To start explaining the Outlook calendar board view, we need to take a look into the history of this solution. A few years ago we came to notice about something called Project Moca. As Microsoft has “boss-mode” activated for renaming products, we saw the next evolution on that with Outlook Spaces and now, the final product is called Outlook Calendar Board view. To be honest, I think Outlook boards would be enough but hey, who am I to judge, right?
If someone is asking, what is Outlook Boards? I would answer: It is an infinite canvas where you can bring content together and structure calendars, tasks, goals, links notes, files, and even combine all of that. Some say, it has some similarities with Trello.
What you can expect from this article
I’ll show you around and explain every single option you can add to your board. The goal is to have one article, where you find all you need. For every option, I’ll explain a few things and you see a short animation on how to add it and what you can do with it. No worries, the animation is a loop, so you can simply stay at the animation to see it again. If you don’t want to scroll and jump right into the topic you’re interested in, here you go:
- How to access the Outlook Board view
- What you can add to your board
- Task list
How to access the Outlook Board view?
As Outlook Calendar Board is part of Outlook on the web, you access it via Outlook. Just open Outlook on the web, select your calendar, and from the usual view drop-down select Board.
As an alternative, you can bookmark the URL https://outlook.office.com/calendar/view/board to access the respective board instantly. Depending on how often you’ll use the board view, this might put you on the competitive edge of efficiency. 🙂
If you are using the Board view for your very first time, you also get a little animation about what you get yourself into 😉
What you can add to your board
Not only can you add a different calendar, task list, notes, and weather to your board view, but after expanding the first results you find goals, links, files, location, person, clock, tips and my favorite, the collection. Scroll on to find a short explanation of every single one.
Adding a calendar to the calendar sounds at first totally nuts, but the more you think about all your calendars, the more it can make sense. Especially when planning an event or meeting, adding the public holiday calendar to your board, is a good reminder in case you plan meetings internationally. Also, adding a group calendar from one of your Microsoft 365 groups can help you plan your day ad schedule easier.
After you select calendar, the calendar widget will be automatically added to your board. You are then able to select which calendar you want to choose. Depending on all your calendars, that scrollbar might be a little long. You can also resize the widget depending on your selected view. Note: When selecting the month view, the widget can’t be resized. Also, you’re able to rename the widget.
Adding a task list to your board is probably a no-brainer. The same approach applies to that. First, you click in the dropdown Add to board on Task list. After that, the list gets automatically added to your board where you can add, you guessed it right, tasks.
The great, really great feature to me is simply dragging & drop putting that task into your calendar. This makes it super fast and really easy to use. Like the calendar as well, you can resize the task list, let’s call it widget, as well.
Adding a note is also no issue and very simple. Again just add that option from your Add to board selection and it will get automatically placed on your board. You have the option the change the color and also set a due date.
In case you haven’t found it yourself already, all your widgets can be moved in space. So there is not a real fixed grid. If you want to lock your view, you find also in the menu bar next to the view selector a switch to do so.
Next, the weather widget. Nothing too crazy, but you can also place it everywhere on the board, set a color and to me, quite important, change from Fahrenheit to Celsius. I simply don’t get Fahrenheit, sorry.
Maybe when you plan your next trip with the Outlook Calendar Board view a really nice thing to include to your board. Obviously not too helpful when your trip is planned in the far future, but for a weekend trip, it might help. (Just thinking out loud) 🙂
Setting a goal is nice, but keep that goal always in your eye-sight helps to achieve the goal. You can use that for finalizing your tasks, to motivate yourself and also use them as kind of a milestone.
Adding a goal is also like all widgets pretty easy. Just add Goal for your selection, set the goal with a title and date and a event gets created in your calendar instantly. You can also change the due date and when it’s the day of your goal, you get a reminder. It also shows the goal in red color.
Adding a link to your board is when planning a trip a good idea. Same for location (just scroll down to that). You want to make sure you have the URL to your hotel, restaurants, places you want to visit but maybe also links to your online boarding pass and more.
If there is a document you need to finish or just a file you need to keep in sight, the widget File might be a good choice for that. Also, simply add this to your board, rearrange if needed and select the file you need. Super simple and nothing too crazy.
Most likely the widget when planning a trip to track you places you want to visit or when traveling to find your hotel, conference center or any point of interest. Also, the detailed information makes your board more colorful which brings a nice touch as well.
Depending on what you want to do in your board, the person widget could be a quick access menu for your e.g. task. As one of Diana’s tasks is to reach out to Bruce, adding him directly to the board makes it easy to get in touch with him.
The clock is also super helpful when trying to coordinate things on an international level. If you had to do that, you know the time-zone-dilemma. In addition, when you try calling someone from that location, you can make sure it’s not in the middle of the night.
The Outlook Calendar Board View has quite some things to offer, so Microsoft added also an interactive widget for tips which is a nice idea. With that you can look things up and even find shortcuts, because: Who doesn’t like shortcuts, right? 🙂
As you now see, a board can get full quickly and again you are faced with the struggle of organization. To help with that there is the collection widget. When you are coming from JIRA, it might be your “epic”, when you come from a whiteboarding session it might be your cluster. To me, it’s a container I collect widgets that are related like in this case Los Angeles.
And with that, you made it. You checked out Outlook Calendar Board View and all of the options you can add to your board. There is more to discover, like the zoom function on the bottom right or as mentioned the lock view option in your menu.
Other than that, I think this article gives you a good first impression and understanding of what you can do and hopefully is useful.
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