Managing Multiple Time Zones In Microsoft Outlook

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I’ve been working across four different time zones in the last fortnight and one of the cool things about most modern operating systems is that your device automatically updates based on the IP address of the internet connection.

Therefore, when I left Auckland and arrived in Bangkok, my Surface Laptop automatically changed to UTC +07:00 (6hrs behind NZ currently). When I moved on to Singapore (UTC +08:00) Outlook automatically updated accordingly, however when I tried to set a calendar appointment with a school back in NZ the invite ended up being 8pm NZ time because Outlook was showing me local times automatically.

I was chatting about this with my colleague Amit Pawar when we were in Indonesia today (back to UTC +07:00) and he pointed out a great feature in Outlook Calendar settings that allows you to align up to three different time zones down the left:

TimeZone2.PNG

Note the column headings showing SG (Singapore) NZ (New Zealand) and “Current” – the automatic time zone setting based on my current location.

When I return to NZ I’ll likely swap out the NZ time zone option and replace it with Pacific Standard Time given the communications I often have with the team at Redmond in Seattle.

Instructions for setting additional time zones

The additional time zone settings can be configured under the Calendar Options in Outlook:

TimeZone

Small features like this are often overlooked among the myriad of settings that large applications like Outlook contain, however they can add significant value and help avoid mistakes like sending meeting invites for 8pm in a different time zone!

I am always keen to discuss what I've written and hear your ideas so leave a reply here...

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