If you’ve ever tried to source the real originator of some popular quote, you might come across the same old names that are supposedly responsible for it – Winston Churchill, Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin, Jeremy Clarkson, etc. One such quote that has been widely attributed to any number of people (including self-styled 1970s time management guru, Alan Lakein) is, “Failing to plan is planning to fail”.
A new tool has been rolled out to Office365 users to help – Microsoft Planner. It’s a relatively simple-looking yet deceptively powerful group project / task management application that lets you assign and collaborate tasks amongst team members, all the time maintaining an easy to use and very visual overview of the projects.
Planner has been in preview for a few months but was released generally in early June and will automatically show up in the grid icon set on the top-left of browser-based Office365 applications.
To get the gist of what Planner does, check out the overview video, here. For tips on getting up and running, see the Getting Started guide.
There is a degree of functional overlap with other task-management systems like Wunderlist or even Outlook on its own, but Planner is designed very much to be a team-based thing and is particularly aimed at businesses or for educational use.
Comparisons are inevitably made with other tools, most notably Trello, and SharePoint’s own Tasks capability has had the Sword of Damocles hanging over it, if you believe the chat, so Planner is a welcome addition.