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Auto Format (and Color) Outlook Appointments

A few years ago I got turned on to the idea of indexing your life by color. In a quick glance your mind can comprehend really complex patterns. By coloring entries in my calendar I am able to tell immediately if I am available or if a future appointment conflicts with a work meeting.

There are a number of ways to set this up. Outlook allows you to add a label to every appointment. However this is an Outlook specific feature and I sync my calendar across Outlook, Yahoo! and iCalendar. The later two don't even have labels.

Besides, calendars should be simple. Complexity only hinders usability, so I prefer an automated solution.

How to color appointments in Outlook automatically:
  1. In Calendar, right-click the calendar grid, and then click Automatic Formatting on the shortcut menu.
  2. Click Add, and then type a name for the rule.
  3. In the Label list, click a color.
  4. Click Condition to specify the conditions under which the color will be applied.
Note: If you manually assign a color to an item, automatic coloring cannot be used on that item.

Step 4 opens the Condition Filter Dialog. There's a lot you can do.

Here's a simple example I use to highlight Meetings in my Calendar:


Alex said…
I frequently discover around the Inet and couple days ago stumbled on an interesting tool, which could help me in one compound issue with emails. In my way of thinking it should be quite helpful for this and some other questions - cannot view emails in inbox in outlook.

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