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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 with just appointments. Categories can be assigned to contacts, e-mails, tasks, and notes, and Outlook uses the same list of categories throughout the entire program, which makes using them a breeze. Let me show you how this works. We'll start with the Calendar. When viewing your appointments, you can right-click on any appointment and choose Categorize.
You'll see that I've already got some categories set up, such as Distributors, Family, and Important. The meeting coming up this Friday is pretty important, so I'm going to assign it that category. Note that if this appointment was also with a distributor, I can right-click, choose Categorize, and apply the Distributors category as well. Both categories appear when we visually see the appointment on our calendar. To create, delete, or modify my categories, I'll choose All Categories from the same menu.
Now that I'm responsible for the marketing activities at Two Trees Olive Oil, I'm going to go ahead and create a new category specifically for marketing. I'll click New, type "Marketing", and choose a color to represent that category. I can also assign a shortcut key to any category. Here I'll assign Ctrl+F3 to Marketing. When pressed, whatever I have selected, whether it's a contact, task, e-mail, or appointment, will automatically be assigned to that category.
Your categories are shared between e-mails, contacts, appointments, tasks, and notes, allowing you to group related objects of different types. As I head to my e-mail, I can select items that belong to the Marketing category. I'll hit new shortcut key or right-click in the Category box and choose Marketing. The same can apply for my tasks and my contacts.
I can also perform searches on specific categories, as demonstrated in an earlier video. By changing the scope of the search and specifying a category, I can identify all items within a category. Under Advanced Find, I'll look for any type of Outlook item, search the entire Mailbox, change Categories to whichever one I'm looking for, add any other criteria, and hit Find Now.
Note how Advanced Find is showing me e-mails, tasks, appointments, and contacts in the Marketing 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's barely going to work for you. Give it a try, though. If nothing else, it will make Outlook a little more colorful. Since it's almost vacation time here at Two Trees Olive Oil, let's head on to the next video, setting your out-of-office message.
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