Microsoft To Do and Planner: Basic Project Management Tools You Can Start Using Right Now

When you think of project management in Microsoft 365, you might immediately think of Microsoft Project. While it’s true that Project is an excellent tool for long term or complex project management, it’s often too complex for the more basic personal and team task management that makes up much of our day-to-day work.  

That’s where Microsoft To Do and Planner come in! To Do and Planner might be more basic than the behemoth of Microsoft Project, but that doesn’t mean they’re lacking in features. Let’s take a look at what To Do and Planner have to offer.  

What is Microsoft To Do?  

Microsoft To Do is a personalized task management tool where you can create, track, organize, and share tasks. It integrates with Outlook, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Planner, and other Microsoft 365 tools. Some of its best features include (but are definitely not limited to):  

  • Task Lists: Create multiple lists to organize your tasks based on project, category, or priority. Give each list its own unique name and include an icon or emoji to easily distinguish each list in your app.  
  • Tasks: Create tasks for each list or sync with Outlook and Planner for a singular place for you to see all the tasks assigned to you and organize them into a daily priority list. Set due dates and reminders to help you keep on top of things. Plus, you can even set recurring tasks to help track your weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual to dos.  
  • Shared Lists: Share a list with individuals inside or outside of your organization for collaboration on everything from the grocery list to event planning to department tasks.  

How does Regroove use Microsoft To Do?  

At Regroove, the way each team member uses To Do varies. That’s because we believe task management works best when each person can create, organize, and prioritize tasks in a way that makes sense to them. It’s one of the biggest benefits of To Do; we find that it makes our team better able to collaborate while increasing efficiency and productivity because we rely on individual task organization and management style.  

What is Microsoft Planner?  

Like To Do, Microsoft Planner is a take management tool, and manage shared tasks effectively within Microsoft 365. It’s host of features includes:  

  • Task Boards: Task boards can be organized however your team prefers, from classic Kanban style (To Do, Doing, Done), to departments or project categories. Each task is represented by a card containing as much detail as needed, including stage, related tasks, checklists, comments, and links.  
  • Due Dates, Reminders, and Assignees: Not only can you assign tasks to one or more people in your team, but you can also set reminders and due dates which trigger notifications for your team members to help track progress and prioritize important tasks.  
  • Attachments: Need to attach files, presentations, or photos that relate specifically to a task? No problem! Attach files from SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, or your local device for ease of access and collaboration.  

How does Regroove use Microsoft Planner?  

While Planner is accessible on its own web app, at Regroove we almost exclusively make use of the Microsoft Teams plugin. We create a planner board for each Team, and easily track tasks related to the ongoing client or internal project. This also ensures that anyone who is a member of the Team has access to the shared planner board, making onboarding easier as new or existing team members come on to projects.  

PRO TIP: Want to learn about project management in Microsoft Teams? Check out our blog post: Using Microsoft Teams for Project Management  

While Microsoft Project can be great for complex projects, it can be cumbersome to learn and implement. Plus, it’s an added license fee. For most projects and daily task management, To Do and Planner offer powerful combination – they’re customizable, easy to use, and come free with any Microsoft 365 subscription.  

Want to get the make the most out of Microsoft 365 for project management? Interested in coaching on Microsoft To Do and Planner for your team? Get in touch using the form below.