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Office 365 for Education

Connecting and collaborating using Email, Calendars and Contacts in Office 365

Email, Calendar and People (contacts) are all part of Outlook.com*, which is a component of Office 365. Lync and instant messaging (IM) work closely with Outlook to help you with setting up your online meetings.
After working through this guide, you should be able to:

  • Set up email user groups in Exchange (if you are an administrator)
  • Manage bookings for shared resources (i.e. meeting rooms)
  • Manage your contacts and set up email groups using Outlook.com
  • Import your social media contacts by linking certain networks to your Office 365
  • Use Outlook.com to manage your email
  • Connect your existing email accounts to your Office 365 Outlook account
  • Manage your calendar settings and share with colleagues

Previous guides in this series have shown you how to set up your Office 365 for Education free plan in your educational institution, and how to use some of the basic productivity and sharing tools available such as Office Online**, OneDrive*** and SharePoint Site Collections.

Connectivity is at the heart of Office 365 for Education. Much greater levels of collaboration are possible through this ability to connect easily with colleagues and students without the need for face to face interactions all of the time. Powerful levels of connectivity and collaboration are possible using Exchange and Outlook.com as well as shared calendars and contact information, together with instant messaging and Lync video conferencing. You can even reply to email using instant messaging.

As everything is done within the secure and safe environment of your Office 365 institution tenancy, communication between staff and students can be monitored for appropriateness and controlled where necessary. This removes any need for other external communication of this kind.

This guide will help you to get started with using the basic features of these powerful connectivity tools. You should hopefully now be getting used to the Office 365 interface and know what the main tabs and toolbars are for.

You can use Outlook for all your email, Calendar for your appointments and meetings, and People for your contacts (these are all functions on the Office 365 tabs menu).

1. Using Email to connect and collaborate

  • You will probably be familiar withOutlook email, and Outlook.com gives you similar functions in the same way as the other Office Online applications.
  • You can connect your email and social media accounts to Outlook and import your contacts and existing email.
  • Use the Task function to schedule, monitor and manage the progress of tasks set using Outlook calendar and contacts.

2. Your Office 365 Calendar

  • You can share your Calendar with colleagues and students who have accounts in the your Office 365 domain securely and safely. Office 365 Exchange makes this secure connection between shared accounts for you.
  • This ensures that no one else can see your calendar except you and the people you are sharing it with.
  • You can share your calendar with people outside of your institution domain by publishing your calendar and sharing a link (generated by Office 365) with those you want to see it.
  • However be careful because your calendar will be visible to anyone who has the link.
  • Outlook emails that contain a copy of your calendar can be sent to your contacts.

As all interactions and instant messaging with colleagues and students is done within the secure environment of Office 365, there is really no need for these to take place on any other platform. This is particularly important when interacting with students.

3. Your Contacts

  • Contact information is displayed on mini contact cards that contain information about each contact.
  • You can email and IM contacts directly from the contact cards.
  • You can schedule meetings directly from the contact cards.
  • You can add contacts directly from emails.
  • Managing your contacts is easy - just follow the step-by-step instructions in each area of the People tab.

*Formerly known as Outlook Web App.
**Formerly known as Office Web Apps.
***Formerly known as SkyDrive.

Email, contacts and calendar - Further Reading

» Email, calendars and contacts
» Scenario: Connecting other accounts to email
» Scenario: People and contacts
» Scenario: Setting up and using distribution groups
» Scenario: Staff communication and info gathering
» Scenario: Staff professional development
» Scenario: Using and sharing calendars

Download the full guide