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How to reply to a message with a meeting in Outlook?

There are times when we receive a message from, say, clients with something to talk about in a meeting. Normally, you may shift to Calendar to create a meeting, and copy some of the message content to the meeting body, and add those recipients of the message one by one to the created meeting. Here, I will introduce a way to quickly convert the message to a meeting and send that meeting to all the participants of the message directly.

Reply to a message with a meeting in Outlook

1. In your Inbox, click on the message that you want to convert to a meeting and send to the sender and other recipients.

2. On the Home tab, in the Respond group, click Meeting. Or press Ctrl + AltR.

3. A meeting window with the email subject pops up. You can see the information including the message subject, body and recipients is filled in the corresponding area of the meeting as shown below. Now please add the meeting time, location, or attachments as you need. You can also add or remove attendees. Once finished, click Send.

Note: The meeting invites recipients who are on the To line in the original message as Required attendees, and recipients on the Cc line as Optional attendees.

Reply to a message with a meeting and custom template in Outlook

If you always need to add some information (boilerplate text) in the converted meeting body, you can make use of the Quick Steps feature of Outlook.

1. In the Mail view, on the Home tab, click Create New in the Quick Steps box.

2. Click Choose an Action to open the drop-down list of multiple actions. Then select Reply With Meeting.

3. Click on Show Options below the selected Reply With Meeting action to edit or type in your custom information:
  • To: Add additional recipients here if you always want to add someone when you apply this action. The action will automatically add To and Cc/Bcc recipients of the original message as attendees of the meeting no matter you add recipients in the To box here or not.
  • Subject: <subject> will automatically be replaced with the original subject of the message. You can custom your meeting title such as Meeting about <subject>.
  • Location: Add the location information. Leave it blank if you always change meeting locations.
  • Importance: You can set the default level of importance of the meeting you reply with.
  • Text: Type in your boilerplate text you want Outlook to automatically add to the body of the meeting when you apply the action. Note: You don’t need to type your signature if you already created one.

4. As you can see below, the name and icon of the action is updated automatically, you can change them if you want. Also, you can set a shortcut key for this action (here I set CTRL+SHIFT+9 as the shortcut key), or edit the tooltip text. Then click Finish.

5. In your Inbox, click on the message that you want to convert to a meeting and send to the sender and other recipients. And then click on the newly created action.

6. A meeting window pops up with your custom information filled in corresponding area. Now please add the meeting time, location, or attachments as you need. You can also add or remove attendees. Once finished, click Send.

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