Outlook categories are often an underutilized tool for inboxes everywhere. When categories are put into action it’s primarily to group messages or as a filter to help narrow your search. But today we want to share how you can use categories to organize your inbox for peak productivity and time management. 

Our top tip for improving your time management is to set a clear order of priorities. With Emailgistics, you can create specific workflows for automated assignment of urgent or priority messages in your shared mailbox as well as applying a category to a message. This is a helpful first step towards peak productivity, but this post is all about what comes next, step 2: prioritizing the email that’s been assigned to team members. 

Here is how you can use Outlook categories to organize your inbox into tasks:

1. Create shared mailbox categories

Less is more applies here, having too many categories will create confusion. If you have many types of tasks, instead organize them by timing with which they need to be handled. Instead of separate categories for an order email and a cancellation email, create one “same-day” category that they can both fall under. 

2. Arrange by category

Adjust your inbox view so that messages are arranged by category. Using numbers at the beginning of your category name will help ensure top priority messages appear tops in your inbox.

3. Visualize and prioritize

With the colour-coded categories and hiearchical order you can easily identify your most important email tasks to spend your time more effeciently.

More helpful ideas for your team inbox are just a click away, check out our 7 tips for Outlook team inboxes post