Microsoft Calendar for Windows is a free planning app. It is closely related to the Outlook Calendar found on different platforms, like macOS. According to their website, Microsoft Calendar keeps your calendar events offline, whereas Outlook Calendar can sync across your devices. This review focuses on the Microsoft Calendar found on Windows 10.
The landing page of the calendar has a sidebar, which you can toggle for a minimalist look. The working space and landing page of the app is one thing, typical of calendar apps.
Creating a new event
You can create a New event from the sidebar and you get to:
- name the event
- pick an icon for it from a couple. They look a bit cartoonish, which is not professional.
- choose a Calendar for your event, if you have multiple calendars in the app.
- pick a Location by typing a few letters. Maps can help you find it on a map.
- set a Start and End date and time. For All day events, you won’t have to set the time.
- add a description: Microsoft Calendar lets you add the most detailed event description we have seen, so far, in any get things done app. You can even add tables and pictures.
Above your details, you can:
- Add Online meeting links to Skype (if your event requires a video call). One tap to automatically link your event to Skype. How decent is that?
- Show as: Free, Working elsewhere, Tentative, Busy, Out of office. This lets your colleagues know when you are free.
- Set a Reminder for the event to get notified about it before it starts:
- 0 minutes
- 5 minutes
- 15 minutes
- 30 minutes
- 1 hour
- 12 hours
- 1 day
- 1 week
- Choose the day you want the event to Start repeating.
- Pick the frequency:
- Daily – Every certain number of day(s) or Every Weekday.
- Weekly – Every certain number of Week(s) on specific days.
- Monthly – Every certain number of Month(s)
- On day (specific date of the month).
- On the first, second, third, forth or last day (Mon-Fri) of the month.
- Yearly – Every certain number of year(s),in (Month of the year)
- On day (date of the month)
- On the first, second, third, fourth or last day (of the month).
- Choose when the repeating will End.
- Set the event as Private if you don’t want to share its details with members of your organisation.
You can invite people to your event via email using the People app or type their email addresses. You can then sort your invitees by:
- Original order
- Response status
When you click on your guests’ email addresses, you can Save the contact or Email them. You can also see your upcoming Events and recent Conversations with that contact. It is useful to have all this information in one place.
More ways of creating new events
There are two more ways to create a new event in Microsoft Calendar. In the app, you can tap on the date to add a new event to it. You can also create a new event from your Taskbar, no matter what app you’re using. However, for detailed events, you must go to the Calendar app.
You can Search your calendar for events and the app displays your results next to the sidebar. Finding what you’re looking for is fairly simple. Arrows on the top help you navigate to the past and future. For example, on a monthly view, you can navigate to previous or upcoming months. Today will bring you back to the current date if you’ve wandered too far away from it.
The calendar has four views:
- Day for an hourly breakdown of your days. You can choose to have Multi-Day Views from 1 day to 6 days (if you want to see many days at once).
- Week shows all the days of the week. You can select between Work week (your working days only) or Week (all the days of the week).
- Month shows the whole month. You can even turn on week numbers for the month view.
- Year shows all the months of the year.
Your landing page can be any of these depending on where you left off when you closed the app. Each of these views, except the Year view, shows the left sidebar. The Three-dots icon (on the far right corner) lets you Print (to export your calendar as a PDF) and Sync.
You can quickly navigate through your weekly calendar on the sidebar calendar view. Below it is a list of the accounts you are signed into (Gmail, Yahoo, Microsoft or iCloud). You can choose which ones show in Microsoft Calendar by simply ticking them. Each calendar can have a unique colour to differentiate it from others. If you don’t like the colours on the first palette, More Colors has more options.
You can Share Calendar to invite people via email or by their contact names. When collaborating on these calendars/accounts, you have different permission options: Can edit or Can view. This is a cool feature because it allows you to share specific calendars in your app. To Remove collaborators, simply delete them.
You can Add calendars for Holidays, Sports and TV, which you can easily Remove calendar (below the calendar colour options). The icons at the bottom of the sidebar let you switch to different apps: Mail, People or To Do.
You can Manage Accounts to Add account for:
- Office 365
- Advanced setup is for POP3 or IMAP accounts.
You can also edit accounts you’re already signed into. For your Gmail account settings you can:
- Change your Account name
- Change mailbox sync settings to
- Download new content: As items arrive, Every 15 or 30 minutes, Hourly, Manually
- Always download full message and Internet images.
- Download email from the last: 3 or 7 days, 2 weeks, month or 3 months or anytime
- Turn on/off Sync options for Email, Calendar and Contacts.
- Delete account from this device to remove the account from the app.
Personalization lets you pick a colour for your Microsoft Calendar, which mostly changes the sidebar. You can choose to Use my Windows accent color for that.
Microsoft Calendar can display in Light or Dark mode or Use my Windows mode.
Under Background, you can turn on Fill entire window to use pictures instead of plain colours. Why must we turn the option on first? How about just picking a picture to override the colour option? You can also Browse for pictures on your computer, if you don’t like the options they give you.
Calendar Settings lets you pick the:
- First Day of Week
- Days in Work Week
- Working Hours: Start and End time
- Week Numbers: these changes are easier to see during the first week of January. You can turn them Off or choose when the week counting begins for your year:
- First Day Of Year
- First Full Week
- First Four-Day Week
- Enable Alternate Calendars from ten languages; the most options we’ve seen in any calendar app. For each language, you have different calendars to choose from as well.
- English: Gregorian, Hijri, Umm al-Qura, Hebrew Lunar, Saka Era
- Japanese: Lunar, Rokuyou, Zodiac
- Chinese (Simplified): Lunar and Zodiac
- Chinese (Traditional): Lunar and Zodiac
- Arabic: Hijri, Umm al-Qura, Gregorian, English transliterated, French transliteration
- Persian: Persian, Gregorian and Hijri
- Thai: Thai Buddhist
- Korean: Lunar and Zodiac
- Hebrew: Hebrew Lunar and Gregorian
- Hindi: Saka Era
Under Weather Settings, you can change the Temperature Scale to use Celsius, Regional Default or Fahrenheit. It’s funny because we didn’t see any weather forecast displays in this app, at all. Perhaps it’s a feature they’re planning to add and they are just preparing us for it.
Microsoft Calendar is a free calendar app to get for tracking your appointments and meetings for both individuals and teams. Before looking into paid options, how about trying it first, especially if you’re a small business?