Recurring Appointments that don't fit a pattern

Would you like to make recurring appointments that don't fit a pattern

  • Yes

    Votes: 10 76.9%
  • No

    Votes: 3 23.1%

  • Total voters
    13
  • Poll closed .
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Forum Admin

Senior Member
I'll start this forum off with one of the comments I read in a blog entry about the FixOutlook movement.

The user wanted to be able to Ctrl+Click on dates in the caledar and create a recurring appointment. He did not want to be stuck using 'every 2 weeks on wednesday'.
 

beth

Member
I'll start this forum off with one of the comments I read in a blog entry about the FixOutlook movement.



The user wanted to be able to Ctrl+Click on dates in the caledar and create a recurring appointment. He did not want to be stuck using 'every 2 weeks on wednesday'.





I run in to this problem as well with weird schedules. For example, if I'm scheduling my kid's softball games for Wednesday at 6PM and Saturdays at 3PM, I have to create two separate weekly appointments. I would love if the recurrence could include different times on the different days.
 

sanwin

Member
I'll start this forum off with one of the comments I read in a blog entry about the FixOutlook movement.



The user wanted to be able to Ctrl+Click on dates in the caledar and create a recurring appointment. He did not want to be stuck using 'every 2 weeks on wednesday'.





If there isn't a recurrence then it can't be a recurring meeting!




Wednesday at 6 and Saturday at 3 are NOT recurring meetings. Each separately ARE.
 

Forum Admin

Senior Member
If there isn't a recurrence then it can't be a recurring meeting!

Wednesday at 6 and Saturday at 3 are NOT recurring meetings. Each separately ARE.

Why does a date pattern equal a recurrance while a identical appointment is not?
 

sanwin

Member
Why does a date pattern equal a recurrance while a identical appointment is not?





I'm not sure I understand that response.




Every Wednesday at 6 is a recurrance


Every Saturday at 3 is a recurrance




The two combined cannot be a recurrance - they need to be created as two separate recurring meetings.




I do not think Outlook is broken in this case.
 

Forum Admin

Senior Member
I'm not sure I understand that response.

Every Wednesday at 6 is a recurrance

Every Saturday at 3 is a recurrance

The two combined cannot be a recurrance - they need to be created as two separate recurring meetings.

I do not think Outlook is broken in this case.

If the times were the same, would they be recurrences? What about 'Baseball game at 6PM' on Wed, Sat, Mon, Thurs, Sat? Or Baseball game every Wed and Sat? Should you need multiple appointments or just 1 recurrence?

If the subject and time are the same across all events, why can't it be a recurrence?

Most of the questions we see involve the same time and subject - the dates aren't in a pattern Outlook supports so they aren't recurring. They may be in a pattern - "every 5th week" or "last Mon before the last Fri" or just random dates.
 

sanwin

Member
If the times were the same, would they be recurrences? What about 'Baseball game at 6PM' on Wed, Sat, Mon, Thurs, Sat? Or Baseball game every Wed and Sat? Should you need multiple appointments or just 1 recurrence?




If the subject and time are the same across all events, why can't it be a recurrence?




Most of the questions we see involve the same time and subject - the dates aren't in a pattern Outlook supports so they aren't recurring. They may be in a pattern - "every 5th week" or "last Mon before the last Fri" or just random dates.





Most of the requests I see on the newgroups are on the lines of




"I want to schedule my team's progress meetings but Outlook won't let me. The next few are Tuesday at 10, Wednesday week at 2 and Monday in two weeks at 11. Why can't I create one recurring meeting - it is the same meeting after all?"




Well duh - if they don't occur at the same time on the same day they are not recurring meetings!




I have no problem with those who want Outlook to move meetings which would occur on a weekend e.g. "On the 14th of every month except move it to the nearest weekday if it falls on a weekend" - Lotus did that years ago.
 

Forum Admin

Senior Member
I have no problem with those who want Outlook to move meetings which would occur on a weekend e.g. "On the 14th of every month except move it to the nearest weekday if it falls on a weekend" - Lotus did that years ago.

i believe Notes also lets users click on dates to create random recurrences. These new-to-Exchange users what the same functionality they had before.
 

awluck

Member
Maybe it is necessary to go back and train users to use words which actually convey what they intend.




recurring : as an adjective : occurring or appearing again.



reappearance : v. i. : A second or new appearance; the act or state of appearing again.




replicate : verb : to repeat, duplicate, or reproduce, esp. for experimental purposes.




reuse : tr. verb : To use again, especially after salvaging or special treatment or processing.




