Explore a new tool bundled in the Office 365 suite that streamlines how you manage projects in your organization.

Microsoft has recently released a new app to their Office 365 Suite dubbed Office 365 Planner. This new tool will be welcomed by a large number of Office 365 users who are looking for an easy way to manage a variety of projects within their organizations.

office team discussion

Who has access to Office 365 Planner?

The following Office 365 users have immediate access to Office 365 Planner:

  • Office 365 Education
  • Office 365 Education E3, E4
  • Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3, E4, E5
  • Office 365 Business Premium
  • Office 365 Business Essentials

Microsoft is also looking at adding Office 365 Planner to additional Office 365 plans in the future.

What is Office 365 Planner?

In short, Office 365 Planner is an online based project management app. It offers users a simple and highly interactive way to organize teamwork within an organization.

Office 365 Planner makes it extremely easy to add projects (referred to as plans in Office 365 Planner), share files, assign tasks, chat about different projects, and update the group regarding work that has been completed.

Office 365 Planner uses “plans” to reference what are essentially projects. Managers can easily setup plans for users and assign tasks along with detailed descriptions and due dates.

Visual Representation of Workflow

With Office 365 Planner, users have a variety of different views to represent their project progress. Users can track progress using interactive charts as well as a board view, which follows the Kanban paradigm for managing projects.

Works great with all of Office 365

As a member of the Office 365 suite, Planner is integrated with other Office 365 services, such as Office 365 Groups, so all of the conversations in Planner are available in Outlook 2016, Outlook on the Web and the Outlook Groups Mobile Apps. We are a fan of using Groups and Planner together. If you are not using Groups, here’s some more information:

Integration with OneNote

Whenever a user creates a new project or “plan”, a OneNote notebook is also created where users can keep track of project notes. This allows project notes to be displayed alongside project tasks and other relevant information.

How to create a plan in Office 365 Planner

Creating a plan in Office 365 is extremely simple.

  1. Login to Office 365.
  2. Click on the Office 365 Planner icon.
  3. Click New Plan.
  4. Select Plan Name and a Plan Email Address where users within the group can email pertinent information that will be tracked inside the online portal.
  5. You can also select whether you want the plan to be Public or Private.
  6. Click Create Plan.
  7. Once you’ve created a new plan you’ll instantly be taken to an area where you can add members by searching for their name. Office 365 Planner interfaces directly to Active Directory, making finding employees within your organization extremely easy.
  8. Now that your project has been created you can easily add tasks, files, checklists and even links based on your needs.

Interested in learning more about Office 365 Planner?

Because Office 365 Planner is so new, many of our customers are still learning how to use this tool to improve efficiencies within their organizations. If this is the first time you’re hearing about Office 365 Planner or you’re just interested in learning more about Office 365 as a whole, feel free to reach out to MessageOps today.

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