We've been taking a closer look at the ton of useful apps you can find within Office 365, and how they could help better your business. This month we're getting to grips with Planner, the task management app from Microsoft.
What is Microsoft Planner?
Planner is a great little app which helps employees and colleagues collaborate on projects. Thanks to Office 365, you can access it anywhere, anytime on any device with an internet connection.
The idea behind Planner is to make working on a project easy, streamlining everything and making it all accessible from a central location. It's also got a bunch of little features which reduce the niggling frustrations of trying to work collaboratively.
As you can see, you start by making a plan. This is essentially the name of the project you're working on - so it could be something external for a client (like building a website) or internal for yourself and your colleagues. From there you can set that plan to private or public, which allows you to keep things to yourself or keep everyone in the loop.
Then you can add tasks within the plan - for example, if you were building a website, you might want to add a blog section. You can set deadlines on each task, and assign people to each task too. From the 'Board' tab, you can see the project, and which tasks everyone is working on from a single screen. You can add a 'New Bucket' to create additional To Do lists with different labels, so tasks don't get lost and you can see everything at a glance.
What other awesome features does Planner have?
Microsoft Planner doesn't stop there. From the 'Charts' tab, everyone on the project can access an analysis of the Plan, and some really great visual representations of how it is progressing. From the pie chart, you can view tasks that have been not started, tasks that are in progress, late tasks and the completed tasks. This is a really useful feature to provide colleagues with a clear overview of the project.
Planner also features a 'Schedule' tab. This is essentially a calendar which shows you the due dates for each task on this project. Under 'Unscheduled tasks' you can see any task that hasn't been given a deadline. You can then assign it a deadline and it will appear in the schedule.
Just like the rest of apps within Office 365, everything you need is accessible from the program itself. You can add notes with OneNote, schedule meetings with other people on the project, even export the entire Plan to Excel if you need a copy.
How do I get started with Microsoft Planner?
Get in touch with your friendly IT support team, and they'll be able to set your business up with Office 365 and Microsoft Planner. It's easy to learn, simple to use and will make collaborating on your next project a breeze.
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