Have you been looking for a simpler way to track, organize, and assign project tasks without paying for additional Microsoft Project licenses? Do you also want an app that can be integrated with your existing Office 365 Active Directory environment so resources are already available to be assigned and communicated with via Exchange or Skype for Business?
If the answer is yes to either, then the Microsoft Office 365 Planner app is worth your time to try. In fact, if you have one of the following plans then you already have the Planner app available:
- Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3, E4, E5
- Office 365 Education
- Office 365 Education E3, E4
- Office 365 Business Essentials
- Office 365 Business Premium
*Planner may be added to additional plans in the future, so check the Microsoft site periodically
So what is the Planner app? Simply put, it is a tool that allows for better organization within a project or marketing event through the use of visual organization aids and Office 365 integration for easy file sharing and collaboration, progress tracking, and reporting for assigned team members. Manage a single project or dozens, even – all from an intuitive console.
How can it work for you? Let’s start with the Planner hub, which gives you an easy-to-read visual of your project statuses for various customers or projects. The Planner works on all devices, for easy tracking at any time.
Next, let’s look at the Board view where tasks can be grouped (individuals, departments, or task type, etc.) for easier organization:
Next is the Charts view, which shows who tasks are assigned to, along with the total of assigned tickets that are not started, late, in progress, or completed:
Additional features are available such as a Notebook, Calendar, and several others shown below:
Planner allows a project manager to efficiently track assigned project tasks for everyone in their company, while allowing for communication and file sharing from a single platform so that they aren’t spread across multiple applications. The best part? Assigned tasks and their updates are automatically emailed to the appropriate resources.
Here are other things that can be done using Planner:
- View your plan’s progress
- View all of your tasks and plans
- Get email about your tasks and plans
- Delete a task or plan
- Collaborate with your team
- Attach files, photos, or links
- Add a checklist to a task
- Set a preview picture for a task
- Add comments to tasks
- Flag your tasks with labels
- Set and update task progress
- Mark plans as favorites
How easy is it to get started with creating a plan for your Active Directory integrated Office 365 environment? In just four steps, you can be off and running:
- Step 1: Sign in and create a plan
- Step 2: Add tasks and give them dates
- Step 3: Sort tasks into buckets
- Step 4: Add people and assign them to tasks
Read more about the app on the Microsoft site.