Colour code meetings and appointments in Microsoft Outlook

Oct 17, 2019 | Outlook Hints and Tips

Do you have a calendar that is unmanageable?  To be able to get an overall view of your commitments, both personal and business, you really need them all on the same calendar.  But then you often can’t see the wood for the trees. If only you could colour code your meetings. But you can!!

By using categories for your meetings, appointments and personal activities colours can be changed on the calendar to make it easier to get to grips with your busy lifestyle.

Applying categories and colour code meetings

Create an appointment or meeting in the usual way.  When you are clicked on the appointment or meeting an appointment tab will appear with the option of categorize.  By default the names of these categories are not very user-friendly, being called red category, blue category and so on but this can be altered to reflect the type of entries you have.

Image of categorize drop down

When the categorize icon is clicked, the option of all categories allows for this customisation.  Initially, 8 categories are visible but there are a total of 25 options if New is selected.  However, the colours used need to be different enough to make it clear which category is which.  Each category can be renamed, deleted and a shortcut key applied if useful.

The category can then be assigned to the calendar entry by choosing the required category from the categorize icon.

In the example below I have my personal appointments in green, my training days in pink and other training-related activities in grey.

Image of colour code meetings

Creating a view to only look at selected categories

Another useful option is to create different views that only look at certain categories at a time.  The concept here can be applied in other situations if different views of the data are required.

On the view menu select change view then manage views.  A list of existing pre-set views will appear.  Choose new and give the view a sensible name.  Make sure the type of view is day/week/month which is the calendar setup that you will normally see.  Click on filters, choose more choices and click on the categories button.  Choose the categories(s) you want to view.

Image of manage view dialogue box

To access the new view select change view and the new view will be listed.  To change back to the normal calendar view select change view and calendar.

Image of change view icon options

Customised calendars can be deleted by right-clicking on the view from the change view icon.  Standard views will have the option greyed out.

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