Scheduling With the Evolution Calendar

There are two types of scheduling events with Evolution, appointments and meetings. An appointment is an event you schedule for yourself only, and a meeting is an event that you schedule multiple people for. You can also use the busy/free search for meetings to determine the availability of invitees.

Creating Appointments

In Evolution, an appointment is an event you schedule for yourself.

  1. Click File > New Appointment.


    Click Calendars, then click New.


    Double-click in a blank space in the calendar.

  2. Type a brief summary of the appointment in the Summary field.

  3. Type a location for the appointment in the Location field.

  4. Select a classification in the Classification drop-down list.

  5. Select a calendar in the Calendar drop-down list.

  6. Type a category in the Categories field.

  7. Type a description in the Descriptions field.

  8. Specify a starting and ending date.

  9. Select whether you want this appointment to be an all day event.

  10. If the event is not an all day event, specify a starting and ending time.

  11. Select whether you want to show the time as busy.

  12. Select if you want an alarm for this appointment. If you select an alarm, specify when and how you want to the alarm to notify you.

  13. Click the Recurrence tab, and specify whether you want the appointment to reoccur and how often.

An All Day event appears at the top of a day's appointment list, in the grey header under the date, rather than inside. That makes it easy to have appointments that overlap and fit inside each other. For example, a conference might be an All Day appointment, and the meetings at the conference could be timed appointments. Appointments with specific starting and ending times can also overlap. When they do they display as multiple columns in the day view of the calendar.

If you create calendar appointments that overlap, Evolution displays them side by side in your calendar.


You can have several Reminders for individual appointments, any time prior to the appointment you schedule. You can have one reminder of each of the following types:

If you have stored reminders in a local calendar, they work from the moment you log in. However, for reminders stored on an Exchange server, you must run Evolution at least once after logging in. No matter where the reminders are stored, you can quit Evolution and still be reminded of an upcoming appointment.

If you are using a a calendar on a Microsoft Exchange server, select a Classification for the appointment to determine who can view it. Public is the default category, and a public appointment can be viewed by anyone on the calendar sharing network. Private denotes one level of security, and Confidential an even higher level. The different levels vary depending on your server settings; check with your system administrator or adjust your delegation settings.

If you are using a Microsoft Exchange server, other people on the server can check your schedule to see if you are available at any given time. If you have an appointment that is flexible or that you want to designate as Free rather than Busy time, select the Free box in the Show Time As section. Normally, appointments display as Busy.

You can categorize appointments in the same way you can categorize contacts.

  1. Click Categories.

  2. Select the check box next to each category that matches the appointment you are creating.

HINT:  You can add a new category to your category list by clicking Edit Master Category List, then click Click Here To Add A Category.

After you've selected your categories, click OK to assign these categories to the appointment. The categories you selected are now listed in the text box to the right of the Categories button.

Appointments with categories appear with icons in the calendar display, and you can also search for appointments by category. To display only the appointments in a particular category, select Category Is in the search bar at the top of the calendar, and select a category.

The Recurrence tab lets you describe repetition in appointments ranging from once every day up to once every 100 years. You can then choose a time and date when the appointment stops recurring, and, under Exceptions, pick individual days when the appointment does not recur. Make your selections from left to right, and you form a sentence: "Every two weeks on Monday and Friday until January 3, 2008" or "Every month on the first Friday for 12 occurrences."

After you have finished settings, click the disk icon in the toolbar to save and close the appointment editor window. If you want, you can alter an appointment summary in the calendar view by clicking on it and typing. You can change other settings by right-clicking on the appointment then choosing Open, or double-clicking the appointment.

Sending a Meeting Invitation

In Evolution, a meeting is an event you schedule for multiple people. Evolution can be used to schedule group meetings and help you manage responses to meeting requests.

When you create a meeting or group appointment, you can specify the attendees in several categories, such as "chair" or "required". When you save the appointment listing, each attendee is sent an e-mail with the appointment information, which also gives them the option to respond.

