How Can I Get More That 3 Priorities in Outlook?

One question we get fairly often is "How can I get more than just "High" "Normal" or "Low" priorities in Outlook.  There isn't any way to change or add to the priority list in Outlook however there are a few workarounds you can try.

Prefix The Subject

The easiest trick is to just prefix the subject of your task or item with a number, letter or word that indicates the priority of the item.  For instance:

  • 1: Call Mike
  • 1: File Taxes
  • 4: Deliver mail
  • 2: Meeting with Susan
  • 1: Install Microsoft OneNote
  • 4: New Blog Entry

And so forth...if you sort by subject they'll sort by priority.  You could also use letters (A, B, C) or even words (Important:, Crucial, Can Wait....)

Use Categories

Outlook 2007 categories are somewhat more robust but even in earlier versions you could use different categories to indicate different levels of priority. Simple create new categories that reflect your new priority system: "A1", "B1", "A2" etc.

Create a New Field

If you're comfortable creating additional fields in Outlook you could create a new, custom, priority field (or just use one of the "User" fields that are unused by default) and you can put as many different priorities in there as you want.  Just replace the built-in Importance field on your views with the new custom one you created.  This takes a little more effort/skill.