Color code your Outlook 2010 Inbox Messages

Most of us at Microsoft spend most of our time in Outlook and the flow of email sometimes can get overwhelming. Categories, Rules and Alerts are one way to prioritize the flow. You can take this one step further and color code your inbox as such:

color coded inbox outlook 2010

Outlook 2010 moved the location for Automatic Formatting. Here are the steps to set up Conditional Formatting to color code your Inbox.

Comments (8)
  1. K L Sylvester says:

    It would seem that Microsoft have made a right balls up of the color coding of individual email messages. It is buried so deep in View and so limited its use that my honest advise is not to use outlook 2010.Stick to Outlook 2007. Much better product

  2. Wendy says:

    Would love to know how to do this on OL 2010 but when you lick "set up Conditional formatting" the link doesn't work.  I'll check another site.

  3. says:

    In Outlook 2003 we could color code messages from different people. For example I would color code all my clients green and my employees blue. That way it was easy for me to go to the client e-mails first.  I just went to tools and organize and then use color and selected the e-mail and the color. Then that person's e-mails would always be green and I could make as many clients as I have green. Can this be done in 2010?

  4. Fekken Frustrated says:

    When something works – and works well – then the need to change it is stronger   – WHY?

    The color coding of emails was a specially useful feature in OL2003 – whats with burying it deep in the views and settings of OL2010 ….. sheesh!!!

    Bring on the revolution – bring on evolution!!!!

  5. Clayton says:

    Also, would it be possible to change background color as well as font color as it is seen in Lotus Notes?  Is there an Add-In for this additional 2010 functionality?

  6. JG says:

    2010 Really is not as good or user friendly as earlier versions….the color coding of emails that was so easy before has been destroyed by this new version…recommendation is stick with earlier versions and dont waste your money…

  7. asli says:

    Sue – You can color code your employees and clients email simply by applying a rule using Conditional Formatting based on the distribution list or name of the individual.  Let me know if you are having trouble with this.

  8. asli says:

    Clatyon – you can change the background color using stationery in Outlook 2010.  Let me know if you want a tutorial posted or if that doesn't do it for you.

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