Add corporate or custom holidays to user calendars – 1st method – manual

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Most companies, if not all, have their own set of holidays on top of national ones. So, distributing them is a pretty common task for an Office 365 / Exchange admin. There are different approaches out there with their own pros and cons. I’ve come up with two methods that combined give me a great result.

In this post let’s focus on the 1st method – a manual one.

To see more about the 2nd method (bulk), please follow this link – Add corporate or custom holidays to user calendars – 2nd method – bulk

So, all you have to do is create a text file, change its extension to *.hol, name it with something that makes sense (e.g. 2019 Contoso Holidays.hol), put a text content similar to my example below:

[Contoso Holidays] 3
New Year, 2019/01/01
Contoso Birthday, 2019/04/28
Planned Shutdown, 2019/12/31

where [Contoso Holidays] is a location and “3” represents the number of holidays being added.

Once ready, send this file to a user. Then the user opens that file and accepts its content/actions.

I use this manual method for new employees to catch up with the rest of the company. For the latter I would recommend an automated method.

As an example, if the whole company gets a 2019 year calendar update in September 2018, then I manually update all new users with the 2019 holidays throughout 2019 year. Note, that those who joined in between September 2018 and the end of December 2018 need to get 2018 Contoso Holidays.hol as well.


Pros:

  • Fast and simple
  • Easy to target a single user or just a few of them

Cons:

  • A user’s action is required
  • Microsoft Outlook software is required
  • Inconsistency (some will add these holidays, some will not, a chance for duplicates)
  • Might get tedious depending on the size of the company
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