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Categories are one of Outlook's many tools for organizing your items. If you create your categories when you first start using Outlook, you'll be able to sort and filter all your data in useful ways specific to your needs. To start go up to the Outlook menu in the upper left-hand corner and come down to Preferences. Then click on the fourth button for Categories. A list will appear with several categories created by Outlook. If you like the category but don't like its color, click this drop-down to change it.
If you want a color that's not on the list, go all the way down to More Colors and you can use the slider to make a darker or you can pick a different color from somewhere else on the wheel. When you have a color you like, close the Colors box and you'll see it in that square. To delete a category that you don't want, click on it and then click this minus sign. It will say, are you sure you want to delete the category? And it will say Delete. To rename a category, click once to select it, pause and take a deep breath, and click on it again.
You can now edit it and give it a new name. Hit Return when you're done. To add a new category click this plus sign and then type its name. Let's say I'm working on an employee appreciation event called Fun Day. If I want to change the color I can, and then I'll click OK. I also need a category for Snowboarding, my favorite hobby. So I'll click the plus sign, type Snowboarding, and I'll pick a bright sunny color and I'll click OK.
Now, let's look at these checkmarks on the right-hand side. These determine which of the categories are going to show up in the navigation pane on the left hand side as we use our Contact and our Calendar. If I do want them to show I'll put a checkmark in front of it, but here's one, OilFest 2010, that event was earlier in the year and I'm not currently using it, so I can leave it unchecked. Down here I have two more options. Assign categories to messages from categorized contacts. This one's great.
If I assign one of my contacts to one of these categories, any emails I receive for them will also automatically be categorized and if I make new categories on-the-fly without coming into this window, this checkmark here will allow them to automatically show up on the navigation pane over here. Now that I'm done with the basic setup I'll close my Preferences. You also have the ability to make new categories on the fly without coming into that list. There's a Categorize button on almost every toolbar. When I click on it I can click on Edit Categories to go into that window again.
Or I can click on it and say Add New and I'll add in the category for my Photography and click OK. Now your categories are all set up, but be sure to watch the comprehensive categories video later in this course.
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