Using Categories to manage your Contacts

You have probably noticed the “Categorize” tile in the tool bar when viewing different components within Outlook.  Take some time to play with this feature as it’ll come in handy when you least expect it.
Begin by clicking on the down arrow next to the Categorize tile. Scroll down to “All Categories”. You will notice that Microsoft provides some predetermined categories that probably won’t make sense for your business. That’s okay because you have the option to rename, add new and delete categories at this point.
The categories I use most often for contacts include:

• Meeting Planners
• Clients – Speaking
• Clients – Coaching/Consulting
• Vendors
• Personal (Friends and Family)

Here’s a screen grab to help guide you:

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 3.18.21 PM

If you ever want to send an email to just one category of contacts, you can easily do so by changing your View in Contacts.  Go to the View Tab > Change View > List Option.  You will then see your contacts listed in a List format as shown below.

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 3.18.34 PM

If I wanted to send an email to the 22 prospects I’ve got listed above, all I would do is highlight the category I’ve circled, click on the “Home” tab in the ribbon, and then click on the “Email” icon.  It will populate an email with all of these contacts in the “To” line. Also, you can drag specific names to the CC or BCC line if appropriate.
There you have it! This is a great way to differentiate your contacts into categories that will allow you to segment them or communicate to them in a faster, more efficient way.

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