I know you’ve all probably experienced this before. One day an appointment is on the calendar, and then it’s just gone. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve accused my boss of messing up his calendar, but I’ve found out it wasn’t actually his fault (sorry about that, Val!).
It turns out that the problem is caused by delegates. If more than one person receives calendar invites for a particular person, everyone must mark them approved. If you delete a meeting request from your e-mail without approving it, even if someone else already has, then it will delete the meeting from the calendar. This can also happen if you access Outlook from more than one computer. If the meeting request comes up in e-mail on both computers, you’ll need to approve it in both places.
This is a good reason to limit delegates on your calendar. It’s great to have a back-up for your boss’s calendar, but you need to work out an agreement with how to handle meeting requests. I recommend that one of you be the primary approver, and the other approve only after the primary has already approved. Then the primary will let the secondary approver know when she (the primary approver) will be away from the office so the secondary knows the duty of approving appointments falls to her. Wow…what a complicated couple of sentences! But the concept is actually pretty simple.
Microsoft has a number of great tips for managing calendars in Outlook at this link. I highly recommend it for anyone who handles calendars in Outlook, but especially for administrative and executive assistants managing calendars for others.