Microsoft Planner: Impressions, Tips, and Tricks

Microsoft Planner is Microsoft’s own project management tool that makes use of colorful Kanban cards and comes with any Microsoft account for free. MS Planner’s job is supposedly to take the chaos out of teamwork.

You can access Microsoft Planner by signing in to Office 365 using your valid school or work email. Click on the Rubik’s cube menu located at the top left corner of the screen to go to the app launcher. You can see the Microsoft Planner logo from there.

Here’s a basic take on the Microsoft Planner as well as tips and tricks that will help you become a super user.

Even Your Grandma Can Use This

Microsoft took its cue from competitors who have already made use of the Kanban board and came up with a better and intuitive version of its own. It’s not more refined compared to the others, but it does its job extremely well. Microsoft added some very useful extras to make teamwork an easier and more fun affair.

The Planner contains three main units that you will be working with, and these are the Plan, Task, and Bucket.
The Plan is the name of your new project. On the New Plan window, you will create your plan title, its description, and its privacy setting (public or private). You will also assign an email address for it.

The main board view of the Planner looks like this. There is an option to view this by charts or notebook, as well as the other tools you can find via the ellipses symbol.

The Task serves as your currency in Microsoft Planner. Each of the Task is an item included in your to-do list, which you can find in a tidy little card. Here you can add the title, due date, and then assign this to team members. See the picture below for a more detailed look.

The Bucket is the column in your Planner. You can organize this by moving a task card from bucket to bucket. Here’s a tip: give your team members all the information and resources they will need by adding a link inside a task. You can also use labels to put color codes on your tasks according to priority level or themes.

This Is More for Internal Collaboration

Microsoft Office 365 Planner does not support customer sharing; it is best used for internal teamwork. Its main functions are adding members, assigning tasks, and communication via comments.

If you want to add members, you as administrator can add members via the admin center which you can find in the Rubik’s cube menu. Click on the Add a user option and enter teammate and company names. The person will receive a name@company.onmicrosoft.com email. After adding members, you can add them to a plan by going back to the Planner and clicking on the Members option. Assign the task to members by opening a task card.

Talk to your team members by using the comments section located at the bottom of each task card.
Tip: Make your team members upload a profile picture to their account. This makes finding them on the list easier.

It has Everything to Make You Succeed in Your Task

Doing your job is a breeze with Planner, which is equipped with smart and easy-to-use progress tracking features. Monitoring your progress is a walk in the park. One of the features is the Charts make use of donut graphs which serves as the visual breakdown of your work progress.

These graphs are categorized per color. Green stands for done, which means a task has been completed. Yellow means tasks have not started yet and blue means tasks are in progress. Red means tasks are already late or have exceeded the set deadline. Deadlines are also red-flagged, which is visible on the front of each task card.

Do you know any other tricks using Microsoft Planner? Let us know in the comment section below. Don’t forget to share this blog on social media.

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