A color-coded grid shows this information:
- Tentative - something is scheduled on your calendar, but it's OK to schedule another meeting then
- Busy - something is scheduled on your calendar
- Out of Office - you've blocked time on your calendar and tagged it as "Out of Office"
- No information - your calendar information is not available
If you're happy providing that level of information to other calendar users, you don't need to take any steps. Your Exchange calendar comes set up that way.
If you would like everyone, or just some people, to see more details about your Exchange calendar, you have a few options.
- You can adjust your free/busy settings (see below).
- You can share your calendar, so other people can open it just like they can open their own calendar.
- You can delegate your calendar, so other people can manage it just like you can.
Adjust Your Free/Busy Settings
To adjust your free/busy settings, you have to use Outlook. These options are not available in Outlook Web Access or iCal. If you don't normally use Outlook, you can use it just once just to adjust these settings. Your changes will be stored on the Exchange system.
These steps are for your own Exchange calendar. The steps for sharing a Resource Account or sharing an Exchange Group Account (EGA) calendar are different.
Outlook Free/Busy Settings
- In Outlook, in the Navigation Pane, click Calendar.
- Below the heading My Calendars, you'll see the entry Calendar. That's the entry we'll be working with in the following steps.
- Right-click Calendar. From the menu that appears, click Change Sharing Permissions. A Calendar Properties dialog box will open with the Permissions tab displayed.
- Decide whether to change the setting for all staff, or just some people.
To change the setting for all staff, click Default and skip ahead to Step 7. (Do not, for any reason, delete this entry. Deleting it will cause errors.)
To change the setting for certain people, click Add and continue with Step 5.
- In the Add Users dialog box, type all or part of the person's name, then click Go.
- Highlight their name in the resulting list, click Add, then click OK. You should now see their name displayed in the Calendar Properties dialog box.
- From the Permission Level drop-down list, select the desired level of access.
Free/Busy time - in the Scheduling Assistant, a meeting proposer can see whether you're busy, tentatively busy, or out of the office. This is the default setting for the University of Adelaide.
Free/Busy time, subject, location - in the Scheduling Assistant, a meeting proposer can see the time, subject, and location of the items on your calendar