Assign a colour category to a calendar appointment, meeting, or event

Applies to: Outlook for Office 365, Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010.

You can track all items related to a specific project/task by using colour categories to easily identify and organise the items. Besides calendar items, you can assign colour categories to contacts, messages, tasks, notes, and journal items.

Colour categories associate your calendar items for easy identification. The colour categories link you to other related items too, such as messages or contacts.

Categories only apply to items in your calendar. If you employ a colour category to a meeting request or a meeting you’ve received from another person, that colour category will only show in your calendar.

You can right click an appointment and assign a category.

The same categories list is used for all Outlook items, including email messages, tasks, and contacts. If you don’t see the category you need in the list, select All Categories. From there, you can view additional categories not shown on the right-click menu or create and assign new colour categories. For more information on creating and assigning your own colour categories, see Create and assign colour categories.

To associate a colour category to an appointment, meeting, or event, use one of the following options:

  • From your main calendar view, right click the appointment, meeting, or event, point to Categorise, and then click a colour category.
  • From an open appointment, meeting, or event, look for the Categorise button on the ribbon, in the Tags group.

To see more categories or to create a new category, click All Categories to open the Colour Categories dialogue box.

To assign a colour category from the Colour Categories dialogue box, check the check box beside the colour category. The Colour Categories dialogue box is also a fast way to group several categories to an item.

Color Categories box

The first time that you assign a default colour category to an item, you will be asked to rename the category. At this time, you can also change the colour of the category and enter a keyboard shortcut.

Add New Category box


  • You can alter the colour associated with a category at any time.
  • Another way to open the Categorise menu and Colour Categories dialogue box is by clicking Categorise on the toolbar.
  • Only the 15 most recently used colour categories appear on the Categorise menu. To see the rest, pick All Categories on the Categorise menu.

This information was compiled using information courtesy of © Microsoft 2020. All rights reserved.

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