Manage meetings and e-mail for your manager

By Jim Boyce

Delegation can simplify the workday

When you work as an assistant for someone else, you likely assume for that person several responsibilities, including managing appointments, scheduling meetings, taking messages, handling e-mail, and perhaps even managing tasks and other workday events. You probably already know that Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 includes many features to help people manage schedules, e-mail, tasks, and other information. What you might not know is that Outlook, when used with Exchange Server, expedites your work as an assistant for another person. You can schedule meetings on the person's behalf, process incoming meeting requests for them, handle important e-mail, and more. In Outlook, this process is called delegation.

Using delegation can make your workday easier. First and foremost, delegation enables you to use a familiar tool — Outlook — to manage these items. What's more, you can manage your own schedule and e-mail right along with those of your manager. So delegation can help you automate and simplify many of the tasks you perform during the day. Let's take a look at how Outlook makes that possible.

Before you can act as a delegate for another person in Outlook, that person must designate you as a delegate.

ShowSet up delegate access

  1. Start Outlook by using the manager's profile that contains his or her Exchange Server account.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Delegates tab.

The Delegates tab

  1. Click Add.
  2. Type or select the name of the user who will act as the assistant, click Add, and then click OK.
  3. In the Delegate Permissions dialog box, choose the settings needed for each folder according to the tasks that the assistant needs to perform in the folder.
  4. To prevent items marked Private from appearing, make sure to clear the Delegate can see my private items check box.

Sometimes it's necessary to change the permissions given to a delegate for a particular folder. For example, you might discover additional tasks that you want the assistant to perform. Follow these steps to change permissions.

ShowFine-tune folder permissions

  1. Start Outlook by using the manager's profile that contains his or her Exchange Server account.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Delegates tab.
  3. In the list, click the name of the delegate, and then click Permissions.
  4. Modify the permissions on each folder as needed, and then click OK twice.

Managing another person's calendar

In many organizations, meetings are a fact of life. In fact, the higher up the chain you go, the more frequent are those meetings. Many managers rely on an assistant to manage their schedules. Let's take a look at how you can use Outlook to handle your manager's calendar.

Scheduling meetings for someone who has delegated you as an assistant is really very easy. You handle everything by using Outlook.

ShowSchedule meetings

  1. Start Outlook by using your own profile (the one that includes your own e-mail).
  2. On the File menu, point to Open and then click Other User's Folder.
  3. Type or select your manager's name, click Calendar in the Folder type list, and then click OK.
  4. In your manager's calendar, create the meeting request, appointment, or other item as you would in your own calendar. If you are creating a meeting request, the request will be sent to the recipients on your manager's behalf. You must schedule the meeting in the manager's calendar — if you schedule meetings from your own calendar, those meetings will not be added automatically to your manager's schedule.

In many cases, managers don't need or want to see the meeting request responses that come from attendees prior to finalizing the date and time for a meeting — they want to know only when the final date is set. For that reason, you'll likely want to take your manager out of the meeting request loop.

ShowTake the manager out of the meeting request loop

  1. Start Outlook by using the manager's profile (typically on his or her own computer).
  2. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Delegates tab.
  3. Select Send meeting requests and responses only to my delegates, not to me, and then click OK.

The Delegates tab

Now, meeting request messages (responses, requests for different times, and so on) will go only to you (and any other delegates for your manager) and not to your manager.

Handling meeting requests

Handling meeting requests as a delegate isn't very different from handling meeting requests that might come directly to you. When you schedule a meeting in your manager's calendar, the appointment is added as soon as you send the meeting request. What happens next depends on how the attendees respond:

  • Accepted. The response in your Inbox indicates that it is received on behalf of the manager and that the attendee has accepted the meeting. You can delete the meeting response.
  • Declined. The response is similar, except that it indicates that the attendee has declined the meeting. You must decide whether to change the meeting time or make other adjustments to the scheduled meeting on your manager's calendar based on any feedback included in the attendee's response.
  • Tentative. In this case, you must monitor the Inbox for additional status from the tentative attendees and follow up as needed prior to the meeting to finalize attendance.
  • Propose New Time. This response indicates that the attendee has tentatively accepted and proposed a new time. However, Outlook takes no action on its own to reschedule the meeting. If you want to accept the new time or even propose your own new time, open the manager's calendar, open the meeting, change the time, and then click Send Update to send new meeting notice to all attendees.

The key point to remember is that you must schedule and manage the meetings in the manager's calendar, not in your own.

Sending and receiving e-mail as an assistant

Another important task that assistants often need to perform is to process their managers' e-mail. For example, you probably need to wade through the mountain of e-mail and sort the important messages from those that are less important. What's more, you'll also likely need to send e-mail on your manager's behalf. Before we take a look at the mechanics of sending messages, let's take a quick look at the two commands that you can use to send e-mail as a delegate: Send-on-Behalf and Send As. The right command to use depends on whether the messages you send as an assistant need to appear to come only from the manager or whether they need to appear to come from you on behalf of your manager.

Use Send-on-Behalf when the message needs to appear to have been sent by you with an indication that it was sent on behalf of your manager.

ShowSend e-mail by using Send-on-Behalf

The Send-on-Behalf feature is easy. You don't even have to open your manager's Inbox!

  1. Open a new message in your own mailbox.
  2. If the From field does not already appear above the To field in the message form, on the Standard toolbar, click the Options arrow, and then click From.
  3. In the message form, click From, type or select your manager's name, and then click OK.
  4. Fill in the To, Subject, and other fields as needed, and click Send.

Microsoft Outlook

No additional configuration is necessary to use this method.

Use Send As when the message needs to appear to be directly from your manager.

ShowSend e-mail by using Send As

When you are granted Send As permissions on a mailbox, messages that you send from the mailbox appear to come from the mailbox owner. So if you send a message from your manager's mailbox, that message appears to the recipient to come from the manager, not from you. Configuring Send As permissions on a mailbox must be done by the Exchange Server administrator — it can't be configured in Outlook.

Managing tasks and other items

If your manager has given you the necessary permissions on other folders in his or her mailbox, you can manage items in those folders. For example, you might create or assign tasks from your manager's Tasks folder. Or perhaps you need to manage the Contacts folder, changing addresses or adding new contacts.

ShowManage items in delegated folders

  1. Have your manager grant you the necessary permissions on the folder or folders.
  2. On your computer, start Outlook and on the File menu, point to Open, and then clickOther User's Folder.
  3. Type or select your manager's name, click the folder type in the Folder type list, and then click OK.
  4. Work on the items in the folder as you would in your own folders. The actions you can perform in a given folder are limited by the permissions set on it by your manager. For example, you might be able to create new tasks but not modify existing tasks. Or you might be able to create new contacts and change existing ones but not delete contacts. Check with your manager if you run across a situation in which you need greater access to items in a specific folder.

Thanks to delegation in Outlook, you can now handle many important tasks on behalf of your manager.

About the author     Jim Boyce has authored over 50 books about computers and technology; many of these books are about the Microsoft Office System. He regularly contributes to several online sites and publications. His latest book is Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 Inside Out, which is available from Microsoft Learning.

 
 
Applies to:
Outlook 2003