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Proposing a New Meeting Time in Outlook 2002

How many times has this happened? You receive a meeting request, but the time doesn't work for you. You call up the meeting organizer on the phone to discuss a new meeting time, only to spend the next half hour hearing about his most recent vacation to Fiji. (Oh, sure, it's nice to hear that he had a nice time, but do you really want to hear every single detail?)

Well, you can avoid this time-wasting pitfall with Outlook 2002's new Propose a New Time feature, which can drastically cut down on the time it takes to reschedule a meeting. Just follow these steps:

1. Double-click the meeting request message that you just received. The message opens in its own window.

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You can also view messages in the Preview Pane without double-clicking to open them. Outlook 2002 has added the ability to Accept, Decline, or Propose a New Time right from the Preview Pane. To activate the Preview Pane, choose View, Preview Pane; then, simply click the message once to see the preview.

2. Click the Propose New Time button. The Propose New Time dialog box appears, showing the schedules of all the attendees for the original meeting.

3. In the schedule area, highlight a new time for the meeting.

You can also use the Meeting start time and Meeting end time boxes to go directly to the time you want. Or, perhaps more conveniently, you can use the AutoPick forward button to quickly jump to the next available time for all attendees.

4. Click Propose Time.

A new e-mail message appears with your suggested new meeting time. You can change the subject and include a note as to why you're proposing a new time.

5. Click Send.

The e-mail recipient will have the option of accepting or declining the proposed new time and can send an updated meeting request.

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