PrintCamiel Bouchier0

At work I have to use Outlook agenda. Two issues started bugging me increasingly over time and I am addressing with this small "cb_outlook" tool.

Block agenda (focus time)

My job requires frequent meetings with colleagues around the globe. All of them use Outlook to find available slots to book those meetings. Consequently it happens often no time is left to focus decently on some other work to be done.

The classic approach is to block timeslots to focus and that become unavailable for scheduling meetings. There's even some Microsoft support for it using viva insights.

The drawback of that approach is however that it is in essence based on reserving fixed timeslots, taking away the flexibility to use those slots for meetings. Working around the globe makes this pretty bad as you are always blocking "the wrong" time for some timezone.

"cb_outlook" takes a different approach. It scans the agenda to find out how many slots are already occupied and ensures a predefined number of 30' slots is available to focus. As soon too many meetings appear on the agenda, it fills the remaining slots to focus. (if meetings would have disappeared it also removes the slots to focus so they become available again to schedule meetings)

Doing so, a minimum number of 30'slots stays available to focus while maintaining maximum flexibility to schedule meetings.

Empty agenda

When taking time-off, I usually decline individually all meetings during that period and cancel my own meetings. Of course with some message about the why.

"cb_outlook" automates this task by declining/cancelling all meetings between two dates.

Want to know more?


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