About categories

A category is a keyword or phrase that helps you keep track of items (item: An item is the basic element that holds information in Outlook (similar to a file in other programs). Items include e-mail messages, appointments, contacts, tasks, journal entries, notes, posted items, and documents.) so you can easily find, sort, filter, or group them. Use categories to keep track of different types of items that are related but stored in different folders. For example, you can keep track of all the meetings, contacts, and messages for the Northwinds project when you create a category named Northwinds Project and assign items to it.

Categories also give you a way to keep track of items without putting them in separate folders. For example, you can keep business and personal tasks in the same task list (task list: A list of tasks that appears in the Tasks folder and in the TaskPad in Calendar.) and use the Business and Personal categories to view the tasks separately.

Microsoft Outlook supplies a list of categories, called the Master Category List (Master Category List: The list of categories that you can use to group items or to find items. This list contains general categories such as Business, Personal, and Phone Calls. You can add categories to and delete categories from this list.). You can use this list as it is or add your own categories to it.

Based on how you work, you can also:

  • Create new categories in the Master Category List in advance and then assign items to them later.
  • Assign items one at a time to categories as you create each item.

If you import tasks from Microsoft Schedule+, you can use Outlook to assign tasks to categories in the same way as you would put tasks in projects with Schedule+.

Items can be assigned to more than one category. For example, a task can be assigned to the categories Business, Key Customer, and Strategies.

Applies to:
Outlook 2003