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Ideas for keeping canceled appt/meeting on the calendar (Outlook 2010)

I'm working with a user using Outlook 2010.  She has several recurring meetings setup.  On occasion, a meeting will be canceled well in advance.  For example, there might be a Monday 10am staff meeting, but it's canceled for Monday, Feb 13, 2012.  

Clearly, we can just delete the occurence.  However, then it doesn't show as canceled on the calendar and the user might just go about her normal Monday routine, which includes that 10am meeting.  Another problem is just having the event not show up and having the user think that she deleted it unintentionally.

We could instead edit the occurence to show "CANCELED" or something in the subject.

I'm looking to suggest a better way.  Graying it out somehow or crossing it out would be even better.  When she called I thought there must be a way to mark an event as canceled, but there doesn't seem to be.

We don't have to worry about other people scheduled or cancellation emails - she created the events herself.

Suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Berkson Wein
Asked:
Berkson Wein
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2 Solutions
 
Jamie McKillopIT ManagerCommented:
Hello,

What about using Categories? She could set a Category called "Cancelled" and assign it the color Red, for instance. When a meeting is concelled, she could set the meeting category to "Cancelled" and it would appear red on her calendar, which would make it obvious the meeting has been cancelled but it would still remain on her calendar.

JJ
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Berkson WeinTech FreelancerAuthor Commented:
Good idea jjmck, but I don't believe you can change the category of a recurring appointment without changing them all :(
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Berkson WeinTech FreelancerAuthor Commented:
Anyone else?  
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Berkson WeinTech FreelancerAuthor Commented:
-bump-
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David LeeCommented:
Hi, weinberk.

Outlook has no means I know of for graying or crossing out an appointment.  The only practical solutions available are the ones you don't want (i.e. adding CANCELLED to the subject or deleting the occurrence).  There is one impractical solution, which would be to create each occurrence of a meeting as a separate meeting instead of as a recurring meeting.  That would allow the use of the category solution suggested by jjmck.

"Clearly, we can just delete the occurence.  However, then it doesn't show as canceled on the calendar and the user might just go about her normal Monday routine, which includes that 10am meeting.  Another problem is just having the event not show up and having the user think that she deleted it unintentionally."

What's the point in having a calendar if the owner isn't going to pay attention to it?  Especially in today's always connected world where calendars are typically synced to a smartphone that the owner has with them.  I can't imagine why someone would want to clutter their calendar with cancelled meetings.  As to the user thinking that the deleted it unintentionally, that'd be difficult to do since when deleting an occurrence you have to consciously select "Delete this occurrence" or "Delete the series".  It's not as if she could delete an occurrence with one click or the press of the Delete key.  Even if there was a way to gray out an appointment wouldn't it be just as possible for her to think that she'd accidentally done that?  Then there's the impact on anyone the user has invited to the meeting.  If she cancels an occurrence in a way that does not remove it from the calendar, then they'll be stuck with the cancelled appointments on their calendars.  I expect that would irritate most people.  

The above aside, if the barrier to adding "CANCELLED" to an appointment is the work required to do that, then I can help.  I can provide a script that will do the work for her.  But, as noted above, on seeing an appointment marked "CANCELLED" she may still wonder whether she actually cancelled it or did it unintentionally.

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Berkson WeinTech FreelancerAuthor Commented:
BlueDevilFan-
Thanks for your thoughts.  I agree with you.  Keep in mind that we're supporting a lot of let's say "non-technical" and also "uneducated" (being polite) users here.  The barrier is the human, not the computer, but that's not how it's interpreted.

Adding Canceled to the appointment is fine as text.  The problem is that the user would need to create a new appointment to do that to recurring appointments.  It's really only the recurring ones that they care about...
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David LeeCommented:
"Adding Canceled to the appointment is fine as text.  The problem is that the user would need to create a new appointment to do that to recurring appointments."

They shouldn't need to.  You can edit the subject of individual occurrences.
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