As many of us continue to work, teach and learn remotely, keeping on top of all our meetings, actions, things to do remains a major challenge. Quite timely then that Microsoft have introduced some significant changes to how you can organise ‘Tasks’ across their Office 365 applications.

MS ‘Planner’ and ‘To Do’

Firstly, for those of you who use Planner or To Do, it’s important to say that this does not signify the beginning of the end for those two applications, indeed the opposite. The new Tasks functionality relies on Planner and To Do as part of its infrastructure. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Planner and To Do, the best way to summarise would be to say:

Planner

Planner is an application for team-based tasks/projects. Planner lets you create collaborative plan boards, detailing key tasks, categorising and assigning them to people them where appropriate. ‘Buckets’ can be used to organise the board, whilst filters can display tasks based on priority, assignee and more. To keep track of progress, various charts are available to keep on top of tasks and team members contributions.

To Do

Whilst Planner is for Team tasks, To Do is the application for your own personal tasks. Any To Do tasks are tracked in Outlook and synched across Office 365 applications. To Do tasks integrate with Planner where you’re able to easily view all tasks assigned to yourself whether these originated in Planner or were created through To Do.

Teams

The updates to Tasks in MS Teams have begun rolling out and will continue to do so through to the end of September. You can read more about this by clicking on the following link: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/planner-blog/announcing-tasks-in-microsoft-teams-public-rollout/ba-p/1502225

Tasks in MS Teams brings in tasks from both Planner and To Do and provides a simple yet powerful way of managing tasks. The obvious use cases here are working on projects with colleagues, setting tasks for your students or encouraging your students to use Tasks to manage their own personal or groupwork tasks/deadlines.

A couple new features arriving in Teams are:

  • List View – Tasks in Teams can be viewed as a Board, Chart or Schedule, but can now also be viewed in a List, giving you another way to visually manage your tasks.
  • Edit multiple tasks at once – List view also comes with bulk editing. This way, you can select multiple tasks and change their due date, priority or progress.

Outlook

Outlook can be used as your personal organiser, not just an email and calendar service. There are a number of different ways that you can utilise Outlook to organise your day.

  • My Day – using My Day, you can quickly see what your day looks like without disrupting your email workflow. There are two tabs; Calendar to create and view meetings, and To Do where you can organise your individual responsibilities.
  • Tasks from email – you can turn an email into a task by dragging and dropping it into My Day, flagging it in your message list or selecting the Create A Task option within the email.

Word, Excel and PowerPoint

You can now assign tasks using a comment @mentions directly in Word and Excel for the web (with PowerPoint for the web coming soon). By mentioning another member of your team, this will trigger an email with a link to the comment in the document. This gives the respondent all the context that they need to start working on the task. The person mentioned can also respond to the comment via email without opening the document. In future, these tasks will integrate with Planner and To Do, further extending the seamless use of tasks across Office 365.

For more information on any of the features mentioned above and more, click on the following link: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-365-blog/connecting-tasks-experiences-across-microsoft-365/ba-p/1522069

For further support, contact eLearning@tees.ac.uk

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