More App Fun

Now for more on my continuing saga of trying out new apps for my to-do list. I switched back to OneNote about 2 weeks ago and got right back into my old habit. A good habit, but a habit nonetheless. Then I was chatting with a fella in the office last week and I saw an interesting looking Task List in Office 365 on his screen. I had to ask about it.

Planner is a new Office 365 app that acts as a team task manager. A team manager can create the tasks, assign them out with deadlines, etc., and his/her reports can work the tasks and complete them. It looks very much like JIRA that we’re using as a team now for our stories. I’m not a fan of sticking my personal to-do list into the team JIRA site, so I signed up for Planner ( and moved my to-dos into it.

It looks great and has the same look-and-feel of the other O365 apps. I can categorize my tasks into “buckets” and view them that way, or look at them by status, much like a kanban board. I can actually assign the tasks, but since I’m not part of any teams, that doesn’t really work. If I assign one to myself, I see that an email comes to my account letting me know about it.

As far as a basic to-do list, this looks pretty sweet. I like the idea of it for team management, too. I’ve never been one to really believe that you need 20 fields to categorize calls, tickets, tasks, or whatever. In my experience folks talk about those and plan them all out, and then the discipline needed to actually use those fields isn’t there. The reports that you generate are always suspect. A to-do list, to me, should be as simple as possible, with status, assignee, and due date only. Planner looks to accomplish this very well for me. There may be other fields in there or custom fields available or whatever, but it’s not worth my time to investigate.

If I don’t post about going back, assume I’m using this from now on. :)

Written on May 16, 2016