Online Test Banks
Score higher
See Online Test Banks
eLearning
Learning anything is easy
Browse Online Courses
Mobile Apps
Learning on the go
Explore Mobile Apps
Dummies Store
Shop for books and more
Start Shopping

Organizing Information with Outlook 2007 Categories

A good collection of information has a lot of value. However, you can't squeeze full value from a list of contacts or tasks if you can't get a quick handle on which items are important and which aren't. The Categories feature in Outlook is designed to help you distinguish what's urgent from what can wait.

Assigning a category

When you first set up Outlook 2007, you can find out what categories are available by clicking the Categorize button at the top of the Inbox screen, just to the right of the Forward button, or by choosing Actions --> Categorize. The Categorize button looks like a small, multicolored tic-tac-toe square. Several other Outlook modules also display the Categorize button; it does the same job wherever you find it. Clicking the Categorize button brings up a list of (surprise!) categories, each named after a color. If you simply want to color code your items by using the default, the process is pretty simple.

Follow these steps to assign a category to an item:

1. Click the item you want to categorize.

The item is highlighted.

2. Click the Categorize button and choose the category you want from the list.

A colored block appears in the item to indicate which category you choose.

You can assign multiple categories to each item, although putting too many on an item may be more confusing than assigning no categories at all.

Renaming a category

You can associate a name with each color so you know why you're assigning a certain category to a certain item.

To rename a category, follow these steps:

1. Click the Categories button and choose All Categories.

The Color Categories dialog box appears.

2. Click the category you want to rename.

The category you select is highlighted.

3. Click the Rename button.

The category you choose in Step 2 is surrounded by a box to show that you can edit it.

4. Type the new name you want to assign to that category.

The name you type appears in place of the old name.

5. Click OK.

The Color Categories dialog box closes.

If you change the name of a category that you'd already assigned to some Outlook items, that category name changes on those items automatically.

Changing a category color

You can change the color of a category as well as its name. Assigning memorable colors can give important clues about how your work is going or how well you're keeping up with current projects.

Follow the steps to change the color of a category:

1. Click the Categories button and choose All Categories.

The Color Categories dialog box appears.

2. Click the category to which you want to assign a new color.

The category you select is highlighted.

3. Click the Color button.

A drop-down list appears, showing the colors you can choose.

4. Click the color you want to assign.

The color you choose appears in place of the old color.

5. Click OK.

The Color Categories dialog box closes.

You can also choose None and create a colorless category. That's kind of drab, but if it fits your mood, go for it. You may want to create colorless categories because Outlook offers only 25 colors, and you may have more than 25 categories. But after you get past 25 categories, you might consider cutting down on the number of categories to reduce confusion.

Assigning a category shortcut key

You can give each category a shortcut key, which allows you to assign a category without touching your mouse. That's very handy when you want to zoom through a screen full of e-mail messages or tasks and set everything into some kind of order.

To assign a shortcut key to a category, follow these steps:

1. Click the Categories button and choose All Categories.

The Color Categories dialog box appears.

2. Click the category to which you want to assign a shortcut key.

The category you select is highlighted to show that you selected it.

3. Click the Shortcut Key menu.

The list of shortcut keys appears.

4. Click the shortcut key you want to assign.

The name of the shortcut key you choose appears to the right of the category.

5. Click OK.

You can't assign more than one shortcut key to a category; that would be confusing. However, you can assign more than one category to an item.

  • Add a Comment
  • Print
  • Share
blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

Inside Dummies.com

Dummies.com Sweepstakes

Win $500. Easy.