fundamentals MS Teams Tips & Tricks

6 Tips for Using Microsoft Planner with Microsoft Teams

Erica Hakonson August 20, 2021

6 MIN READ

To run a business efficiently and successfully, it’s necessary to maintain transparency and have clear communication across all departments. When starting a new project this becomes critical as you don’t want employees struggling to find the right tools for tracking progress while communicating tasks with team members.

Given this, why juggle between applications when you can integrate Microsoft Planner with your MS Teams platform and work together efficiently?

Breaking Task Management Barriers with Microsoft Teams and Planner

The process of defining goals, objectives, assigning tasks, and seeing them through completion, in their entirety, can become overwhelming very quickly while working on multiple projects.

Lack of proper planning and communication of priorities can lead to delays, duplication of work, deviation from the scope, reduced productivity, increased costs, and many other costly problems. By using Microsoft Teams integration with Microsoft Planner, you can seamlessly collaborate with the team, track, and customize project plans in one platform.

Microsoft Planner overview screenshot
Image: Microsoft Planner overview

Microsoft To Do, List, or Planner – Which Application is Best for You?

As you are likely aware, Microsoft 365 offers an assortment of planning / task management apps, such as List, To Do, and Planner. Given this, many are confused about the differing functionality of each. Here’s a quick breakdown to deliver the clarity you need to pick the appropriate application that suits your requirements:

  • Microsoft List: Best used for creating repositories, Microsoft List allows you to track or update information about your clients, employees, vendors, inventory, expenses, and more. You can track this data here and share the list on Microsoft Teams with your employees.
  • Microsoft To Do:  Easily track all the tasks that are assigned to you or are created by you, daily. Primarily for personal use to keep an individual prioritized and productive. Microsoft To Do easily integrates with Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Outlook, and Planner.
  • Microsoft Planner: create, modify, and share project Kanban ‘Boards’ with your team. Microsoft Planner easily matches the features and functionality of popular project management tools such as Trello, JIRA, Monday.com, or Asana, while beneficially natively integrating with Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, List, Outlook, OneNote, and Project.

How to Use Microsoft Planner in MS Teams?

  • Setting-up Microsoft Planner:
    MS Planner can be integrated as a tab in any ‘Channel’ of any Microsoft Teams team. While setting up the MS Planner plan, you can either create a new plan or use an existing plan from the respective team in Microsoft Teams. To notify members about project updates, make sure to click on the ‘post to this channel about this tab’ checkbox. Voila, you now have access to your Microsoft Planner plan within your MS Teams team, allowing you access to all your projects from one location!
different view options in microsoft planner
Image: Different Views to Organize Tasks in Microsoft Planner
  • Organizing Projects:
    A project is a collection of several tasks and at times these tasks also need to be completed by collaborating with other departments or cross-functional teams. Once these tasks are properly defined and broken down into stages, you can then start assigning them to a specific team member(s) and set deadlines to complete the task.

Let’s take a look at ways you can utilize Planner in Microsoft Teams to its full potential for efficient task management:

Tip #1: Create Buckets for Each Stage

Neatly divide the project into phases or departments by creating ‘Buckets’ in the ‘Board’ Section. The names of the ‘Buckets’ can be changed according to the project stage. By creating ‘Buckets’, you are also breaking down the project’s lifecycle and defining the flow of the project. Make sure to take your time to plan the number of ‘Buckets’ you may require for your project, as that will help you eliminate any redundant processes.

Tip #2: Organize Buckets with 'Task Cards'

Within each ‘Bucket’, you can create a ‘Task Card’ for every major task that is associated with it. To create the ‘Task Card’ click on ‘Add task’ option. That will allow you to name the task, assign it to a team member(s), and set deadlines. You can also create subtasks by creating a ‘Checklist’ within each ‘Task Card’ to monitor the progress on every subtask.

