Microsoft has announced a brand-new project management application, simply known as Microsoft Planner, for premium, business, and educational subscribers to Office 365. Intended to compete with similar management applications such as Trello and Asana, the application is expected to roll out over the “next several weeks.”
“The addition of Planner to the Office 365 lineup introduces a new and improved way for businesses, schools and organizations to structure teamwork easily and get more done,” details a press release from Microsoft. “With Planner, teams can create new plans; organize, assign and collaborate on tasks; set due dates; update statuses and share files, while visual dashboards and email notifications keep everyone informed on progress.”
A new way to stay organized with Microsoft Planner
The tool allows users to plan projects for your work team, whether it’s for a business, school, non-profit organization, or anything else of the sort. The application lets the user share files, assign tasks, organize projects, and chat with collaborators – all within the Office 365 suite.
Similar to Trello and Asana, the application uses “Cards” and “Boards” to help in organizing tasks. These “Boards” can even be organized into larger projects called “Buckets.” Every card can be color coded, contain attachments, given due dates, and contain their own respective conversations for each task. These are all centered around Planner’s main “Hub,” which allows users to keep track of a project’s overall progress.
One of the most useful features of Planner is its already-integrated functionality with other Microsoft products. Users and businesses who are already deeply incorporated with Microsoft products will find that adding Planner into their usual work space technology will be easy and hassle-free.
Room to improve
While Planner seems to be a promising new app in the Microsoft family, it’s still in its infancy. Unlike many of the application’s competitors, Planner doesn’t have native mobile applications and users will instead have to rely upon logging in to the service through a web browser and receiving email notifications to know about updates and new assignments.
Microsoft has said it’s working on apps for Android, iOS and Windows to combat this issue. In the meantime, Planner can be downloaded to eligible users through its Office 365 productivity suite.