Outlook: Find available meeting times

🕙  3 minute read

Use this action to automatically compare the calendars of multiple Outlook users to find the best time for everyone to meet. Outlook actions require an Azure Office 365 account.

The action works for email addresses that are members of the same Office 365 Active Directory account as the integration.

Use case

  • As part of a quarterly performance review Workflow, schedule a meeting between an employee and their manager.
  • Schedule a kickoff meeting as part of a project management Workflow.

How to configure this action

This action requires a preconfigured Outlook integration. For more information on integrating Catalytic with other systems, please refer to the Integrations section of our help documentation.

Fields for this action

  • Integration

    • The Microsoft Outlook account to use to search for meeting times
  • Attendee emails

    • A list of email addresses, separated by commas. To find available times for an attendee, their email needs to be on the same Office account as the integration user.
  • Organizer is optional

    • The organizer is the user that set up the Outlook integration.
      • If the organizer doesn’t need to attend the meeting, set this to True.
      • If blank, defaults to False.
  • Meeting duration

    • Time in minutes
  • Minimum percentage of attendees

    • For a meeting with a large number of attendees it may not be possible to find a time when everyone is available. Only meetings when this percentage of, or more, attendees are available will be returned. Attendees with a conflicting event to which they replied ‘maybe’ are counted as half. For example, if there are two attendees, one who is available and the other who may be attending another meeting, the percentage would be 75.
  • Earliest meeting date

    • Earliest time the meeting can start, as an ISO formatted date-time YYYY-MM-DDThh:mmZ. For example: 2018-04-04T17:15Z
  • Latest meeting date

    • Latest time the meeting can end, as an ISO formatted date-time YYYY-MM-DDThh:mmZ. For example: 2018-04-04T17:45Z
  • Output field name

    • The prefix that will be added to the beginning of all of the output fields.

What will this output?

The action outputs the number of meeting times found, a data table of meeting times and fields about the first meeting time match. Other matches are available in the associated data table.

Output fields for this action

  • Number of Available Meeting Times

    • Guidance and examples for using this field in other actions
  • Data Table

    • A data table with a row for each meeting time found. All of the First Match fields listed below are included as columns in the table.
  • First Match–MeetingTimeSlot–Start-DateTime

    • The starting date-time for the meeting that’s the best match. All first match results are the attributes for the meeting that’s the best match.

      💡   Tip: If you want to go straight to scheduling a meeting without looking at all the available times, use this field as the input to the Outlook: Create meeting action.

  • First Match–MeetingTimeSlot–End-DateTime

    • The proposed end date time for the meeting.
  • First Match–Confidence

    • The percentage of attendees that can attend.
  • First Match–OrganizerAvailability

    • A field for whether the organizer is able to attend.
  • First Match–SuggestionReason

    • The reason for the match.
  • First Match–{attendee 1}-available

    • A field for the first email address entered in the Attendee Emails configuration field and whether they are able to attend.
  • First Match–{attendee 2}-available

    • A column for second email address entered in the Attendee Emails configuration field and whether they are able to attend. There will be as many attendee fields as there are attendee’s entered during configuration.

Tips

  • To give a buffer time around a meeting to allow attendees to travel to the meeting location, search for a meeting duration + buffer time and then schedule the meeting after the buffer time.

  • After finding available meeting times, you can either:

    • Use the first meeting time to schedule a meeting using the Outlook: Create meeting action, or you can send the available meeting times

    • Convert the output table to markdown and send to attendee(s) to select the best time and then use that to create the meeting.

  • To include external users in a meeting, either:

    • send the available meeting times to the external users to let them select a time that works

    • ask the external users to enter times that work for them into a webform, and then use those times with this action to find available meeting times.

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