You can also move the ‘Task Card’ to another phase or department by dragging and dropping it into another ‘Bucket’. This allows you to carry forward tasks from one phase to another or delegate responsibility from one department to another.

Tip #3: Use 'Labels' to Differentiate Tasks

Once the structure and the flow of the projects are created by using ‘Buckets’ and ‘Task Cards’, make use of ‘Labels’ to color-code and filter tasks across different ‘Buckets’. This will allow you to save time and find relevant results quickly without manually clicking on each task.

You can also show the progress of tasks on each ‘Task Card’ by using the appropriate progress status and set priority from the drop-down list. Through this, you can notify your team about urgent tasks that need to be completed on priority.

Every ‘Task Card’ also has an option to display details within each card on the ‘Board’ so that you can get a quick overview of each task. This can be done by selecting the ‘Show on card’ option.

Microsoft Planner Labelling
Image: Using Labels to Flag Tasks in Microsoft Planner

Tip #4 Keep Everyone in the Loop

To make the communication process seamless with team members working on each project, MS Planner also allows members to leave notes and comments and add attachments in each ‘Task Card’ to keep the project manager and team members posted about any important updates.

Every time someone leaves a comment on the task, all the members assigned to the project get an email notification. Also, a comment icon appears on the ‘Task Card’. This is extremely helpful as you never miss any updates on the task.

Since the Planner is easily integrated with MS Teams, you can do quick check-ins with your members by linking to particular tasks in chats or channels.

Tip #5: Personalize Your Planner Overview

Easily change the MS Planner view to suit your needs. If you need a graphical representation of the overall project status click on the ‘Charts’ section at the top. This will help you collect data for your reports and track potential delays.

In the ‘Schedule’ section, you get a calendar view of the projects. By clicking on a task assigned on a specific date, you can access the ‘Task Card’ details and update the information, add, or modify the date.

microsoft planner chart view
Image: Chart View in Microsoft Planner

Tip #6: Utilize the Planner File Store

If you are working on several projects and are struggling to find that vital document attached to the ‘Task Card’, Planner has a solution for that as well. All you have to do is click on the ellipses next to the ‘Schedule’ section, which will bring up a dropdown list, select the ‘Files’ option to access the SharePoint site that stores all your documents. You can also modify, add, or delete documents from there, and every change will be saved in real-time.

Hassle Free MS Teams Integration with Orchestry

If you are having nightmares of finding the right software, integrating it with your work process, and are unsure where to begin, Orchestry is here to help you tackle this challenge! Now you can get the most out of your Microsoft 365 investment by utilizing powerful applications such as MS Teams and Planner in a unified platform. that will add value to your current task management processes and help you collaborate on a unified platform.

With Orchestry, you will get access to a Pre-Built Workspace Template that enables you to pre-configure a Microsoft Planner tab into your MS Teams team channel. That way, you can build your projects on a solid foundation, plan your tasks, communicate with the team, and effectively manage resources. Orchestry’s templating provides a standardized experience across workspaces and eliminates the confusion of ‘what to use when’ in Microsoft 365.

Test Orchestry’s capabilities for yourself and start your free trial today!

About the Author

Erica Hakonson Image

Erica Hakonson

Orchestry CMO, B2B Marketing Maven

The award-winning entrepreneur and B2B digital marketing maven brings a customer-first, maniacally results-driven focus, and digital expertise to Orchestry. Hakonson knows the struggles technology changes can bring to organizations and works to simplify the landscape through strengthening communication and education to enable better user adoption.

Outside of the office, a mother of two awesome tiny humans, a wife of a daily hero and an amateur banjo player, Hakonson’s passion for life extends far beyond the office and into the woods as an ultra-marathoner, backpacker and outdoor adventurist.

Introduction

This Privacy Policy explains what information Orchestry Software Inc. and its associated entities (collectively “Orchestry”) collect about you, why, what we do with that information, how we share it and how we handle the content you place in our products and services. It also explains the choices available to you regarding our use of your personal information and how you can access and update this information.

