Quick tip for scheduling odd appointment times in Outlook 2010

Note, if you’re reading this on Facebook, you probably cannot see the nifty screenshots that illustrate my points. To see the original post, go to: http://kathdem.spaces.live.com

One of the cool additions to the calendar in Outlook 2010 is the zoom functionality. This is also seen in other Office apps, like Word, but I like to use it in the calendar because it means I can quickly and easily schedule appointments in 15 or even 10 minute increments.

For example, when I want to make a 1/2 hour appointment in the calendar, it is (and always has been) super easy:

Select a 1/2 hour block with your mouse:

Then, right click and choose “New Appointment” or click the New Appointment button.

But, if I wanted to create a 15 minute or 45 minute appointment:

I had to click “New Appointment” then manually type in the start and end times, a la:

With the zoom functionality, however, I can quickly modify the increments in the calendar view down to 15, 10, 6, or 5 minute slots:

At 100% (normal) increments default to 30 minutes:

At 110% they move to 15 minutes:

At 120% they move to 10 minutes:

…and so on.

There’s a bonus, which is that you have tasks that you want to schedule time for, and they’re in your task pane (below the calendar), you can drag them into the smaller increments.

For instance, I’ve scheduled a task to pay my American Express bill on a particular day, and that only takes a few minutes.

In the shot below, I’ve dragged into a 10 minute slot at 11 AM (you’ll note that the task remains in the task pane even after dragging, because the scheduling of a task is a separate activity than the task itself):

You can download/install the Beta of Office 2010 from here: http://www.microsoft.com/office/2010/en/default.aspx.