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Organize your inbox

Set categories, flags, reminders, or colors

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Categories, flags, and reminderscan help organize your email, calendar, and contacts plus create a to-do list. 


  1. To assign a category to an email, right-click the message, choose Categorize, then pick a category.

  2. The first time you use a category, Outlook asks if you want to rename it. Otherwise it's named for a color. You can create a category by selecting New > Name > Color > OK.

  3. To see all categories, select Categorize > All Categories.

You can follow the same process for calendar events and contacts. When creating meetings, select Categorize, then select your category.

Note: Categories are only seen by you, and you can add multiple categories to email, contacts, and events.

Flag and Reminders

Select the  Flag this message flag icon in an email message to make it a to-do item. The flag turns red.

Or for more details, right-click the flag.

  1. Select Add Reminder to open the menu.

  2. In the Custom box, for Flag to, select Follow up or type a description.

  3. Check the Reminder box, then pick the date and time. You can label the type of reminder you want.

  4. When you’re finished, select OK. An alarm bell  Bell icon icon will appear on the message.

Reminders show in the message list and reading pane.

View all Follow Up Flags

Select View > Layout To-Do Bar >Tasks. The To-Do Bar pane opens and shows all flags.

Remove a Follow Up Flag

  1. Right-click the email message.

  2. Select Follow Up > Mark Complete.

    The Follow Up Flag changes to a green checkmark and is removed from the To-Do Bar.

Want more?

Assign a color category to an email message

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