Privacy Policy Scope

Our Privacy Policy applies to the information we collect when you use one of our services, or when you otherwise engage with Orchestry Software, including, but not limited to:
when you visit our websites (“Websites“);
when you contact us for assistance;
when we connect with you as a prospective customer or as a customer;
when you attend customer or prospective customer events;
when you meet us at third party events, gatherings or meetups.
Orchestry is committed to protecting your privacy. This Privacy Policy applies to our websites (Websites), including www.orchestry.com, www.success.orchestry.com and www.app-dev.orchestry.com, owned and controlled by Orchestry.

This Privacy Policy governs our data collection, processing and usage practices. It also describes your choices regarding use, access and correction of your personal information. By using the Websites, you consent to the data practices described in this Privacy Policy. If you do not agree with the data practices described in this Privacy Policy, you should not use the Websites.

Information We Collect

We collect personal data that you submit to us via our website or third-party tools including, for example, when applying for a job via our website or requesting support in relation to one of our services.
You are free to explore the Websites without providing any Personal Information about yourself. When you visit the Websites, we request that you provide Personal Information about yourself, and we collect Navigational Information.

Information Collection & Access

Orchestry acknowledges that you have the right to access your Personal Information. If requested to remove data we will respond within a reasonable timeframe.

We may transfer Personal Information to companies that help us provide our service, such as those organizations as part of our Global Partner Alliance. Transfers to subsequent third parties for the sole purpose of responding to requests from Websites in the appropriate geography service territory.

“Personal Information”
This refers to any information that you voluntarily submit to us and that identifies you personally, including contact information, such as your name, e-mail address, company name, address, phone number, and other information about yourself or your business. Personal Information can also include information that you enter into on the Websites, and information about you that is available on the internet, such as from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google, or publicly available information that we acquire from service providers.

“Navigational Information”
This refers to information about your computer and your visits to this website such as your IP address, geographical location, browser type, referral source, length of visit and pages viewed.

We use Navigational Information to operate and improve the Websites. We may also use Navigational Information alone or in combination with Personal Information to provide you with personalized information about Orchestry.

Information About Children

The Websites are not intended for or targeted at children under 13, and we do not knowingly or intentionally collect information about children under 13. If you believe that we have collected information about a child under 13, please contact us at hello@orchestry.com, so that we may delete the information.

Information Usage

We use the information we collect only in compliance with this Privacy Policy.

In addition to the uses identified elsewhere in this Privacy Policy, we may use your Personal Information to: (a) improve your browsing experience by personalizing the Websites; (b) send information to you which we think may be of interest to you by post, email, or other means; (c) send you marketing communications relating to our business.

We will never sell your Personal Information to any third party. However, we may share or disclose your Personal Information as follows:
we may provide your information to our business partners, vendors or service providers who perform functions on our behalf;
in connection with, or during negotiations of, any merger, sale of company assets, financing, or acquisition of all or a portion of our business to another company;
as required by law, government officials, or other third parties pursuant to a subpoena, court order, or other legal process or requirement applicable to our Company;
when we believe, in our sole discretion, that the disclosure of personal information is necessary to prevent physical harm or financial loss;
to report suspected illegal activity or to investigate violations of our agreements.

Reviewing, Correcting and Removing Your Personal Information
Upon request, Orchestry will provide you with information about whether we hold any of your Personal Information. If you provide us with your Personal Information, you have the following rights with respect to that information:
To review the user information that you have supplied to us.
To request that we correct any errors, outdated information, or omissions in user information that you have supplied to us.
To request that your user information not be used to contact you.
To request that your user information be removed from any solicitation list that we use.
To request that your user information be deleted from our records.
To opt out of being solicited by Orchestry or third parties.

