Microsoft Planner is an everyday project management and task app that bridges the gap between formal project management principles and, well, everyone’s “I just need to get stuff done” response to those principles. Planner sits happily in the middle between Outlook Tasks–which is a very simple tasking tool–and Microsoft Project–which is complex project management tool that requires serious training to understand and use (and is expensive).
Planner combines real-world project management with a slick user interface, powerful functionality, integrations across Office 365, and a minimal learning curve. Planner is integrated with Microsoft Teams tabs and you get a permission-controlled Plan with each Office 365 Group.
Planner provides two main views: 1) a team-based view that provides status reporting and dashboards for your Group (inclusive only of the tasks for your Group) and 2) a personal hub that collects and displays all tasks that you have in Planner across all of your Plans.
If you’re looking for an easy but organized way to manage a project, dole out tasks, and track deliverable statuses without having to pay for expensive MS Project licenses or constantly annoy the hell out of your colleagues so you can update your MPP file, Planner is definitely the way to go.
Planner is included free as part of most Office 365 licensing options. If you’ve ever used Trello, you already know how to use Planner.
Getting started with Microsoft Planner [Microsoft]
Agile project management with Planner [SharePoint Maven]
- Matt Wade, Office Services MVP