Halley's Comet reappears every 76 years. It doesn't recur. It doesn't appear in the same place in the night sky on every pass. It isn't the same brightness every time. It isn't the same mass.




An event with all the same elements (who-what-where) but not the same (when) is not recurring. A meeting on the second Tuesday cannot recur on the fourth Thursday.




i believe Notes also lets users click on dates to create random recurrences.




i believe Notes also lets users click on dates to create random occurrences




Is all this commentary about picked nits? No.




If you want the facility to allow you to select arbitrary occurrences of an otherwise repeating event, so say.




If you want to create an appointment where all the basic elements are the same and then schedule numerous patterns of repeating occurrences, then say so.




If you want software developers to create software which performs in a certain way or provides a certain feature, precisely describe the feature.




Don't use a shotgun to wedge that square peg into a corresponding round hole, and then complain it isn't there.
 

Cathy Rhone

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2013 32 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server 2010
recurring : as an adjective : occurring or appearing again.



reappearance : v. i. : A second or new appearance; the act or state of appearing again.




replicate : verb : to repeat, duplicate, or reproduce, esp. for experimental purposes.




reuse : tr. verb : To use again, especially after salvaging or special treatment or processing.




Halley's Comet reappears every 76 years. It doesn't recur. It doesn't appear in the same place in the night sky on every pass. It isn't the same brightness every time. It isn't the same mass.




An event with all the same elements (who-what-where) but not the same (when) is not recurring. A meeting on the second Tuesday cannot recur on the fourth Thursday.



Where is the definition that recurring is an identical thing that reappears in a set pattern? Individual events within the recurrence are not occurrences in the Outlook world, it is a recurrence. Microsoft made the decision to use the word recurrence, not occurrence, for all instances of recurring appointments so that is what user's use.




from reference.com:


re⋅cur  /rɪˈkɜr/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [ri-kur]


–verb (used without object), -curred, -cur⋅ring. 1. to occur again, as an event, experience, etc.




It does not say "occur again in a set pattern", only that it occurs again. One could argue that as long as the subject (and any attendees) is identical, but the time (along with the date) varies, it is recurring.




I don't know how Notes works, but in Groupwise, you can select dates that don't fit a pattern but it creates copies of each event (like WS.Repeat Appointment), rather than making one appointment that repeats as Outlook does. (Groupwise does this for appointments that fit a pattern too.)
 

trish2taz

Member
i believe Notes also lets users click on dates to create random recurrences. These new-to-Exchange users what the same functionality they had before.





Here at work, we used MS Outlook, then Lotus Notes, and now have switched back to Outlook (2007). I have to schedule pay periods that fall on the 15th and 30th. That is a recurrence!! The 15th and 30th every month. But, in Outlook I had to create two separate appointments/events. Also, I too would like to see Outlook give the option to move an appointment to the previous weekday if it falls on a weekend. I have to physically go to each occurrence to see if it is on a weekend and move it. Very cumbersome and inefficient. In this aspect, Lotus Notes was better. They need to fix Outlook '07.
 

donwms

Member
From a user friendly perspective, any series of appointments for same purpose (i.e., somehow related to each other in the mind of user) is a reoccurring appointment, even if the schedule has no standard pattern. I want to use my definition of a reoccurring appointment, not the definition in the current Outlook.




So for example, if there a series of appointments to discuss a project were scheduled at various odd times to accommodate every one's schedule, but then the project was canceled; it would be convenient if the user could cancel all future appointments with a single action (i.e., cancel all future occurrences of the reoccurring appointment without losing the record of completed appointments) regardless of type of scheduling pattern or lack of pattern.



Given that perspective, I would like to be able to schedule reoccurring appointments much much more robustly:


1. More pattern choices and more types of exceptions.


2. Ability to choose multiple patterns and multiple exceptions


3. Ability to display exceptions.


4. Ability to copy/clone/update the reoccurrence of future appointments without losing the history of past ones.




More pattern choices, for example:


• A list of dates and times with no particular pattern.