To exercise any of these rights, please contact us at hello@orchestry.com or by mail to Orchestry Software Inc., 422 Richards St, Suite 170, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2Z4, Attn: Privacy. We will respond to your request to change, correct, or delete your information within a reasonable timeframe and notify you of the action we have taken.

Retention of Personal Information

We retain Personal Information that you provide us as long as we consider it potentially useful in contacting you our services, or as needed to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes and enforce our agreements, and then we securely delete the information. We will delete this information from the servers at an earlier date if you so request, as described in “Unsubscribe from Communication” below.

Customer Testimonials and Comments

We post customer testimonials and comments on our Websites, which may contain Personal Information. We obtain each customer’s consent via email prior to posting the customer’s name and testimonial.

Security of your Personal Information

We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your Personal Information from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. We secure the Personal Information you provide on computer servers in a controlled, secure environment, protected from unauthorized access, use or disclosure.

Social Media Features

Our Websites include Social Media Features, such as the Facebook Like button and Widgets, such as the Share This button or interactive mini-programs that run on our sites. These features may collect your IP address, which page you are visiting on our sites, and may set a cookie to enable the feature to function properly. Social Media Features and Widgets are either hosted by a third party or hosted directly on our Websites. This Privacy Policy does not apply to these features.  Your interactions with these features are governed by the privacy policy and other policies of the companies providing them.

External Websites

Our Websites provide links to other websites. We do not control, and are not responsible for, the content or practices of these other websites. Our provision of such links does not constitute our endorsement of these other websites, their content, their owners, or their practices. This Privacy Policy does not apply to these other websites, which are subject to any privacy and other policies they may have.

Public Forums

We offer publicly accessible blogs, message boards and community forums. Please keep in mind that if you directly disclose any information through our public message boards, blogs, or forums, this information may be collected and used by others. We will correct or delete any information you have posted on the Websites if you so request, as described in “Opting Out and Unsubscribing” below.

International Transfer of Information

To facilitate our global operations, we may transfer and access Personal Information from around the world, including the United States. This Privacy Policy shall apply even if we transfer Personal Information to other countries.

Corporate Events

If we (or our assets) are acquired by another company, whether by merger, acquisition, bankruptcy or otherwise, that company would receive all information gathered by Orchestry on the Websites. In this event, you will be notified via email and/or a prominent notice on our website, of any change in ownership, uses of your Personal Information, and choices you may have regarding your Personal Information.

Cookies & Similar Technologies

Orchestry uses cookies or similar technologies to analyze trends, administer the website, track users’ movements around the website, and to gather demographic information about our user base as a whole.

The cookies we use on this website are broadly grouped into the following categories:

