Avoid sending event cancellations by mistake

Recently, there have been a rash of people (myself included) accidently cancelling events. Here is a description of why this so easily can happen, and how to avoid falling into the trap.

If you have an Iphone and you use the Outlook app for IOS, Microsoft has added a “feature” : when you receive an email (not a calendar invitation) that contains a date and time, it automatically turns the date and time into a link. When you click on the link, it asks “Do you want to create an event?” and if you say yes, it puts the event on your calendar, which itself is great, BUT, it sends invitations from you to everyone who received the original email. When your phone then starts exploding with “out of office” and can’t deliver messages, you cancel the event on your calendar to stop the onslaught, which sends a cancellation to everyone who received the original email. There is no warning that this is what is going to happen.

So, although it is very tempting to create a calendar event by clicking on a link in an email, please be sure that you want to invite all of the recipients before you do!

1 thought on “Avoid sending event cancellations by mistake

  1. Mike Roy

    As a corollary to this, if you are sending out an announcement of an event to a large list (e.g. all staff, all faculty, or all students), it is helpful to use the bcc: function, which will (I believe) make it impossible for the person who receives the message to inadvertently invite (and then disinvite) the recipients.

    This of course begs the question: would it perhaps be best if such announcements went out as actual invitations, allowing those who want to attend to add them to their calendars, and those holding the events to get a general sense of who is planning to attend?

    Reply

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