• 1st Tuesday after the 1st Monday of November of each year (US Election Day).


• 1st Friday before the 1st Monday of each month. (For a company that is open Monday through Friday, it may start its “business” month on the 1st Monday of month, so the last business day of the month would be the Friday before the 1st Monday of the next month.)




More types of exceptions, for example:


• Removal of an occurrence from a pattern when it conflicts with any other appointments, or selected types of appointments, etc. For example, when a meeting occurs on a holiday, it is canceled.


• Rolling an occurrence forward or backward one or more days when it conflicts with any other appointments, or selected types of appointments, etc. For example, when a meeting occurs on a weekend or holiday, it may be rolled backward to previous workday. Another example, when a meeting occurs on Sunday it is rolled forward to Monday or the next workday, but when it occurs on Saturday it is rolled backward to Friday or the previous workday.



Ability to choose multiple patterns and exceptions, for example:


• Choosing one time for Mondays and Wednesdays; and a different time for Fridays.


• Choosing to cancel Monday meetings that conflict with holidays, but roll backward one day Wednesday and Friday meetings that conflict with other meetings or holidays.



Ability to display exceptions means that when you view the scheduling definition, it display not only the general rule for the pattern, but also any exceptions that you have made (both cancellations and rescheduling).
 

msehnert

Member
I likewise agree with many of the suggestions presented. Maximum flexibility with regard to reoccurring events is the best option. I would like to use tasks in Outlook for contract/lender compliance. I have done this with many programs over the year and have had to redo the compliance system with another program when the programs disappeared from the scene. With Outlooks universal usage it is very likely to be around for a long time (ie over a 10/20/30 year contract). Useful additions that would make Outlook use to me would be:




Manual and/or automatic inclusion of holidays (that show in the calender)




Adding "quarterly" (and possibly bi-weekly and bi-monthly) in addition to daily/weekly/monthly/yearly




Allowing a specified number of days from the selected reoccurring event (for example 15 days following the end of each quarter).




As previously indicated the ability to account for the existence of holidays or weekends in reoccurring events, however it would be best if the user could select what he wants in this regard. For example if a tax return is due on a specified date and that is a holiday or weekend, then it actually is due on the first following business day. However a financial statement that is due at the end of each quarter may (if such day falls on a holiday or weekend) be required to be provided on the last business day before such specified day. The user should be able to make such selections.









From a user friendly perspective, any series of appointments for same purpose (i.e., somehow related to each other in the mind of user) is a reoccurring appointment, even if the schedule has no standard pattern. I want to use my definition of a reoccurring appointment, not the definition in the current Outlook.




So for example, if there a series of appointments to discuss a project were scheduled at various odd times to accommodate every one's schedule, but then the project was canceled; it would be convenient if the user could cancel all future appointments with a single action (i.e., cancel all future occurrences of the reoccurring appointment without losing the record of completed appointments) regardless of type of scheduling pattern or lack of pattern.



Given that perspective, I would like to be able to schedule reoccurring appointments much much more robustly:


1. More pattern choices and more types of exceptions.


2. Ability to choose multiple patterns and multiple exceptions


3. Ability to display exceptions.


4. Ability to copy/clone/update the reoccurrence of future appointments without losing the history of past ones.




More pattern choices, for example:


• A list of dates and times with no particular pattern.


• 1st Tuesday after the 1st Monday of November of each year (US Election Day).


• 1st Friday before the 1st Monday of each month. (For a company that is open Monday through Friday, it may start its “business” month on the 1st Monday of month, so the last business day of the month would be the Friday before the 1st Monday of the next month.)




More types of exceptions, for example:


• Removal of an occurrence from a pattern when it conflicts with any other appointments, or selected types of appointments, etc. For example, when a meeting occurs on a holiday, it is canceled.


• Rolling an occurrence forward or backward one or more days when it conflicts with any other appointments, or selected types of appointments, etc. For example, when a meeting occurs on a weekend or holiday, it may be rolled backward to previous workday. Another example, when a meeting occurs on Sunday it is rolled forward to Monday or the next workday, but when it occurs on Saturday it is rolled backward to Friday or the previous workday.



