Include a Calendar in Your E-mail or Out of Office Message

Human are visual creatures. Given the option, we will always prefer to see something rather than read about it. Your schedule is no exception -- whether you're sending an e-mail about project milestones or the dates you plan to be on vacation, it's always better to send an image of a calendar rather than just describe dates using text.

If you are using Microsoft Outlook 2010, I've got a handy trick you can use to easily insert a calendar in your e-mail with the relevant dates already highlighted, courtesy of the Microsoft Outlook blog on MSDN. To inset a calendar, do this:

  1. Open a new message window and then click Insert, Calendar.
  2. In the Date Range drop down, choose Specify Dates and then select the start and end dates you desire.
  3. Click OK.
In your e-mail message you'll find the calendar, plus some detailed information about the dates you selected. You can leave all that there as is, or delete everything except for the calendar itself -- it's up to you.

Want to embed the calendar in an out of office message? Just try the trick above in a blank e-mail message, copy the calendar, and then paste it in the OOF message.