Planning for large projects, multiple tasks with various steps, or parties that call for collaboration with multiple people can sometimes get confusing and result in duplicating work or missing important tasks.

Microsoft Planner is an organization and collaboration tool that can break down projects into tasks for individuals or groups. You can place these tasks into buckets, creating clear to-do lists for different people to follow. If you have access to an enterprise or education license (like Office 365 Business or Business Premium), Microsoft Planner can help make your work easier, more efficient, and more visual.

Accessing Microsoft Planner

Microsoft Planner is available only on the web—there’s no desktop version. To access the web version, follow these steps.

Go to http://www.office.com/signin and sign in with your work or school account.

Office_sign-in

On the Office 365 home page, select the app launcher at the top of the browser window. If you have never accessed the Planner web application before, you might need to select All apps or Explore all your apps to find it.

All_apps

Planner

Getting started organizing with Planner

After signing in, you can start using Planner to organize events and collaborate with others. But first, let’s create a new plan.

 

1. Create a new plan:

Select the New plan tab in the left pane. A window for the new plan will appear. Enter a name for your new plan and hit Create plan.

New_plan

Microsoft Planner integrates with other Office 365 products like Outlook and Exchange. Planner will create an email address and an Outlook group directly connected to your new plan.

 

2. Add members:

Now it’s time to add the people that will help make the plan a success! Go to the Members pane in the upper section of Planner and begin typing the name of the people in your org you want to add. Adding people to the plan makes assigning Tasks easier.

Add_Members

 

3. Add a bucket:

Buckets in Planner are ways to organize tasks created in the plan and the order the tasks should be completed in. You can create as many buckets as you need, depending on the complexity of your project.

In new project plan board, select Add new bucket at the top of the page. In the prompt window, enter a name for the bucket.

Add_new_bucket

 

4. Add a task:

To add tasks to the bucket, select the + Add task icon, type the task name, set the due date, and assign the person who needs to complete the task. You can repeat this step as needed to create additional tasks. You can also change the due date and assignee at any time.

Add_task

When you assign a task to plan member, they will receive an email.

Task_email

 

5. Add more information to the task:

We all know that things happen: plans can change and timelines can shift. Use comments to help inform everyone about changes that occur.

Select the task that you would like to add a comment to. In the prompt window, you’ll see two sections: Notes and Comments.

In Notes, you can add any contacts, dimensions, quirks, ideas, or requirements for completing the task.

In Comments, you can add a message that will always be displayed as the most recent message at the top.

If you expand the task window, you’ll also notice additional options like adding Attachments and adding a Checklist to each task. Checklists help break down a task into smaller parts. For example, if you are planning a party, and a task in the plan is to shop, you can use a checklist to ensure you’ve bought everything you need from the store.

Planner_notes

Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to start using Planner for whatever your life needs. For more help using planner, refer to the Microsoft Planner help center.

Whether you want to jot down reminders to yourself or plan a large-scale event, you can use Planner to keep everyone informed and on task. If you’re a student or business owner, try Planner to help keep both your large projects and daily tasks organized.