As a Virtual Assistant I quite often get asked to organise client’s diaries for months at a time, this used to involve going through their Outlook calendar and adding every event and meeting in separately by hand. Until I learned about the import function that the Outlook Calendar has. Not only does this save time, but it is also useful to be able to send these documents to others to add to their diary. The steps to import a list of events to your calendar are below:
- Open Excel.
First we are going to create a spreadsheet with our calendar entries ready to import them to Outlook. The walkthrough assumes that you will manually type in the details, however, the import process works equally well if you have a list of diary entries exported from a different online calendar. Just make sure you rename the column heading in your spreadsheet to match those listed below.
- Now we need to name our headings on our Excel sheet. There are a number of headings that we can use, based on what Outlook will recognise. The full list is here:
- Subject* – This is what your appointment will appear as on your Outlook calendar.
- Location – This is the location of the appointment.
- Start Time
- Start Date*
- End Time
- End Date*
- All Day Event – This is a yes or no answer.
- Reminder On/Off – This is a yes or no answer.
- Reminder Date
- Reminder Time
- Categories – This is the appointment category.
- Description – This is the large area of text that can be entered into an appointment.
- Private – This is a Yes/No flag to determine if anyone else can see this event.
Only the ones with a * are definitely needed and for the benefit of this walkthrough we are only going to use Subject, Location, Start Time & Date, End Time & Date and Description as these are most commonly used.
- Format the start date and the end date columns as ‘short date’. To do this, right click on the entire column, by right clicking the letter at the top. Select ‘Date’ and then the short date e.g. 01/01/01. Do the same for the end date column.
- Next you need to format the start time and end time columns as time. Again right click on the entire column, but on this occasion select ‘time’.
- You are now ready to populate you excel document with the details of your events. My example is below.
- Once you have filled in all the details you then need to highlight all your content, click Formulas and then Define Name.
- On the box that pops up click OK. I believe doing this helps the two programs talk to each and makes the import quicker and easier but it’s not an entirely necessary process.
- Now you need to save your file. Save you file as Calendar Upload or something similar, but you need to save it as a Comma Delimited or CSV file. Do this by selecting CSV in the ‘Save as Type’ dropdown.
- Now open up Outlook
- Navigate to the calendar you want to add the events to and then click File > Open > Import.
- Make sure the ‘Import from another program or file’ section is selected and click next.
- Select ‘Comma Separated Value (Windows)’
- Next click ‘Browse’ and locate your CSV file. Once your file is added, you can tell Outlook how to handle any duplicate calendar entries.
- Click Next and then Finish
- You should then see the new events in your calendar.
This whole process is really useful if you manage multiple calendars or if you already have a list of events in an excel file that you want to add to your calendar. If you have read this and practised with this, I recommend trying to include more entries than we have on this initial walkthrough as it all saves you time in the long run. Enjoy!