Office 365 Planner is the Office 365 app for project management. Planner will look familiar to anyone who has used the popular project management app Trello. Both apps follow the kanban style of displaying project boards that contain lists which are displayed in separate columns. The lists (Planner calls them "buckets") contain task cards. Each task usually represents an action item that can be assigned to a team member. Every task card can include file attachments, pictures, a checklist, comments, and color-coded labels. Cards can also have start dates, due dates, and a status (not started, in progress, or completed).
Getting started is quick and easy:
- Create an Office 365 Group for the project team, committee or workgroup. Planner associates each "plan" with an Office 365 group, and all of the members of that group will be able to see, create, edit and complete tasks.
- Open Planner and start adding tasks and assigning them (or waiting for volunteers to assign tasks to themselves). If you assign a task to someone, they will receive an email with a description of the task.
- Experience the ease at which your group can share emails, files, notes and tasks!
Your personal Planner dashboard includes the Planner Hub, which displays a graphical overview of all the plans you are assigned to. The "My Tasks" view shows you all of the tasks assigned to you from all the plans and Office 365 Groups you participate in.
Some projects may benefit from a more advanced resource management tool like Microsoft Project, or from custom workflows you can create in SharePoint online. Planner may still be useful for such large projects, especially if you are part of a subcommittee or workgroup that needs to share tasks with only its members.