The Messy Business of Organization: Categorization and Flags

Since when did my email become so cluttered? We’ve all been there. In fact, many of us are currently there. Sifting through emails, searching for a specific message from a specific person that is lost in a big mess of text.

If you’re like me, then you’ve been dealing with this organization, or lack-there-of, for quite a while. Well, lucky for us, the folks at Microsoft have implemented several features in Outlook to clean up that messy inbox, and you can use them Right Now!


What’s more appealing than a color-coded system? Simplify your email through this effortless color-coding feature in seconds!

  • Outlook provides default color-coding options for your categorization needs. To access these simply do the following:
    1. Right click the email you would like to Categorize
    2. Select the color you wish for your category
      1. Note: If this is your first category you will be asked to rename your category!
    3. Select YES

You can also set Categories for calendars and events!

Did you know that there is a way to automate your categorization through rulesWe’ll be going over rules on a future post, so stay tuned!

Flags & Reminders

Now organization is great, but it can still be easy to miss an important email or scheduled event. That’s why Outlook provides all users with the ability to set Flags & Reminders!

  • The easiest way to flag an email is by simply clicking the flag icon  right on your email. This allows you to easily setup a to-do list right inside of outlook.
    • You can also create follow up times by right clicking the flag icon.

  • To view all of your follow up flags simply:
    1. Select View at the top ribbon of Outlook
    2. Select the To-Do Bar dropdown menu
    3. Select Tasks

To create a reminder all you need to do is:

  1. Right click the flag icon
  2. Label your reminder
  3. Click the small reminder box
  4. Select the date and time
  5. Select Okay

And that’s everything you’ll need to get started with Flags & Reminders!

Next week we’ll go into automating your categories and other Rules!