Ability to choose multiple patterns and exceptions, for example:


• Choosing one time for Mondays and Wednesdays; and a different time for Fridays.


• Choosing to cancel Monday meetings that conflict with holidays, but roll backward one day Wednesday and Friday meetings that conflict with other meetings or holidays.



Ability to display exceptions means that when you view the scheduling definition, it display not only the general rule for the pattern, but also any exceptions that you have made (both cancellations and rescheduling).
 

Forum Admin

Senior Member
I

Adding "quarterly" (and possibly bi-weekly and bi-monthly) in addition to daily/weekly/monthly/yearly

Allowing a specified number of days from the selected reoccurring event (for example 15 days following the end of each quarter).

I'm not sure why any of those need spelled out as an option as they are possible:

Quarterly > monthly, last day (or weekday) of every 3 months

Bi-weekly > weekly, every 2 weeks (can pick a day of the week)

Bi-monthly > monthly, every 2 months

x days before the end of quarter could be the 4th weekday every 3 months (assuming you need 15 weekdays, not days)... or use daily, every 90 days. There is no way to make it perfectly x days before though or adjust for weekends/holidays.

(Outlook 2007 SP1 added some options, like year. Older versions may not have all of the weekly and monthly options found in Outlook 2007.)
 

pstraton

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2010 32 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
What people are asking for is an "AND" operation for multiple, different recurring patterns, for appointments that are otherwise identical. For example, every 1st Sunday of the month AND every 3rd Sunday of the month AND every 5th Sunday of the month (for months that have a 5th Sunday).
 

pstraton

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2010 32 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
More examples:

Every Tuesday in June AND Every Friday in July

Every day from January 31 through March 19 AND every 2 days from March 20 through September 3

Every first Monday in 2012 AND the second Wednesday in 2013

etc.

And while we're at it, another very useful operator (though not as critically needed as "AND") would be the "EXCEPT" (AND-NOT) operator:

Every third Thursday EXCEPT in August (when everyone goes to the South of France)

Every Friday EXCEPT the last Friday of the Month

etc.
 

Cathy Rhone

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2013 32 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server 2010
I support users who apparently went to really bad schools (they couldn't figure out biweekly recurrences <sheesh>) and complicating the exceptions isn't something I'd look forward to but it is lacking in some areas.

Recurring events are fragile and long term recurrences cause too many problems so every monday in 2012 and every wednesday in 2013 should be two events.

The 'except the last Friday' is a good one though. 'First and third' would be good too (since its not the same as every other). '5th week' condition is also needed.

My wish: remove the no end date option. I know we can set a default using a cmdlet, but users override it and then call the help desk when they need to end an event.
 

htd01

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2010 32 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
You can try a VBA macro with a form. This form can be used to trigger another and another... Basically, you set up rules for your 'Recurrence' using a Form, and each form triggers the behavior you wish the 'Recurrence' to take on. Here's the great part though, because you are using VBA, you can do it your way. You can create one event that has a 'perfect' pattern (wednesday at such and such), and another event that has the same type of pattern (saturday at such and such) with the same subject etc, by using a weekly pattern for each one, and allow the user to specify each new weekday (creating the recurrence for that weekday). You can also set it so select specific dates, and set recurrences by number in month, etc. Now, here's the RUB, you have to create some kind of marker that sets your event up as a Recurrence. Easy way: Category, priority; moderate difficulty: use another box with another calendar, seek out subject\category heading in VBA and apply changes from one to all; more difficult but better: mark all of them with a word\phrase in subject, and then use that word\phrase to test for recurring and some kind of IDMarker in VBA (perhaps Subject and another marker that tracks itself in a for loop)--then check the rest of the subject to match it all up for more randomized occurrences, and let a user decide how to apply changes using checkboxes (one for all, another for Wednesday, another for Weekdays only, etc);

That last once can make your recurring appointments pretty intuitive and can offer you the same functionality as lotus. Here's the absolute best part: You can apply it in OUTLOOK, any OUTLOOK.exe, and you can distribute it throughout your business---not only that, but when exporting the dates, and sending changes, it will make updates to the ones you want changed (each event will get passed to recipients if it's a meeting item).
 
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