Software & Apps MS Office How to Organize Messages With Categories in Outlook Color code your Outlook inbox and find messages easily by Heinz Tschabitscher Writer A former freelance contributor who has reviewed hundreds of email programs and services since 1997. our editorial process Heinz Tschabitscher Updated on April 25, 2019 MS Office Outlook Word Excel Powerpoint Tweet Share Email If you receive a lot of email messages and need a way to organize them, group your email messages into categories in Outlook. Outlook provides a starting list of categories. Rename these categories to fit your needs and add more categories if you want. Then, when you want to find messages in a category, filter your message list to show categorized emails. Instructions in this article apply to Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, and Outlook for Microsoft 365. Guide to Organizing Outlook Messages There are multiple ways to clean up and streamline your Outlook inbox: Set up a folder for each topic.Create categories as you need them and add more folders.For email that falls under multiple categories, give each message a categorization in the message list.Outlook applies categories automatically with certain intelligence to mark newsletters, social updates, shipment notices, and advertisements. Organize Messages with Categories in Outlook Assign color categories to related items so you can track and sort them easily. Open the message in the Reading Pane or in a separate window. To assign a category to multiple messages, select all the emails in the message list. Go to the Home tab, in the Tags group and select Categorize. If the message is open in a separate window, go to the Message tab and select Categorize. Choose the category you want to use. You can assign more than one color category to items. The first time you assign a category to a message, the Rename Category dialog box opens. In the Name text box, enter a descriptive name for the category. Select Yes. Add a New Category You can create or rename categories in Outlook. Go to the Home tab and select Categorize. Choose All Categories. In the Color Categories dialog box, select New to use a new color. In the Add New Category dialog box, choose a color and enter a name for the category. Select OK. To rename an existing category, select an existing color and choose Rename. Type a new name for the category and press Enter. Select OK.