Scheduling meetings with other people during "blocked out time" in Outlook

Our pastors block out time on their calendars for different functions, such as “counseling”, “studying”, “funerals”, etc.

The end result is when staff try to schedule counseling appointments for them, they see the time is blocked off but don’t know why it is blocked off so they don’t schedule them during that time.

The workaround we’ve used for years is to grant receptionists and assistants access to view full details on all pastoral calendars.

Is that the best practice for this application? Is there a way for staff to denote what their schedule is so people don’t schedule meetings but so others can schedule counseling appointments in the correct time slot?

Many of the people I know will have multiple calendars. Some that have more personal details might be shared as free/busy data only, and the ones that include blocks for others to schedule into would be shared as full details to their assistants.

When this is set up, the owner can schedule “free” blocks of time in the “counseling” calendar, so that assistants know where to schedule people. This has the added benefit of allowing assistants to schedule directly into those calendars that are already synced on the calendar owner’s device, while still keeping other things private, if that is the desire. Additionally, any individual appointments made to personal calendars will show up as “Busy” during those time blocks, giving total insight to availability while maintaining privacy.

I can create a few test accounts that implement this and post screenshots to demonstrate if more clarity is required.

1 Like

Thanks that actually makes sense, most of our staff only use a single account right now, but this sounds like it may be a good solution for someone that doesn’t want main reception to have read/write access to everything on their calendar.

I’m weird and only have one calendar but I put everything on it (work or personal), but I could see the value in having someone else manage the work aspect of my calendar.

At our church, assistants are delegates of the pastor/minister’s calendar so they can make/change appointments as you had mentioned. This has worked well for us.

1 Like

Chris, only slightly off topic (since its not about a ministry calendar) – but I’m like you personally. I have one calendar for everything I do (personal, church, work) and I just mark anything as “private” that I don’t need others to see. When you do that, then they delegates only see “busy” otherwise they see the title of the calendar item, etc.


Wow… I never noticed that option before…

I just marked a bunch of stuff private. :slight_smile: