5. Scheduling meetings

Nexus calendaring not only allows you to schedule meetings easily but it also allows you to see when your colleagues are free to make scheduling those meetings even easier. Using iCal with Nexus means that you can add appointments to your calendar in the same way that you have always added appointments in iCal with the additional functionality that you can invite people to your appointments and check their availability.

To schedule a meeting follow the instructions below:

In your main iCal window make sure that you have your Nexus account selected in the left hand pane. Next bring up the new appointment window either by double clicking on the required date in the calendar view or via the menu system by clicking [File] then [New event]. Now fill in the required information for the appointment such as the title for the appointment and the date, time, and duration along with any other relevant information such as location and any notes.

The new appointment window in iCal

Once you have filled in all the details that you would normally fill in to add an event to your calendar you can invite your colleagues to the meeting by clicking the Add invitees link. This will open a text field in place of the link with the cursor placed within this "invitees" field for you to start typing the name of the user you wish to invite. As you type text into the "invitees" field a list of possible matches will appear and you can select the correct user from the list.

The new appointment window showing adding an invitee to an appointment in

Once the correct user has been selected that user account is shown as an added invitee to this appointment along with a link to "Available Meeting Times..".

The new appointment window showing the added invitee to an appointment in

To check that your invitee is available for this appointment click the "Available Meeting Times.." link which will bring up a pop up "Availability" window that shows the availability for all parties of the meeting, ie the organizer and all invitees.

The iCal availability window showing the availability of all parties involved in a
                            meeting in a grid format

If the availability window shows that some parties are unavailable you can use the navigation arrows to step through the calendar to find a more suitable time or you can click the Next Available Time button to allow the application to find this for you. Once you have settled on a meeting date that you are happy has the required availability you can click the Done to close the availability window and return to the new appointment window. If you have changed the meeting date from the original date that you selected this new date will now be reflected in the new appointment window.

A completed iCal new appointment window ready to send invitations

Finally, click the Send button to send the meeting invitations. The meeting request will now be sent to your colleagues and the appointment will be added automatically to your calendar.

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