Essential: Some of the cookies on our website are essential for us to be able to provide you with a service you have requested. You may not be able to use our website effectively without these cookies.
Analytics: We use analytics cookies to help us understand how users engage with our website. An example of this is for counting the number of different people coming to our website, visiting a particular page or using a particular feature. Without this cookie, if you visited the website once each week for three weeks, we would count you as three separate users and this wouldn’t be a true representation. These cookies do not let us identify specific users as the information is aggregated.
Social sharing: We use cookies to allow you to share content directly to your social networking sites for example Facebook, Twitter and Google+ i.e. clicking Like on Facebook and Share on Twitter.
Interest-based advertising: You may have noticed that when you visit websites, you will be shown advertisements for products and services you may be interested in. Cookie information about certain pages you have visited on our website helps us be more relevant in our advertising. Having these cookies does not increase the number of adverts you will be shown on these specific sites. These ‘persistent’ cookies last no longer than 90 days, or until you clear them. These and the other cookies we use do NOT allow us to see what other sites you have been visiting, they simply act as a record of our web pages and advertisements that you may see.
Opt Out of Cookies
When you first visited the websites you will have been shown a status bar notifying you that this website uses cookies and inviting you to review this cookie policy. Once you have clicked to go further into our website, the cookie prompt will disappear, this confirms that you consent to us using the cookies detailed in this policy.
Please note that we can’t always control third party cookies (such as from social networks) stored on your machine from our website and where this is the case you will need to visit the relevant third party’s website directly to understand their cookies stored on your machine by them. Please see our ‘third party cookies’ section below.
If you want to reject cookies we use from this website you will need to:
Delete the cookies from your browser. Most browsers also allow you to prevent all or some cookies being stored on your machine in the future. For more information on how to delete or disable cookies from your browser please use the ‘help’ function within your browser, or alternatively visit www.allaboutcookies.org. By deleting our cookie preference cookie, the next time you visit our website the cookie status bar will appear again inviting you to again reconsider your preferences.
AND/OR: If you only want to reject the Internet Based Advertising cookies we store on your machine, you can opt-out of receiving these cookies at any time by going to the Internet Advertising Bureau website at http://www.youronlinechoices.com and following the opt-out instructions.
Please do be aware that disabling cookies may impact the functionality of this website.
Third Party Cookies
Some of the cookies described above are stored on your machine by third parties when you use our website. We have no control over these cookies of how the third party uses them. They are used to allow that third party to provide a service to us, for example website analytics. For more information on these cookies and how to disable them, please see:
Internet Advertising Bureau website at http://www.youronlinechoices.com/ where you will be able to opt-out of receiving Internet Based Advertising cookies from some of the third parties, such as Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
The use of cookies and web beacons by any tracking utility company is not covered by our Privacy Policy.

Log Files

We may collect demographic information, such as your region, preferences, interests and favorites using log files that are not associated with your name or other personal information. There is also information about your computer hardware and software that is automatically collected by us. This information can include: your IP address, browser type, domain names, internet service provider (ISP), the files viewed on our site (e.g., HTML pages, graphics, etc.), operating system, clickstream data, access times and referring website addresses. This information is used by Orchestry to provide general statistics regarding use of the Websites. For these purposes, we do link this automatically-collected data to Personal Information such as name, email address, address, and phone number.

Clear Gifs (Web Beacons/Web Bugs)

We employ a software technology called clear gifs (a.k.a. Web Beacons/Web Bugs), that help us better manage the Website by informing us what content is effective. Clear gifs are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies, and are used to track the online movements of Web users.  In contrast to cookies, which are stored on a user’s computer hard drive, clear gifs are embedded invisibly on Web pages or in emails and are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. We use clear gifs in our HTML-based emails to let us know which emails have been opened by recipients.  This allows us to gauge the effectiveness of certain communications and the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns. We tie the information gathered by clear gifs in emails to our customers’ Personal Information. If you would like to opt-out of these emails, please see “Opting Out and Unsubscribing”.

Advertising

We partner with a third-party ad network to either display advertising on our Web site or to manage our advertising on other sites. Our ad network partner uses cookies and Web beacons to collect non-personal information about your activities on this and other Web sites to provide you targeted advertising based upon your interests.  If you wish to not have this information used for the purpose of serving you targeted ads, you may opt-out by clicking here: http://preferences.truste.com/ (or if located in the European Union, by clicking here: http://www.youronlinechoices.eu/). Please note this does not opt you out of being served advertising.  You will continue to receive generic ads.

Unsubscribe from Communications

You may unsubscribe from our marketing communications by clicking on the “unsubscribe” link located on the bottom of our e-mails, or by sending us email us at hello@orchestry.com or by mail to Orchestry Software Inc., 422 Richards St, Suite 170, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2Z4, Attn: Privacy.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy or our treatment of the information you provide us, please write to us by email at hello@orchestry.com or by mail to Orchestry Software Inc., 422 Richards St, Suite 170, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2Z4, Attn: Privacy.

Changes

We may amend this Privacy Policy from time to time. When there are changes to this Privacy Policy, we will update this page. The date on the bottom will always indicate when we last made changes.
Last Updated: July 28, 2020

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