Office 365 (Outlook 2010) - Categorize an item

You can organize your messages, events, contacts, and other items (items: Units of information in Outlook, such as e-mail messages, calendar events, contacts, tasks, and notes.) by assigning them to categories. Because categories are color-coded, when you view the item list, it's easy to see which items belong to which category. You can assign an item to a standard category, such as Family or Travel, or to a category that you create.

There are three main types of categories that we recommend creating:

  • Project (can include people)
  • Topic
  • Location or activity

Categories aren't a required aspect of this system, but they will make your life easier if you are diligent about using them. For example, they can help you more easily identify what you can do now and help you group similar tasks so that you can do them all at once.

To create categories, do the following:

  • In any view, on the Home tab, in the Tags group, click Categorize, and then click All Categories.

It's considered best practice to have a category for:

  • Each of your direct reports and your manager for items that you want to review the next time you meet (for example, a category named 1:1 Manager).
  • Each of the major locations or types of activities that you do, so that you can perform bulk actions (a useful part of managing your tasks), for example:
    • @Commute for tasks that you can do on the way home from work.
    • @Email for tasks that involve email messages, meetings, or any other aspect of Outlook 2010.
    • @Home for tasks that you can do only at home.
    • @Meeting for items that you need in order to prepare for a meeting.
    • @Offline for tasks that take you away from the computer, such as making a copy of a document.
    • @Online for tasks that you can accomplish only online or through a Web browser.
    • @Phone for calls you have to make or receive.
    • @Read for tasks that involve just reading --- not responding. This category is useful for long messages or attachments that you need to read but can't get to right away.
    • @Waiting for messages or tasks for which you are awaiting a response, but there is no explicit next action for you.

    Color Categories dialog box

 Note    Using the @ symbol makes the categories stand out in your category list. Marking @ before certain categories helps to keep these categories at the top of your category list and reminds you of where you should be when you are performing this task (for example, @Phone is "at the phone").

  • Each important topic or project so that you can easily find messages on a given topic --- especially if there is no word in the body or subject of the message that would make it appear in a search.
  • Important items that must be done today and can't roll over to another day.

 Note    You can apply multiple categories to a single item --- as opposed to filing, where items can live in only one folder at a time. For example, an important message that you want to discuss with your manager before you respond might be categorized with both the @Email category and the 1:1 Manager category.

Task with multiple categories

Your Quick Click category should be the category that you apply most often.

To set your Quick Click category, do the following:

  • In any view, on the Home tab, in the Tags group, click Categorize, and then click Set Quick Click.

As you will see, categories help messages and tasks stand out in your To-Do Bar, make searching more efficient, and help you get ready for meetings.

 Note    Be very careful about categorizing your outgoing messages --- your recipients might be able to see your categories. If your recipients aren't using Outlook 2010 or Exchange Server 2010, they will be able to see the categories you set.

See Also:

Keywords:microsoft office 365 event appointment schedule scheduling outlook 2010 calendars colors categories category emails contacts messages o365   Doc ID:31427
Owner:Ara M.Group:Office 365
Created:2013-07-03 10:16 CDTUpdated:2014-04-30 17:34 CDT
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, DoIT Tech Store, Office 365, UW-Milwaukee Help Desk
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