Having the tools to properly set and accept tasks on the move from anywhere, is a persuasive argument for organisations picking up on the latest app, Microsoft Planner. This new app gives you access to Plans, easy-to-create mini-sites within Office 365 that come pre-prepared with Mailboxes, Calendars, Notebooks and File repositories.
Essentially, Planner creates small-scale project management sites in just a few clicks. Allowing you to quickly create long or short-term campaigns around specialised subjects. Each accessible from the main Planner dashboard, add task lists, files and forward relevant emails to one area with easy to manage permissions.
A perfect half-way house between Office 365 Groups and a SharePoint Project site.
The Dashboard – Creating a Plan
Starting from the top, the Dashboard is your main area for seeing each Plan you have created or have permissions to access. From here you can start new plans, view at-a-glance stats for task completion on each, as well as setting your favourite plans for ease of use.
To get started, just click “New Plan” and after adding a name and short description you are ready with your first public Plan.
The To-Do Lists (Buckets)
Buckets are how Planner handles task allocation. Basically these are short to-do lists which can be created at a whim to further granulate tasks for your Planner Project. Rename, add and customise each task to carefully construct an effective task list with automated reminders and invites to view the latest developments.
Once you have created your new Plan, simply click “Add task” to start adding your task details, add a due date and then invite Plan members to the task to allocate and send them an email notification. Simple.
Each Plan comes with its own pre-provisioned “Files” area allowing you to upload all relevant documents to your Plans, with permissions to access these files dictated by the Plans member list. Drag and drop project files, Office Documents or images to your Plans unique library and keep each Plan up to date with the latest documentation.
Start public brainstorms with your Plan from anywhere and announce important details clearly with Planner conversations. This window aggregates emails forwarded or sent to each plans unique mailbox, as well as public announcements that alert members by email that the conversation is carrying on without them.
Click “Start a conversation” to send a message to all members of your plan, with email records sent out to ensure they can reply at their convenience.
When you set up your unique Plan you are given a static, public mailbox for all members of that plan. This allows you to work seamlessly from other Office 365 apps.
With Outlook Client integration your favourited Plans appear under your Outlook Favourites tab automatically. Forward key information to a static email address, start conversations, add to the Planner Calendar and upload files directly to the Group or write in the Notebook from the Group Tab. Start static Mail boxes for your Plans quickly without the need for IT or administrators to constantly have to setup and delete by hand.
Written By Robert C