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Sort mail into categories in Hotmail

As the quantity of email that we have to deal with on a daily basis increases, so does the need for tools that help us to organise them and manage them. If you use Hotmail for your email there is a feature that you may have missed and this is the ability to assign messages to categories. What are categories and how do you make them?

Hotmail categories are in some ways similar to the tags that are found in Google Mail. You can create categories and then assign messages to them (like adding a tag). Once this is done, there are easy ways of displaying all the messages in a category. You could create a category for newsletters for example, or perhaps one for to-do, important, your hobbies, interests or work. It's up to you to create categories that suit the sort of messages you receive.

In Hotmail's inbox, click the tick box next to a message to select it. In the menu bar click Categories and a list of ready-made categories is displayed, including news, groups, family, shopping and others. Tick the one that you want or the ones that you want because more than one can be selected. Then click Apply at the bottom of the list.

Hotmail categories

There is a really interesting feature when you select an email and assign a category in the list. Down at the bottom of the list is Apply to all from. This enables you to assign all messages from the same sender to the selected category. A rule can be created so that all future emails are assigned to the category too. This is a great feature.

Once messages have been assigned to categories you can then display all the messages in a particular category by selecting it in the left-hand panel under Quick views. The only Quick views that are available are ones with messages. When you assign a message to a category, that category is automatically added to the Quick views list. If you remove all the messages in a category then it is automatically removed from the Quick views list.

Notice the link at the bottom of the Quick views list - New category. Click this to create new categories of your own.