Schedule important meetings so all members can attend
Collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams have completely changed the remote working game, and rightly so. Many organizations are making the shift from emails to apps like Microsoft Teams for communication among colleagues because of the wonderful features these platforms offer.
One such feature that Microsoft Teams offers that users worldwide love is the ability to hold scheduled meetings on the platform. In addition to the ad-hoc meetings, users can also schedule meetings. Previously, only the Microsoft 365 Business subscribers could hold scheduled private or channel meetings. But now Microsoft has also added the option for Microsoft Teams Free users. And scheduling meetings in Teams with organization members as well as outsiders (generally known as guests in the world of Microsoft Teams meetings) is as easy as it can get.
How to Schedule a Meeting if you are a Microsoft Teams Free User
Open the Microsoft Teams desktop app or go to teams.microsoft.com. Select the ‘Meetings’ option from the navigation bar on the left.
Note: If there is no ‘Meetings’ option, try updating your Microsoft Teams desktop app as the new option has only begun rolling out. If updating to the latest version still doesn’t show the option, the only thing left is to wait for the feature to roll out to you.
The Meetings tab will open. You’ll see two options: ‘Meet Now’ and ‘Schedule a Meeting’. Click on ‘Schedule a Meeting’ to open the scheduler window.
Give your meeting a title and specify a date and time for the meeting duration. Then click on the ‘Schedule’ button.
Teams will schedule the meeting. A few options for sharing the invitation will appear on your screen. You can share the meeting information by copying it and sending the link via email or any messaging app, or you can send the invitation using Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar by creating an event. Choose your desired option.
Important Note: Do not skip this step without at least copying the meeting information. Once you close this window, you won’t be able to access the information again. You should also keep the meeting link handy for yourself if you chose not to create a calendar event as currently, Microsoft Teams does not have an in-built calendar for the free users to keep track of the scheduled meetings. That is, you won’t be able to join the meeting or invite others to the meeting you just scheduled if you skip this step.
Currently, free users can only hold scheduled meetings privately and not in channels. So only people with the meeting invite link can join the meeting.
How to Schedule a Meeting if you are a Microsoft 365 Business User
Microsoft 365 Business subscribers can either schedule a meeting from the Microsoft Teams app, or they can also use Outlook to schedule a meeting in Teams.
Schedule a Meeting from Microsoft Teams
Open the Microsoft Teams desktop app or go to teams.microsoft.com and sign in with your Microsoft account. Then, select the ‘Calendar’ option from the navigation bar on the left.
In the calendar, click on the ‘New Meeting’ button to schedule a meeting.
The screen for creating a new meeting will open. Add a meeting title and then type the names of attendees in the ‘Add required attendees’ box to invite people.
If you want someone outside your organization to join the meeting, type their email address in the box to send them an invite link to the meeting.
After you have added all the attendees, set the time for the meeting. You can also use the ‘Scheduling assistant’ to find free time from everyone’s calendar to set a time for the meeting that works for everyone.
Microsoft Teams also allows the meeting to be repeated at a certain schedule. Choose the appropriate option from the drop-down menu. If you don’t want to repeat the meeting, leave the setting to ‘Does not repeat’.
Next is the setting for ‘Add channel’ that determines the meeting’s privacy settings. Keep it empty to keep your meeting private. To open the meeting to team members, select a channel. You can also choose multiple channels for the meeting.
The meeting will be posted in the channel you choose under the ‘Posts’ tab, where team members can set agendas, share files, or add their comments.
Click on the ‘Send’ or ‘Save’ button (whichever appears based on whether there are attendees in your list) to schedule the meeting.
Schedule a Teams Meeting from Outlook
Users can also schedule a Teams meeting from Microsoft Outlook. Open the Outlook application and switch to the calendar view. Click on the ‘Calendar’ icon at the bottom of the left navigation pane to switch.
By default, Microsoft Teams has the Outlook add-in. Click on the ‘New Teams Meeting’ in the Outlook calendar view.
The screen for scheduling a meeting will open. Set the meeting name, add attendees to send meeting invites to, set meeting time and click on the ‘Send’ button to send the meeting invite.
Note: Currently, users can schedule meetings from Outlook, but cannot have them in any channels.
Holding meetings on Microsoft Teams is very convenient. Users can schedule meetings from Microsoft Teams or using the Outlook application. Teams users with a Microsoft 365 Business subscription can also use a scheduling assistant that lets users find a time for the meeting that works for everyone.
The scheduler for Microsoft Teams Free users is quite basic at this time, but seeing as it is a newly implemented feature, maybe it will get important updates in the coming months. You can also send an invite link to people who are not a part of your organization so they can join the meeting as ‘Guests’.