How To Organize Emails with Color Categories in Outlook?

Last Updated on March 19, 2024 by Amit Bansal

If you own a business, chances are you use Microsoft Outlook to manage your emails. But are you making the most of your inbox?

Organizing your emails with color categories in Outlook can greatly simplify your search for specific messages.

Microsoft Outlook is designed to function like a conveyor belt and storeroom, allowing users to easily manage incoming emails, categorize them, and move messages to designated folders.

If you’re dealing with hundreds of emails daily, give this feature a try and see how well Outlook is equipped to handle it.

Here in this article, another excellent feature is “Organize Emails with Colour Categories“, you may label emails, tasks, or others with color categories in Outlook, which help you identify them from tons of emails.

Let’s dive in ~

There are variations of actions available in Microsoft Outlook.

  • How do you categorize your email with color?
  • How to Separate them (there are multiple methods).
  • Categories With a Search Folder
  • Automatic imposes color category on the arrival of specific email messages.
  • Keep color categories and transfer the mail in the folder (using rule) function.

There are countless processes and methods for every user.

Many of the users are facing the problem of [color categories in Outlook disappeared], the truth is it’s not disappeared, the IMAP protocol doesn’t support the color category and Flag properties on messages, and assigned categories and flags are not synchronized back to the IMAP server. If you need to use categories, you need to use a POP3 account instead or move the messages to a local pst file. – source – slipstick

Add Color Category to email in your Inbox

By getting multiple emails from different people, and departments, you can easily pin out a specific email with color coding, which in the future easily be traced. Follow the step-by-step guide.

  • Open Outlook >> Click Home Tab
  • Select your specific email (or you can also select multiple emails using the Ctrl key on a keyboard with the mouse).
  • Go to the category in the tag section, (there are few color options by default), and you can select the color/s.
  • Your email is marked with the color/s category.
outlook color categories

How To Group Emails in Outlook by Specified Color Categories?

There are multiple ways to filter or separate specific color category messages from your email inbox. You can easily identify color categories items immediately, and group them together. Let’s begin with Search Folder.

Search Folder

The search folder allows the user to separate specific color categories of emails and group them automatically with a single command to Outlook.

Walk me through the steps:

  • Select the folder tab under the navigation pane >> Click on the new search folder [for grouping email messages by color outlook.categoriescategories], there is another option that will walk you to the same location, click on the search folder at the bottom of all folders of your email address refer snapshot.
outlook conditional formatting
  • New Search Folder dialog box popup, you are required to select your category, there are multiple options, but in this scenario, you have to select Categorized Mail under Organizing Mail.
how to organize emails with color categories in outlook
  • The third step is to select the category by clicking choose and clicking OK.
outlook 2013 categories
  • Name your category, and finally complete the process by clicking OK.

Rule Function

If you can’t find any method or process of execution concerning your requirement, Rule Function is that master key.

This part automatically Group Emails in Outlook by Specified Color Categories and shift club the email in the folder.

Emails received with tons of conditions and color categories must be with (one of those conditions or some random one) if there are similarities in your color categories and received categories, the rule’s function solves your problem.

For instance: You have decided to color-categorize your email inflow from your Boss or any member of your executive team, so how does it work?

A tutorial is right here.

  • Grab the home Tab >> Click to Rules >> Manage rules and alerts.
Group Emails in Outlook by Specified Color Categories
  • Click New Rule >> Create New >> Apply Rule on messages I received.
outlook upgrade to color categories
  • Select from people or people group >> Select the email address of your boss and the group of the execution team (which include multiple members’ email addresses).
Microsoft outlook categories
  • Next assign it to a category >> select your color category (you can rename it, add your color category, or impose a shortcut key) >> Click OK
select your color category
  • The next step is an exemption, which in the majority is not required (in case, you can select the exemption, according to your need) >> Click Next.
  • Name your rule to finish, (it is highly recommended to select the checkbox “Run this rule in now on messages already in Inbox”, it will allow Microsoft Outlook to consider previous emails also. If you require the act only from the day you begin the rule, no need to the checkbox that option. Although you can edit the rule if your requirement changes.
Name the rule for category
  • Finally, click Finish.

How to Assign Outlook Categories Shortcut Key?

Microsoft Outlook by default consists of a few color categories (without a name), users can create new, edit, delete, change the color, and impose shortcut keys for the category.

Follow step by step:

  • Go to Outlook Home tab >> Click Categorize in the tag section >> Click All Categories from the drop-down list.
Assigned Outlook Categories Shortcut
  • Color Categories dialog box appears, and you should click the box for New along the right side to create a new category, you have to name it, give it a color, select a shortcut key and click Ok.
How to Assigned Outlook Categories
  • The next option is renamed, select the category you need to rename, click on rename, edit, and click OK, and you get your required name.
  • Finally, you have a shortcut key option, which you can easily assign by selecting the category and fixing the shortcut key from drop-down options.
How to Assigned Outlook Categories Shortcut Key

How to add color Categories to Outlook messages using Quick Click

The quick click function is useful for those users who more often set color categories to their messages. It helps to set up color and category along with shortcut keys.

In the above section, you learn to set up the shortcut key, for example (Ctrl + F..), it is time to use it, Quick click comes into play, you can simply select the email and hit the (Ctrl + F..) key to color the email.

You can also use multiple colors for a single message at a time.

How To Delete All Categories In Outlook?

The category feature is really great, but sometimes there are lots of items applied to the color category in your Outlook and you must restart the features, you must clear all the categories.

How To Clear All Categories?

  • Open Outlook >> Select the specific folder >> Click Ctrl + A to select all the messages in the folder.
  • Click the right button from your mouse >> select Categorize >> Clear All Categories.
  • All your color categories are removed by outlook with a single click.
How to delete all categories in outlook

How Outlook Sort by Category Color?

By default, Microsoft Outlook arranges emails as per the date of receiving. for shorting email messages by color category, click on the category of the email description. refer – Snapshot.

How To Sort Email By Category

You can see the emails arranged as per color criteria groups other than others.

Final Words

In conclusion, you can color-code emails by category in Outlook, including conversations, meetings, tasks, and notes.

It’s easy and fast to select and label all your messages with a particular color. Once colored, each message appears as a different color in your Inbox, making it much easier to find specific messages.

Also Read:

Amit Bansal

Hello, my name is Amit Kumar Bansal, and I am the founder of Through this blog, I focus on Microsoft Outlook, offering insightful and informative content. Additionally, I produce educational videos on YouTube to further enhance the understanding of my audience. visit my YouTube Channel

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