Time Zones and Outlook Problems with Scheduling

tzmap.jpgIn an earlier post entitled: Outlook’s Shortcomings 5 -Scheduling, I described one of the problems with Outlook — it’s not designed to help a user to use it’s calendar function to manage their daily activities.

Instead,  it was only added on to the email program as a nifty way to keep track of appointments.

Users who have moved up a belt level and want to use an electronic schedule to plan and execute their day, quickly come across the program’s limitations.

One of them involves changes in time zone, a problem that I happen to be having.

The program changes entries in the calendar in an unpredictable, seemingly random way when timezones are crossed, leading to chaos.

The advice given below by pcmag.com in their article “Outlook Time Zone Problem” clearly shows the thinking that Microsoft has used — the calendar is for appointments with other people.


Outlook Time Zone Problem


discuss  Total posts: 22

I recently moved from New York to Washington. If I change the time zone in Windows from Eastern to Pacific, Outlook shifts all my appointments 3 hours. Is there a way to disable this feature? I always enter my appointments in local time and I never make calculations based on time zones when scheduling.

Blaze Cook

Microsoft Knowledge Base article number 290835 explains that if you have an appointment at 9 A.M. and then change the time zone from Eastern to Pacific, the appointment will automatically change to 6 A.M. Microsoft states that this feature is useful if you travel with your computer, but those of us who do travel with our computers know that the opposite is true. If you’ve set up three dozen appointments with clients at a trade show in another time zone, you’re in a bind. You can set your laptop to the local time zone, which changes your appointment times, or you can leave it set to your home time zone, in which case you won’t get timely reminders.

According to Microsoft, the solution is to export your appointments, change the time zone, delete the now-incorrect appointments in Outlook, and re-import the exported appointments. In your case, where you’ve moved permanently to the new time zone, you can process all of your appointments that haven’t yet occurred. If you need to change appointments during a business trip to another time zone, you can filter the exported appointments so the list includes only those meetings scheduled to take place during the trip.

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