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In Outlook, you can assign categories to the appointments you make for faster searching or quick visual identification. But it doesn't stop there. Categories can also be assigned to Contacts, Emails, Tasks and Notes and Outlook uses the same list of categories throughout the entire application, which makes using them a breeze. Let me show you how this works. We will start with the Calendar. When viewing your appointments, right- click on any appointment and choose Categorize.
You'll see that I've already got some categories set up. Tomorrow afternoon is a Decorator's Meeting for the upcoming picnic. So I will assign it the Picnic category, which is purple. If this appointment were also very important, I could repeat the process and assign it the Important category as well. To create, delete, or modify my categories, I choose All Categories from the menu. Now that I am on my home owner's association board, I will make a new category for that and choose a new color.
Note that I can rename, delete, and recolor existing categories. I can also set a shortcut key to a category for quick assignment. I will make my HOA category set to Ctrl+F2. Now I can assign a category to my HOA appointment. Your categories are shared between Email, Contacts, Appointments, Tasks, and Notes, allowing you to group related objects of different types. I will move to my email and while viewing this message, I can right-click in the Category area and choose the category to apply to it.
Remember, I also assign the shortcut key, so if I select an item and hit Ctrl+F2, that item is given the same category. I can do this in my Contacts and as I assign them into categories, those contacts are moved into that particular category. I can also do this with Tasks. Finally, you can perform searches on specific categories, as demonstrated in the earlier video "Two ways to find an email." By changing the scope of the search and specifying a category, I can identify all the items within any category.
Using categories can yield a big payoff if you take the time to use them, but it's one of those things that if you barely use it, it will barely work for you. But give it a try. If nothing else, it will make Outlook a little more colorful. Let's move on to our next video "Setting your Out of Office Message."
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