The scenario: you need to schedule 6 appointments in an "uneven" series, where each follow-up appointment has it's own schedule. For example, the first appointment is Day 1, the second is Day 3. The third appointment is in 2 weeks, the 4th in 6 weeks, then they are at 24 weeks, 12 months, and 24 months.
Can Outlook do this type of schedule? Yes, but not using recurrences.
To do this, you'll need to make 6 separate appointments or meeting requests but you can use one of my all-time favorite Outlook features to calculate the dates: date shortcuts.
- Begin by creating the first appointment then save and close it.
- Select it, press Ctrl+C to copy then use paste (Ctrl+V) to create the additional copies you need. Note that in older versions of Outlook, you may need to press ESC after selecting the appointment to copy it.
- Open one copy and in the date field type 3d. When you tab out of the date field, the date will be three days after the date in the date field. Edit the subject or notes as needed and save & close.
- Open another copy and type 2w in the date field. This moves the date 2 weeks ahead of the original date.
- Repeat for the remaining appointments in the series. If you need to jump ahead by months instead of weeks, you'll need to use mo (as in 2mo). You can use 1y for year, or 12mo.
If the appointments are scheduled off of the previous appointment instead of from the first (Appt2 = appt1+3d, appt3 = appt2+2w), you can do it one or two ways: copy the current appointment and add the weeks then find that appointment and repeat or use the above instructions and note the date of each appointment. Type it in the date field and add the shortcut: 9/10+3w.
What if you know the last date and need to schedule appointments leading up to the final appointment? You can use the same method, but need to type the dates as "3 days before" or "3 weeks before" as Outlook does not accept the minus sign when doing date calculations.
If you often create a series of appointments using the same pattern, the macro at Create a Series of Tasks using VBA can easily be tweaked to create a series of appointments based off of one appointment.
Published August 30, 2012. Last updated on August 30, 2012.