Outlook Tip - Use Categories to Create a To-Do List

You can use the Categorize feature in Outlook to create your own customized To Do list, that can be sorted and repeated through into your appointments in your Calendar or your Tasks.  Firstly, we need to set up and define the categories we will be using…

  • Select the Home tab, then Categorize tool, followed by All Categories…


  • Select the first category name and then the Rename button on the right.


  • You can name the categories anything that you like, that would indicate a task that you might need to complete in response to the email, but here are some suggestions.  Click on OK:


  • To use the Categories in the Inbox, go to your Inbox and Right Click on a message, then select Catergorize


  • Select the action required by the email message, for example, select “Awaiting Action By Me


  • Select the next message, Right Click and then Categorize, choose the category that you want to assign to the email, for example “Arrange Meeting”. Continue for all emails, until each email has a category square assigned to them on the right-hand side


  • You can now sort your emails by Categories to see your To Do list organised in your Inbox. Right Click on the Inbox Header Bar and select Categories


  • This will organise and group your emails by Categories:


  • Right Click on the Category title, for example, “Arrange Meeting” in the image above and select Collapse All Groups:


  • Now you will see just the category headings in alphabetical order and therefore a list of all your “To Dos”:


  • You can use the Black Downward Arrow to open each group to see the emails listed against the category, so that you can action the task


  • To remove a category from an email, Right Click on the email and select Categories, then Clear All Categories


  • You can reuse the same categories in your Calendar Appointments and your Tasks, simply select the Categorize tool when in a New Appointment or in a New Task in Outlook and repeat the above instructions to rename Categories and to apply them to Appointments, Meetings and Tasks


  • In a New Calendar Appointment:


  • In a New Task:


  • So remember to define your own personal categories for your Emails, Calendar appointments and Tasks and use them to sort, group and identify your Outlook items more effectively



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