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Using Tags in Microsoft Outlook 2010

Keeping email

Keeping email, contacts and calendar entries filed and organized can be a daunting task if the proper techniques or tools are not used. Fortunately in Outlook 2010 tags can be used to help keep Outlook items organized, easier to find and easier to track messages that require follow-up. Tags consist of three categories Unread/Read, Categorize and Follow Up. Each of these types of tags is explained in further detail below.


This tag can be used to mark an email that has be viewed or read as unread or a message that has not be read as unread. The Unread/Read tag is commonly used to mark messages that have been read as unread as a way to track messages that require a follow-up action.

While this method works it is not ideal for someone who has a large amount of unread email messages as it does not distinguish from emails that have been viewed and ones that have not been viewed.


Categories can be assigned to emails, contacts and calendar entries and are used to search or sort Outlook items by category. Categories are color coded and can be customized to create a custom organizational system for email and other Outlook items.

Uses for categories include tagging email receipts, work email, personal email, reminders, and urgent emails, and for contacts the type of contact (work, business, family, etc.).

Follow Up

The Follow Up tag can be used to list an email or a contact in the Task list in Outlook for a follow-up action. When assigning the Follow Up tags there are there a several time frame options which is indicates the deadline for the follow up when adding to task list. The time frame options include:

To further help keep track of to-do items a reminder can be set on a to-do item to have Outlook display are reminder about the to-do item on a specific date and time. Once an item has been completed then the follow up flag can be cleared from the item to remove the item from the to-do list.

The Follow Up tagging system is the best of the three methods for tracking email or other email items that require additional actions or follow up.

Though it will seem daunting in the beginning to Tag items in Outlook once it is done it will make managing email and tasks much, much easier. Start tagging!

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