Resource mailbox

1 --- I need to set up either resource mailbox or shared calendar named "Time Off", so that our departments can send  Time off taken by their employees. All department employees should be able to see the calendar, and only Department Mangers should be able to send the appointments.
I need the appointments to remind everyone through reminder popup 4 days before an employee takes their time off.

2--Another thing that I want to know about calendars is , how do I know if someone is in a meeting or taking time off without going through step 1  above? Cannot I just create new appointment add a user as an attendee, and this will display their free/busy time ? then close the appointment without sending it ?

Thank you
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Hypercat (Deb)Commented:
1 - Use a resource mailbox.  Here's a link that will point you to info on setting up and configuring a resource mailbox:

Also below is a  screen capture of a resource mailbox properties showing the tabs for setting permissions, etc.:

Properties of a resource mailbox
Once you set up the mailbox, you can set the properties as appropriate to restrict the users who can create appointments.  The person creating the appointment then invites the user(s) that he or she wants to receive reminders, and when those people accept the appointment they will receive whatever reminders are scheduled. IOW, it acts like a regular calendar except for the initial setup and configuration.

2 - Yes, you can always see a user's free/busy information from the scheduling view of any new meeting/appointment.

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jskfanAuthor Commented:
I will read your comments later and get back with you..
jskfanAuthor Commented:
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