First thoughts on Microsoft Planner

Recently Microsoft unveiled their new application within the Office 365 suite, Microsoft Planner. This app has introduced an easier way for individuals and teams to work collaboratively and strategically. Planner allows you to set tasks, allocate them to individuals, set due dates, carry attachments and update the status of the task easily.

Planner is currently available to people who have selected to receive first releases of Office 365 applications. Planner is included in the following plans: Enterprise E1-E5, Business Essentials, Premium and Education subscription plans. Over the next few months it will become available as a standard release. To see more about the Office 365 release options click here. 

The planner hub allows you to visually view your progress for all your plans. The categories are simple, 'Not started, In progress, Late and Completed'. 

Within each plan, there are two dashboards views, Board and Charts. Board view shows all your teams tasks organised by subcategories, known as buckets. 

The second view, 'Charts' gives you a visual overview of all the tasks and groups them by their progress stage. This view is more visual and allows you to see how well you are keeping up with your tasks. 

After you have set the task and allocated it to a team member you are able to set a due date, attach files and add a checklist within the task. You are also able to add comments to update your team

Another useful feature within planner is when you create, complete or comment on a task in your dashboard, everybody in that plan receives an email to update them on the change. This is an easy way for all the team to be updated without having to log on to the platform. 

As someone who manages many areas of marketing, it is hard to focus on just one task. Microsoft planner allows me and my manager to keep track of what tasks I have to do, whether I have started it and when I plan to have it completed by. Microsoft Planner gives both myself and my team piece of mind that nothing will be forgotten.  However as this is only a first release and it is by no means perfect. I have written a blog posts giving my thoughts and feedback about the features I feel the application should include, read it here. 

If you want to know more about Microsoft Planner and how it works, watch the short video below.