Microsoft has offered a full-featured calendar as a part of its Microsoft 365 suite of productivity apps for decades. But rather than being a stand-alone program like other apps, Office’s calendar is so well integrated with the Outlook email app that they are literally the same program; the only way to see your digital calendar is via Outlook.
There are a lot of lesser-known features hidden in the app, and unless you’re already an Outlook power user, you’ll find that there are a lot of ways to get more out of your Outlook Calendar.
How to get an Outlook Calendar with or without Microsoft 365
Microsoft’s digital calendar is only available as a part of Outlook. You can get Outlook three ways: with a Microsoft 365 subscription on desktop, for free on the web, or as a mobile app for iPhone and Android.
The most full-featured version of the calendar is on the desktop with a Microsoft 365 subscription, such as Microsoft 365 Family ($100 per year) or Microsoft 365 Personal ($70 per year). In addition to giving you access to the full suite of Office apps, these subscriptions also include OneDrive storage.
Without a subscription, you can still access the Outlook Calendar on the web or via the mobile app, though with fewer features and capabilities.
Outlook Calendar tips and tricks
There are countless ways to personalize your Outlook Calendar to get the most out of the program. Here are some of the most useful tips and tricks.
You’ve likely heard of Microsoft Office, which consists of workplace applications, including the widely used Microsoft Word program.
What you may not realize is that Word and other Office programs – Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote – are also a part of Microsoft 365.
Making a one-time purchase of Microsoft Office is still an option to anyone who wants access to the suite of programs. However, you might want to opt for Microsoft 365 instead, which is structured as a paid monthly subscription plan and features myriad perks not included with Office, including cloud-based productivity tools and artificial intelligence capabilities.
Here’s a little bit more about Microsoft 365, how it differs from its predecessor, and how you can sign up.
What to know about Microsoft 365
Some of Microsoft’s subscription-based services were formerly known as Office 365.
In April 2020, Microsoft rebranded all of those services to Microsoft 365 to help differentiate its subscription service from the traditional Office-branded Microsoft program packages.
Microsoft 365 offers special additions to its classic Office apps as well as access to more programs, like OneDrive. Even a basic Microsoft 365 personal plan gives you access to premium versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, which Office doesn’t offer.
You also get access to advanced tools and features like Microsoft Editor to help edit your writing; the financial planning tool, Microsoft Money in Excel; and OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage that allows for ease of collaboration in real time.
There’s also a slew of other smart perks in Microsoft 365: You can get focused help on your resume with Word’s Resume Assistant, or help with your next presentation with the PowerPoint Presenter Coach.
Again, these are benefits you won’t see with a basic Office purchase, and you can get them all with a Microsoft 365 plan for home, which has two tiers.
As the 365 plans move up in tiers, there are added security and business tools available. For instance, appointment manager Microsoft Bookings is available in the Standard and Premium versions of Microsoft 365, but not the Basic, and only the Premium tier of Microsoft 365 Business grants you access to mobile-device manager Intune and Azure Information Protection.