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Tagging and Categorizing Outlook Email Messages

One of SimplyTag’s most important functions is to help you apply categories to Outlook messages. It learns which categories you apply to what types of messages and suggests the right category to apply to messages. This means that in most cases all you need to do to categorize a message is click one button.

SimplyTag button on the Outlook Ribbon:

Categorizing email with SimplyTag from Outlook Ribbon

Category suggestions

When you select a message in the main Outlook window’s message list, SimplyTag will display suggested categories (tags) for that message on the One-Click-Tag Button (two left columns in the screenshot above). To apply one of those categories to the message, click the button. That’s right - just one click is all it takes!

If you do not see the tag you need among the one-click-tag buttons, which might happen when you are just starting to use SimplyTag, QuickTag to open the QuickTag Window. The QuickTag window allows you to apply a category by typing a few letters of its name. All it takes - just a few keystrokes. We recommend that you experiment and get used to using the QuickTag Window - it is very powerful.

If SimplyTag is not sure about the right category for a particular message, you will see “Select Tag” in the folder suggestion field. This can happen in the first few days after you start using the product. Use QuickTag in this case. SimplyTag will quickly learn from what you do.

Categorize and archive in one step

Moving messages out of the Inbox

After you categorize a message, you will want to move it out of the Inbox. It is important to keep the Inbox as small as possible. Most SimplyTag users have very few folders. They rely on categories and search for message organization and retrieval. In the simplest case, you would have just one folder “Archive”. Some people have several, for example, “Archive-Personal” and “Archive-Work”.

With SimplyTag, you can categorize messages and move them out of the Inbox in one step. Here is one way to do it:

  • Define a special category for every archive folder. For example category “MoveToArchiveWork” for folder “Archive-Work”.
  • Specify a Move To Folder Action for that category and set folder to “Archive-Work”.
  • Now, when you tag a message, in additional to the other categories, assign a “MoveTo…” category to it. For example, if you would like to tag a message with category “ProjectA” and move it to “Archive-Work”, assign both “ProjectA” and “MoveToArchiveWork” categories to it. As a side-effect of assigning “MoveToArchiveWork”, SimplyTag will move that message to folder “Archive-Work”. The message will be tagged and moved in one step.


Be sure to set do not auto-tag option on your Archive tags.


If you are using a PST-based account, keep an eye on the size of your PST file. If it grows too big, create a new PST file and start new Archive folders in it.

Folder suggestions

If you use more than one Archive folder, and define “MoveTo…” categories as described above, SimplyTag category suggestion logic will work on the “MoveTo…” tags as well. So essentially, this turns tag suggestions into folder suggestions. Of course, if you are filing into more than a handful of folders, we recommend that you use SimplyFile for that. SimplyFile is optimized for this case.

Categorizing sent messages

In addition to categorizing messages in your mailbox, SimplyTag can prompt you to tag messages you send. You can enable/disable that prompt using this option, located on the Tagging tab of the Options window.

Automatically categorizing incoming messages

Version 2 of SimplyTag introduced an ability to automatically tag incoming email.

Tell us what you think

SimplyTag is a fun tool; and the more you use it, the better it gets. We hope you enjoy using SimplyTag. Tell us about how it works for you.