In the old days, before everyone had a personal computer, paper appointment books provided a permanent record of what we did when. Sometimes that’s useful – sometimes you need to refer back. Today, I use Outlook on the PC and Pocket PC to keep track of my appointments. And when things are electronic, there is the potential for problems.
I have a recurring weekly appointment in Outlook, and I wanted to change the time of the appointment. That should be easy, right? You’d think you could change all the times going forward? But noooooo. Outlook warns you that if you make a change, all exceptions will be lost. But actually, it’s worse than that. It changes the time of every appointment – including appointments that occurred in the past. Happily I found a workaround.
This tip comes from a site devoted to Outlook tips. It’s a great site – I’ve used it before. Here’s what you do.
Export your calendar folder to an Excel file. (And when you’re done with that, close Outlook and make a backup copy of your .PST file, just in case of disaster – you never know.) The export function doesn’t support recurring appointments, and for our purposes, this is a good thing! It allows you to convert the dates you want to keep into non-recurring, individual appointments.
Edit the Excel file to contain just the recurring appointment between the dates you want to keep. This is easy to do if you sort on the appointment subject. Delete everything that is not the recurring appointment. Then import the edited Excel file back into Outlook. If you have long notes, you may need to copy and paste them into the non-recurring version since there’s a length limit for exports.
When you’ve assured yourself that all is well, delete the recurring appointment, then create a new recurring appointment for the new time (or just stop at deleting, if there are no more appointments in the future). Problem solved!