Your Guide to Using Office 365 Planner

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Despite the surging popularity of Office 365 for business, Microsoft continuously develops new features and updates to improve the application. The giant tech released new products and applications to enhance user experience. And one of which is the Microsoft Planner.

With this tool, numerous organisations were given a platform where they are able to foster collaboration and productivity in their workplace—and it can do the same thing for your company when it’s utilised well. Through this guide, you’ll be able to get to know Microsoft planner and its benefits. Furthermore, this will also teach you ways on how you can make the most of the application.

What is Microsoft Planner?

This application is designed by Microsoft to provide businesses with a visual way to create task management and organizational systems. With Microsoft Planner, team leaders can create plans, share files, and organise tasks easily. The app also allows team members to prioritise their tasks depending on the importance and deadline set by the leaders. Microsoft Planner has the power to help business owners monitor the progress of projects assigned to their employees and foster a workplace where they can collaborate with ease.

Reasons Why You Should Use Office 365 Planner

Without any doubt, end-users can enjoy numerous benefits when they use Microsoft Planner. That’s why more and more business owners make use of this tool to manage and organise tasks. To justify this claim, here are the reasons why it’s a handy tool for businesses:

1. Multiple Microsoft Integrations

Often times when end-users use a third party tool for their company’s task management and organisational system, they tend to spend most of their time switching in and out of the applications. This can be extremely tedious for the users and it can certainly reduce their daily productivity. With Microsoft Planner, you’ll be able to manage your tasks efficiently and initiate multiple Microsoft integrations to help you reach your company goals.

2. Cost-Efficiency

Another reason why you should use Microsoft Planner in your business is its capability to help you cut cost. When you purchase an Office 365 license, you’ll see that Microsoft Planner is included in all the Office 365 subscriptions. That said, utilising Planner helps you eliminate your need to purchase a third party application license to help you manage tasks within your business organization.

3. Collaboration of Planner and Groups

Apart from the multiple Microsoft integrations and the cost-efficiency Microsoft Planner offers, it also allows end-users to integrate its task management capabilities with Office 365 Groups capabilities. As you create new plans in your Planner, your Groups application will create a new group for it automatically—and this can also work the other way around.

Things You Need to Know When You Use Microsoft Planner

Office 365 allows you to maximise Microsoft integrations and increase your business’ cost-efficiency. Other than these benefits, there are still a few more things you need to know about Microsoft Planner. By being acquainted of these things, you’ll be able to understand how the application works at a deeper level.

1. Plans

The plans in Microsoft Planner has the ability to help companies complete small projects where a full project management software is unnecessary. And in order to start utilising its benefits, you can either set up a group in Microsoft Groups or create a new plan.

2. Tasks

When you’re done creating a new plan, the next step you need to take is to come up with tasks or cards that can help you achieve a common goal. Through these tasks, you’ll be able to manage assignments and see to it that they’re completed before the due date. You can also make use of the post-it tab it has on the side to allow users to place predetermined labels. Furthermore, these tasks can be viewed by users in a board or chart form.

3. Notifications

One of the crucial aspects of task management is notification. With the right number of notifications, you’ll be able to keep everyone updated and stay on top of their assignments. That’s why it’s important to be mindful of the notifications you give. While too little notifications can cause team members to miss out on discussions, too many notifications can also tick off busy people quickly.

4. Integration with Microsoft Outlook

Apart from getting email notifications, Planner users can also view their tasks on their Outlook’s calendar. This integration enables end-users to experience the benefits of Planner conveniently as they make use of Outlook features. And this can easily be done with the help of the advancements in technology.

5. Integration with Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is designed to be used as a central hub that fosters teamwork and effective communication among colleagues—and this app can be integrated with Microsoft Planner with ease. By utilising Teams, users are given the privilege to send out instant messages to their workmates as they make use of Microsoft Planner. Furthermore, this also allows them to add, amend, and review tasks in their plans without the need to leave the app.

How to Make a Plan in Microsoft Planner?

Now that you’re aware of the things above, it’s time for you to learn how to create a new plan in Microsoft Planner. By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be able to manage your tasks easily in an organised manner.

Step 1: Open your Microsoft Planner.

Step 2: Sign in your account.

Step 3: Click the New Plan option at the upper left corner of the software.

Step 4: Give your plan a name.

Step 5: Set the privacy settings of your plan to Public or Private, depending on your preference.

If you choose the Public setting, everyone that has access to your Office 365 account will be able to see the content of your plans. Meanwhile, if you choose the Private setting, you can customise the people who can see the plans you created.

Step 6: Press the Create Plan button.

Step 7: Type in a task name for your new plan.

Step 8: Set the due date of the task.

Step 9: Click add task.

You can repeat steps 7, 8, and 9 multiple times.

Step 10: After that, select the Members drop-down button you find at the upper right corner of the software.

You can add people in the plan by name or by email address. Once you’re done creating your team, they’ll receive a notification email to tell them that they’ve been added.

Take Note: You can only add people that are using the same Office 365 account as you.

Step 11: Click the tasks you created and then press the Assign button to allocate these assignments to the members of your team.

 Step 12: Create different lists or buckets by clicking the Add new bucket option you find beside your current list. By doing that, you will be able to sort your tasks into different buckets.

Step 13: You can also create a checklist for every task you created to show your progress as you complete your task.

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Benefits of Having Office 365 Planner in Your Business

Without any doubt, the installation of Office 365 for small business in establishments bring several business perks to its business owners. That’s why more and more companies make use of Office 365 every year. Three of the significant benefits that the app brings is its ability to help individuals organise tasks quickly, foster collaboration, and stay updated. 

To discuss further, here are the different benefits you can enjoy with this application:

Helps Organise Tasks Quickly

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When you utilise Office 365 Planner in your business, you’ll be able to launch the app within a single click. Furthermore, this also makes it easier for you to create a new plan, assign tasks, build teams, and update statuses. Aside from that, this app also gives you the tool to organise your work visually. In here, you can organise your tasks into buckets, categorise them according to your preference, and monitor the completion of tasks.

Allows Colleagues to Collaborate Effortlessly

Other than helping its users to organise tasks easily, Planner also allows them to collaborate with one another effortlessly. Microsoft Planner gives a comprehensive list of tasks and their statuses across all the plans you created. That said, it provides the visibility and transparency necessary to enable business owners to foster teamwork. Apart from that, the app also makes it easier for users to collaborate around tasks. With it, you’ll be able to attach files to tasks and work together on those files without the need to switch between applications.

Enables Everyone to Stay Updated

Another business perk that Office 365 Planner brings is its capability to keep everyone updated. With this productivity tool, account holders will be able to work across devices conveniently and monitor changes in real-time. Aside from that, this also gives them the notifications needed to keep them informed about the updates made in the plan. By doing this, nobody gets left out of the changes made and everyone remains on the same page.

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