Service Notice: Microsoft's To Do, Planner, List or Teams Tasks

Microsoft has several tools for seemingly similar functions. How are these different from each other and when do you use what?

Microsoft Planner is an easy-to-use, team-based project management tool. It uses boards to track tasks and provide information about each task. There is also a personal view of Planner so each individual can see all their Planner tasks across Groups and Plans. Planner competes with tools like Trello, Wrike, and Asana.

Microsoft Lists is a major feature and interface upgrade to SharePoint lists, separated out into its own app. While Lists can be really useful for task tracking and project management, it’s not limited to that. You can use Lists to create custom tables and columns that make the most sense for your need, perhaps to track inventory, build event schedules, manage travel plans, and more.  Lists competes with tools like, Asana, and Wrike.

Microsoft To Do replaced Wunderlist—an app that Microsoft acquired—and has worked its way in to replacing the tasks section of Outlook. To Do tracks personal tasks in lists and groups managed by you, the user. But the big connection To Do has with the other apps is it will show you your Planner tasks and any flagged emails from Outlook right in the app. Given its Power Automate connector, you can also add tasks from other apps, like Microsoft OneNote. To Do can centralize your tasks across your Microsoft account.

Tasks in Teams is a recent addition to Microsoft Teams and central listing of your tasks in a Teams-friendly way. It’s essentially a combination of Planner and To Do within Teams. It doesn’t really do any work; it simply centralizes your tasks in Teams, which is the app that Microsoft is putting the most emphasis on for their modern workplace vision.

For more information on each application and When to Use What, see:

To watch Matt Wade’s video blog describing these apps:

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