How to Use Planner and To Do to Crush Your Daily Tasks

How to Use Planner and To Do to Crush Your Daily Tasks


Last month, our CEO, Reed Wilson, gave a presentation on how to manage tasks in Outlook while integrating Planner and To Do with Teams using Microsoft Flows. Here's a few of the highlights from the first part of his demo, plus a link to the full recording. 

Microsoft Planner vs. To Do, What's the Difference? 

Microsoft has several "productivity apps." Deciding which one to use when can be tricky. Here's a visual breakdown of the differences between To Do and Planner. 

Difference between Microsoft To-do and Planner

While both apps are available to Microsoft 365 users on mobile and to both PC and Mac users, they serve different functions. 

Microsoft To Do's Best Use 

To-do is really your personal task list. It can be used to build intelligent lists. You can even create automated processes. For example, having a to-do that gets created from a flagged email. While you can share to-do's with teammates, to-do is not the best tool for managing collaborative projects. 

Microsoft Planner's Best Use 

Planner is more of a lightweight project management tool. It's a kanban-based system that helps you organize and track where work is. 

How to Organize Outlook Emails as They Come In

From your online Office 365 portal, you can access Outlook. Clicking on the "My Day" button in the right corner allows you to drag emails from your inbox over to quickly create a task or calendar event based on that email. 

My Day in Outlook

Open "My Day" in Outlook online to instantly create To Do tasks or Calendar events from inbox emails. 

You can also view your upcoming calendar and To Do items without leaving Outlook. It's an easy way to stay on top of your day in real time. 

You can also pull in multiple calendars from Planner or Microsoft 365 Groups. 

Set Microsoft To Do to Turn Flagged Emails into Tasks

When you set up To Do, you can elect to have flagged emails turned into tasks. 

This is a great feature for creating tasks from important emails. It also works on desktop or the mobile Outlook app. 

flagging emails to turn them into tasks

When you check off the task in To Do it also shows up as checked off in your inbox as well. 

You can also create as many custom To Do lists as you need and sync them across all of your devices. If you don't know how to create a new To Do list, it's explained in the recording below. 

Using the Planner Hub

The planner hub in Planner is a visual dashboard of what's going on. It's the place to visually see all your current plans. You can highlight important plans at the top by making them "favorites." 

Planner hub Plans you have "favorited" in Planner will show up at the top of the Planner Hub

Inside of each plan, you can create as many buckets as you want. 

Buckets in Planner

Buckets in Planner help you to better categorize and visualize your team's work. 

You can also see valuable data in Planner charts. For example, which team member has been assigned the most work. 

Items that are late will also show up in red. 

When you create new tasks in Planner, it also gives you the option to add labels. You can edit the labels to be department tags, individual, or to be based on the type of task assigned. 

Once you have the basics of To Do and Planner down, watch this recording to find out how to set up automated flows to save time, view plans inside Teams, add personal actions to Teams posts! 

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