Chapter 17. Making the Most of Outlook Categories


  • Understanding categories

  • Working with the category list

  • Assigning categories to items

  • Organizing items by category

  • Filtering items by category

  • Sending messages with categories

  • Using a Quick Click category

One of Outlook's most useful but underutilized features is categories. By using categories consistently, you can greatly simplify the task of using Outlook and finding the information you need. This is particularly true after you have been using Outlook for a while and the amount of information in Outlook has grown to a size that is hard to manage without categories.

Understanding Categories

We all use categories in our daily lives whether or not we are aware of it. At work, do you devote one file cabinet drawer to suppliers and another to customers? If so, you are using categories. At home, do you keep soups on one shelf in the pantry and vegetables on another? Again, categories. How about your CD collection—are your rock-and-roll CDs kept separate from your jazz and classical? It's hard to imagine getting by without using categories.

In Outlook, you can assign a category—or more than one category—to essentially every kind of item that Outlook has: email messages, tasks, appointments, notes, and so on. Then you can use various Outlook tools to organize and locate information based on category. There are three main ways to do this:

  • In any item view, such as messages, tasks, or calendar, you can tell Outlook to organize the display ...

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