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Microsoft Planner vs. Outlook Tasks: When to Use Which

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What is the difference between Microsoft Planner and Outlook Tasks? Microsoft Planner is great resource to use when creating and managing tasks assigned to you or other people. Your home page is called the "Planner Hub,” and within each plan you create, you can pin tasks on specific boards that you’ve named. You can add members to your plan and assign tasks to those members. You can also write detailed descriptions of those tasks for your colleagues to see. And be sure to use Microsoft Planner's built in charts to your advantage, to get a detailed look of how a task is coming along, and who you need to follow up with. Tasks are categorized by "not started," "in progress," and "completed," and depending on how far along you are in completing the task, you can mark it as so.  (Quick Tip)  However, it’s important to note that when you assign a task to a colleague, they are not notified when they get assigned a task, and the person who created the task is not notified when the other person completes the task. So, do keep in mind that once you’ve set your Plan and created and assigned tasks to the appropriate members of your plan, that you let them know to check in on Microsoft Planner for more detailed information. Microsoft Planner is great for managing bigger projects with a team as it also provides you with other central resources to communicate with your team, such as a Mailbox, Calendar, SharePoint Site, and OneNote.


A simpler way to manage your everyday tasks would be to use Outlook Tasks within Outlook 2016 or Outlook Web App. Outlook Tasks can also be created and assigned in Outlook. Using Tasks within Outlook is better suited for smaller assignments/projects and serves as a great way for you to keep track of reminders as well on things you need to accomplish. What’s great with using Tasks in Outlook is that when you assign somebody a task, that person will be notified. When they finish the task, you will be notified.

Hopefully this has cleared up any confusion between the two. Even though both are about creating tasks, the two are used quite differently.



If you're interested in any training videos on how to use Microsoft Planner and Outlook Tasks, email info@solartechnj.com