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Microsoft Exchange “Free/Busy Schedule” Feature Now Available Across UMass System

April 2, 2019

Starting Tuesday, April 2, faculty and staff using Microsoft Exchange Email and Calendaring have access to the “free/busy” calendar feature for colleagues at all other UMass campuses.

"Free/busy” is a special calendar feature that shows your calendar availability as well as your colleagues’ availability ("Available," "Busy," "Tentative," or "Out of Office"), allowing you to schedule inter-campus meetings more efficiently. 

Ins & Outs of Free/Busy Scheduling 

  • When scheduling meetings, colleagues will only see the following indications: "Available," “Busy,” “Out of Office,” or "Tentative." Detailed information is not available.
  • Faculty and staff at UMass Amherst could previously access the free/busy calendars of campus colleagues. With this change, employees across the UMass system can now take advantage of the same collaboration feature for cross-campus coordination.
  • Only faculty and staff using Microsoft Exchange Email and Calendaring can access one another's free/busy information. Employees using Google Mail or another email service for their university email will not have access to this information.
  • To use the free/busy calendar feature, click the “Scheduling Assistant” button (or “Scheduling” for the Mac client) while creating a meeting. With every attendee you add, you can see their availability and compare them to select the best times to meet.

Screenshot of a Microsoft Exchange account with the free/busy schedules of several UMass employees present to compare meeting times with.

Get Help

For questions about free/busy and Microsoft Exchange calendars, please contact IT User Services at or 413-545-TECH (545-8324).