Use Calendar alerts to make sure you don’t miss out on new events

I know that I have posted this before, but it bears repeating. Our division calendar is full of events and important dates, and I love that I can connect it directly into my Outlook and have a side-by-side comparison with my own calendar. I often do that at the beginning of the week, just to make sure I’m not missing anything.

As convenient as all of that is, there is one piece missing. How do I know when new events have been added? Or, for that matter, when events have been removed?

Luckily SharePoint has the alerts feature built into most out of the box applications, and thus you can be alerted about almost any changes made to items on your SharePoint site.

You may need to set up two alerts: one for new items, and one for deleted items. A weekly summary should suffice to make sure you’re kept up to date on new events.

To set up alerts

Activate the calendar page so that only the calendar is showing on your page. Above the site logo are several tabs.

  • Click on the CALENDAR tab
  • Choose Alert Me
  • Set an Alert on this list

From the New Alert screen, I recommend that you add the site name in front of the title so that it appears in the subject line of your email.

Change Type: If you choose immediate notifications, I recommend you choose New items are added rather than All Changes.

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Send calendar updates to your inbox

If you’re using a central SharePoint calendar for your business, it is often the go-to for your people. You can post meetings, leadership open office hours, events, functions, etc. You can also use them to administrative deadlines.

As with Discussions and Announcements, you can choose to receive an email when new calendar items are added.

In order to set up an alert, activate the Calendar to where you have a page that only shows the calendar. Above the site logo are several tabs.

  • Click on the CALENDAR tab
  • Choose Alert Me
  • Set an Alert on this list

From the New Alert screen, I recommend that you add the site name in front of the title so that it appears in the subject line of your email.

Change Type: If you choose immediate notifications, I recommend you choose New items are added rather than All Changes.

When to Send Alerts: Choose your preferred option. For daily or weekly notifications, I recommend you set your time and day outside of normal working hours so you get a full day or week worth of changes at once.

SharePoint Calendars: for site owners

Create a new calendar

Open your SharePoint site or the sub-site on which you would like to create the calendar and click on “Site Contents” in the quick launch menu usually on the left hand side.

  • Choose “add an App”
  • Click on “Calendar” and name it (preferably something short and one word) – use settings to change the name later. Once you have clicked OK, you’ll be taken back to the apps screen. The new app will be labeled new.
  • Click on the ellipses (…) and “settings” above the new app to edit the calendar.
  • From settings, you can manage your calendar and events with a few options.

Adding your calendar to a page on your site

Once you’ve created your calendar you can add it to any page within the same sub-site by navigating to the page on which you want to place the calendar, clicking on “Edit”. Then under the “Insert” tab, choose “web part”, and select your calendar. The default view of your calendar will appear.

Changing Event Colors

All of the events on a calendar will be the same color. There is no way to make one event one color and another event a different color, without using a calendar overlay. Calendar overlays allow different types of events to be different colors.

SharePoint Calendar Basics

I don’t know about you but I love a good calendar. SharePoint’s calendar is a pretty straight forward, no frills, kind of calendar, but I like it that way. You can add some additional features to make it more useful, such as changing the categories of the meeting types, and then creating views to filter your calendar with that information, but a basic out of the box SharePoint calendar is all that most of us need.

Many departments have multiple uses for calendars and as such, want multiple calendars on their sites. Some calendar ideas include

  • Event calendar for events you’re hosting for students or staff
  • Leave calendar to show who is out of the office
  • Conference room calendar so people can book your conference room
  • On-call calendar to show who is scheduled to work that day
  • Resource calendar for reserving such things as cars, carts, tents, etc. Although for this a resource management tool might be a better option.

In short though, there are all kinds of reasons a calendar might come in handy.

Luckily, you can create as many calendars as you want on SharePoint. Or actually… you can have your SPOCK do it, since it does require full access to a site.

Working with Events

To add a new event to an existing calendar, click on the corresponding date on the calendar, and then click on the “+ add” that appears in the bottom right hand corner of the day. You can also add events by clicking on “Events” and “New Events” under the calendar tab.

When the new event form pops up, fill in whatever data your SPOCK set up in Calendar settings. By default, only Title, Start Time, and End Time are required, but your SPOCK may have added more required fields. Notice that you can set up All Day Events and Recurring events from this screen too.

*Tip- When editing a recurring event, click on the event title for any of the dates and then choose “Edit Series” from the ribbon. “Edit Item” will only make changes to that specific date.

To edit an event, click on the event title and then choose “Edit Event” from the ribbon at the top. You can also delete the event from that menu.