This article discusses how to organize your email in Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, and 2010, as well as Outlook.com, by creating and using folders, subfolders, and categories.
To create a new folder in Outlook, follow these steps:
- In Outlook Mail’s left navigation pane, select the Inbox folder.
- Right-click and choose “New Folder” from the context menu.
- In the box that appears, type a name for the folder.
- To create a subfolder, navigate to the folder in which you wish to create it and follow the instructions above.
Color-Code Messages Using Categories
To customize your Outlook category preferences, navigate to Home > Categorize > All Categories. You’ll be able to create, delete, and rename categories, as well as assign each category a shortcut key. Select a message in Outlook.com and then Categorize > Manage categories. The Categories dialog box allows you to create or delete categories and specify whether they should appear in the Favorites list.
To add a category color to an email, follow these steps:
- From the message list, open an email.
- In the Home tab’s Tags group, click Categorize.
- Select the category for the email. In the message list and the header of the opened email, a color indicator appears next to the email.
- Right-click the email you wish to categorize in the message list.
- In the resulting menu, click Categorize.
- Select the category for the email. In the message list and the header of the opened email, a color indicator appears next to the message.
Is it possible for an email message to fall into more than one category? Multiple color codes can be applied to an email message.
Create a New Folder in Outlook.com
To create a new folder, follow these steps:
- Click on New folder. At the bottom of your folder list, you’ll find the New folder link. At the end of the folders list, a blank text box appears.
- Give the folder a name.
- Hit Enter.
In Outlook.com, create a subfolder.
To add a new folder as a subfolder to an existing Outlook.com folder, follow these steps:
- Right-click the folder beneath which the new subfolder is to be created. Bear in mind that you should select items from the Folders list, not the Favorites list.
- From the context menu that appears, select Create new subfolder. Below the folder on which you right-clicked, a text box appears.
- Give the new folder a name.
- Enter the subfolder’s name to save it.
The same procedure applies for creating deeper subfolders beneath any newly created subfolders. Simply repeat these four steps for each new subfolder. Additionally, you can drag a folder from the list and drop it on top of another folder to create a subfolder.
Utilization of Folders and Categories
Individual messages from your Inbox or any other folder can be dragged and dropped into the new folders you create to organize your email. You can right-click a message, select Move, and then select a folder to which you want to move the email.
Also, you can create rules in Outlook to automatically route emails from specific senders to a folder or apply a category, eliminating the need to do so manually.