02 August 2016

Office 365 Planner New Option For Task Management

Office 365 Planner icon Microsoft has included a new application in most Office 365 subscriptions: Planner. This app is good for simple task sharing, but it cannot be customized at all. In a new article in the Tips section I give an introduction to Planner.

Task management
Every organization needs a good way to plan work with tasks, due dates and responsible persons. Planning needs to be shared within a group, and managers often need overviews of how work proceeds in multiple groups.

Such task management can be performed in many ways, from a physical kanban board where each task is written on a piece of paper to advanced digital solutions that can be highly customized. I would say that the Office 365 Planner comes somewhere in the middle of this range.

Planner features
Planner is organized in projects, here called plans, and each plan has its own board. A plan can have a number of tasks, and each task can have sub tasks, links and attached files.

The tasks can be categorized with colors, and you can also create so called buckets for tasks of different kind. Charts give an overview over a plan's tasks, and each user can click into My tasks to see only the tasks assigned to him or her.

Task discussions
Each task has a comment field where users can post comments. It is also possible to send comments by e-mail, because when a new plan is created it gets an e-mail address. A limited site collection, a group, is also created in the background, and e-mails sent to the plan's email address can be viewed in the group discussion.

Kanban Task Manager for SharePoint logotypeFor more advanced task management I recommend the product Kanban Task Manager. The SharePoint editions take advantage of the inbuilt SharePoint features and gives a lot of other benefits and good customization possibilities on top of that.

Kanban Task Manager is also available for Outlook, and all Kanban Task Manager editions give statistics, filtering and search of tasks, overdue warnings, several views and many more features.

Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

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