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Prioritize Quickly with Categories

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Kathy Frandsen

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Posted: 18 Mar 2004

Current version: GroupWise 6.5

There's no disputing it: you're probably the most organized person on the planet. Well, at least in your office. . . .except when it comes to email. Maybe, like some of our other readers, you've gotten a pit in your stomach looking at all the items in your Mailbox, trying to remember which ones were the most important to respond to before you take off for lunch.

Wouldn't it be awesome if you could color-code the stuff in your Mailbox, so you could tell at a glance which things you need to take care of most quickly?

It's here, ladies and gentlemen, and it's a cinch to do. Dave B. hopped on the bandwagon, and has found that his organizational prowess now extends to his Mailbox:

I apply a color category to every email that comes in (unless I can just read and delete it). . . .The colors allow me to do a quick "at-a-glance" scan any time!

The Categories feature lets you turn your Mailbox into a veritable rainbow of information, and you're able to tell what's up with no more than a brief look. GroupWise 6.5 provides you with four basic categories: urgent (red), follow-up (orange), low priority (dim gray), and personal (blue). You can add more categories of your own, or change the colors if you want; more about that in a minute.

Let's say you come screeching in a few minutes late after a week out of the office, and the first thing you do is read through your email. The first couple of items need action on your part, but not right away. The third one, however, is a request from a vice president that you'd better take care of in the next hour or so. You can't stop everything right now, though–what if there's something even more urgent down the list?

Categories to the rescue! You can tag the vp's email as urgent in a clear visual way, then keep reading to see if there are any other brush fires you need to extinguish immediately. There are two simple ways to do it:

If the email message is still open, you'll see three tabs along the top between the toolbar and the gray header area. Click the Personalize tab; a text box will pop up. Click the tiny multicolored icon at the end of the Categorize text bar; a selection of categories appears. Click Urgent, and you'll see a checkmark appear next to the red Urgent. Then close the email. You'll see the item displayed in fire-engine red in your Mailbox–no mistaking that one!

If you've already closed the item, no need to reopen it to apply the category. Simply right-click the item. Select Categories from the popup list, then select the category you want (in this case, Urgent). You'll get the same result every time.

Okay, what about creating your own categories? Let's say you're in charge of planning the year-end party, and you know you'll get a bunch of emails as everyone starts taking care of details. You can create a category just for those emails. Here's how:

If the item is closed, right-click, select Categories, then select More. If the item is open, click the Personalize tab, then click Edit Categories. Either way, you'll get a popup box. At the bottom of the popup box, you'll see a text bar where you're instructed to add a new category. Type your new category–in this case, Year-end Party. Click Add. Now click Edit Color. You'll get a palette of 48 colors from which to choose; you pick your favorite.

Hey, what if you want the Year-end Party messages to be red? No problem. Choose red. Then, at the popup box, click Urgent, click Edit Color, and pick a new hue for your urgent messages. Simple as that!

Here's the best part: you can actually take a look at only the messages of a particular category. See the gray bar that runs across the top of your Mailbox? At the right-hand side you'll see the option to Show:; the default is All Categories. Let's say you want to see only your urgent messages. Simply click the little down arrow, choose Urgent, and your Mailbox will display only the items you've categorized as urgent.

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