If you don't need to collect attendance information when you're scheduling an event, and would rather just announce the event, click Actions > Forward as iCalendar. This opens a new e-mail message with the event notification attached as an announcement. Recipients can add the event to their calendars with one click, but it won't automatically send you e-mail about whether they plan to attend.

To schedule a meeting:

  1. Click File > New > Meeting, then click the Invitation tab.

  2. If you have multiple e-mail accounts, select the one to use by selecting an item in the Organizer field.

  3. Click Add to add the names and e-mail addresses of people you will invite.

  4. Click OK.

An e-mail is sent out to all the recipients, inviting them to your event.

NOTE:  A meeting can have only one organizer, and only the organizer can add participants. You can designate yourself the organizer of the meeting, but unless you coordinate that action with the organizer you are replacing, you could create confusion in the scheduling process. If you want to invite additional people to a meeting without changing the organizer, it's best to forward the first organizer's message to the additional participants.

Accepting and Replying to a Meeting Request

Meeting requests are sent as iCal attachments. To view or respond to one, click the attachment icon and view it inline in the mail window. All the details are shown about the event, including time and dates. Then you can choose how to reply to the invitation. Your choices are:

Click OK to send an e-mail to the organizer with your answer. The event is also added to your calendar if you accept.

After you add the meeting to your calendar, you can make changes to the information, but if the original organizer sends out another update, your changes might be overwritten.

Reading Responses to Meeting Requests

When you get a reply to a meeting invitation you sent, you can view it inline by clicking the attachment and selecting View Inline. At the bottom, you can click OK to update your attendee list.

Using the Free/Busy View

In addition to the standard meeting scheduling tools, you can use the Free/Busy view to check whether people are available in advance. The Free/Busy feature is normally a function of dedicated groupware servers such as Microsoft Exchange. However, you can also publish Free/Busy information online, and access Free/Busy information published elsewhere. If not everyone you collaborate with publishes Free/Busy data, you can still use iCal event invitations to coordinate schedules with other people.

To access the free/busy view:

  1. Click File > New > Meeting.

  2. Click the Scheduling tab.

    Appointment Scheduling Window

Attendee List: The Attendee List shows the people who have been invited to the appointment. It also shows their RSVP status.

Schedule Grid: The Schedule Grid shows the published Free/Busy information for the people you have invited. This is where you compare schedules to find free time to schedule the appointment. Individuals have visible scheduling information only if they use the same Microsoft Exchange server you do (that is, if they are in the same organization as you), or if they publish free/busy information at a URL you can reach and you have entered that URL into their contact cards using the contact editor.

Scheduling an Appointment

To schedule an appointment, you first need people's Free/Busy information. If you're using the Evolution Connector for Microsoft Exchange, all of the information is already available to you in the Global Address List. Otherwise, each person needs to e-mail you their schedule files and you need to incorporate them into your calendar.

Regardless of how you get the information, Evolution displays it in the Scheduling tab. The pending appointment time appears in white with bold black borders. Each attendee's free and busy times appear color-coded next to their names in the attendee list.

Adjust the meeting time, either by dragging the meeting borders or by using the Autopick buttons to choose a time automatically, then click Save and Close. Attendees on an Exchange server have the appointment updated automatically; others receive e-mail notification of any change in plans.

Read Scheduling Appointments with Free/Busy to learn about how to use this feature with the Evolution Connector for Microsoft Exchange.

Publishing Free/Busy Data Without a Groupware Server

You can publish Free/Busy information to a WebDAV or other Web server with HTTP PUT support. Check with your system administrator if you are not sure you have this functionality.

To set up Free/Busy publishing, select Tools > Settings, then click Calendar and Tasks. In the Free/Busy Publishing tab, click Add, then specify the URL for your upload server. Select the frequency with which you wish to upload data, the calendars for which you wish to display data, your username and password, then click OK.

To have Free/Busy data published immediately, go to the Calendar tool and click Actions > Publish Free/Busy.

Accessing Free/Busy Data Without a Groupware Server

If someone gives you a URL for Free/Busy data or for their Web calendar, you can enter it as part of the contact information in the Contacts tool. Then, when you schedule a meeting with them, Evolution looks up the schedule and displays it in the meeting planner.