Create a custom priority field for tasks in Outlook.

When you create a new task in Microsoft Outlook, you can assign a priority of High, Medium or Low to the task. The Priority field is included by default in Outlook’s New Task form. However, if you need a customized priority field that allows users to assign priority levels other than those available by default, you can create a custom field for this purpose. For example, if your project requires five priority levels instead of three, implement a a customized priority field for sorting and organizing your project tasks.

Open your Outlook task list then right-click on one of the column header bars to display a context menu. Click “Field Chooser” to display the Field Chooser tool. You may have to select a view other than "To-Do List" to see the column headers.

Click the “New” button in the Field Chooser tool to open the New Column dialog box.

Type a name for the new custom field in the Name field. Name the new field something other than “Priority.”

Click the “Type” drop-down box, then select the field type. Choose "Text" if the custom priority is a descriptive label.

Click the “Format” drop-down box, then click the format type. The format depends on the type of column you previously selected.

Click “OK” to create the custom field.


  • To easily sort and group your customized priority field values, use the Number field type, then assign priority levels of 1 through 5. Sort the custom priority field by ascending values to view high priority items at the top of the list.


  • Note that the Field Chooser tool includes a Custom Priorities field in the list of available fields. This field is for Sharepoint integration. Do not use this option when you're creating a custom priority field in Outlook.

    Information provided in these steps applies to Microsoft Outlook 2013. Instructions may vary slightly or significantly for other versions of Outlook.