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If you’re with us at Microsoft Ignite this year—happening right now in Orlando, FL—you’ve already heard the big news about Microsoft Planner and Microsoft Teams. And if you’re not here, we’ve got you covered: just today we announced Tasks in Microsoft Teams, a cohesive task management experience that brings your tasks from Microsoft To Do and Planner into Teams. We’re extremely excited about Tasks, but understand that longtime Planner users might have questions—questions like, “Is Planner going away?”

 

The short answer is, no, and we’re as committed as ever to Planner. The long answer, and more details about the Tasks in Teams experience, is below.  

 

Tasks in Teams—we’ll refer to it as just “Tasks” for the rest of this post—consolidates personal tasks from To Do and team tasks from Planner into a single, comprehensive view in Teams. In short, To Do and Planner are the task services powering this new experience.

 

There are two places in Teams where you can access Tasks: as an app in the left siderail and as a tab within individual teams. The app comprises all tasks from To Do and Planner, like the screenshot below. As for the tab, you can think of that as Planner renamed: it functions the same way And just like the current Planner tab, you can add multiple Tasks tabs to a single team. Just keep in mind that the tab is for team tasks; personal tasks from To Do cannot be added to a tab.

 

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Tasks syncs with To Do and Planner, so items added to Tasks are replicated in To Do and Planner and vice versa. Additional task endpoints, like Outlook and Office documents, connect or will connect soon with Tasks, too. Ultimately, our goal is to bring your tasks to Tasks in Teams no matter where you first create them. Additional information on task endpoints is toward the bottom of this post. If you’d like to learn more about our overall tasks strategy, please read today's post on the Microsoft 365 blog.

 

The bottom line for both the Tasks app and Tasks tab is that they’re nearly identical to the experiences in To Do and Planner today—there’s virtually nothing new for you to learn. And there will be nothing for you to do when Tasks comes online for everyone in 2020: all of your personal and team tasks will automatically get ported to the new Tasks experience.

 

There are a few key differences—or rather, benefits.

 

The most significant is the new List view for the Tasks tab. That view is actually what’s shown in the screenshot above and will be the default view when you first create a tab. Don’t worry, you can still easily switch to the existing Board, Charts, and Schedule views you’re used to in Planner. The List view is the only one available for the Tasks app at this time. We’re working to bring the same views from the tab to the app in the future.

 

We’ve also added the Team Task List Picker, which appears under your personal tasks next to the left siderail.

 

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The Picker makes it easy to quickly navigate to your various team task lists.

 

We’ve also optimized Teams on iOS and Android to include the new Tasks experiences by default. The List view is the only one that will be available on mobile.   

 

As mentioned earlier, additional task endpoints are or will be available soon for Tasks. The currently available endpoints are:

  • Outlook: tasks in Outlook for the web sync to To Do and, therefore, your Tasks app. Upgrades to the Outlook client apps to have more To Do features coming in 2020.
  • Microsoft Launcher: the native Tasks widget and To Do widget in Microsoft Launcher, and Android app, sync with To Do.
  • Cortana: the Lists section in your Cortana notebook syncs with To Do. You can also tell Cortana to add tasks to To Do, which will then replicate to the Tasks app.

Future endpoints include:

  • Word, Excel, and PowerPoint: starting January, you can add a task using @mentions in Word. The same functionality will be available in Excel and PowerPoint later in 2020.

 

We can’t wait for you to start using Tasks in Teams! Now more than ever, we encourage you to submit ideas for team tasks through the Planner UserVoice site. We also hope you’ll continue to visit the Planner Tech Community for all the latest news.

18 Comments
Senior Member

When can we expect to see this in Teams?

Senior Member
"...when Tasks comes online for everyone in 2020"
Occasional Visitor

I wonder if there is a future integration with Azure DevOps on the horizon to display task level commitments for an iteration in teams?

Super Contributor

Other than list view it is a bit over glorified announcement. Well, combining To Do with Planner is kind of nice too. I was expecting something groundbreaking like assigning Teams  app itself do something :D

Visitor

Importing Tasks from MS Project or a link with MS Project Server would be helpful as well

New Contributor

Hi @Joanna Parkhurst - Looks promising. Will there be a way to have conversations about given tasks within Team channels e.g. with system created subject threads? Thanks.

Occasional Visitor

My excitement at this announcement is tempered by the lack of information on roll-out. Sometime in 2020 is best we can do? 

Super Contributor

Yeah, sometimes this means next November.. But this one seems easier to implement as it is only combining tasks from other existing services into a single view.

Occasional Contributor

Given that Teams will display tasks from Planner (work account) and To-Do (work or personal MS account) I'm guessing it will only show your To-Do tasks from the same work account you're signed in to? Or is there hope or a hint of being able to add more work accounts to Teams and seeing everything in a single pane? 

Essentially this will require To-Do users to move all their personal tasks to their work account in order to benefit from the integration if I'm reading it correctly. I'd like to use this but working across different tenants for clients/employer/personal use means I'll still have to plan where I log in to what and only be able to access personal tasks from one place :sad:

Visitor

With reference to Freddy's request to be able to connect to multiple accounts. The same issue is with the calendar when trying to schedule a meeting. It can connect to one calendar only. In order to work around the issue one has to use MS Outlook to see a consolidated overview - making the calendar function in Teams pretty much useless.

Senior Member

Agree with the rest of the folks here. Some information on timelines would be really helpful.

Occasional Visitor

While I'm sure this update is cool and all, I'm pretty sure it's the reason why our Planner is now broken.  As of Monday, descriptions for all tasks are invisible when a task is accessed via link.  Whatever you did, it's really putting a kink in our process flow.  Thanks.

Thanks for all of the responses! 

Here are a few answers to questions so far: 
1. TIMELINE: As far as timeline, we're aiming for the beginning of next year (hopefully Q1) but will share out more information as we get closer. What we demo'd at Ignite this past week is real working code! @CHRISTOPHER BUES @Oleg K @VM_123 

 

2. Integration with Azure Dev Ops: We don't have any integrations with Azure DevOps on our roadmap, but tasks from Azure DevOps have been a part of our ecosystem conversations! @DWCraig 

 

3. Integration with Microsoft Project: As far as integration with MS Project - the Project team is currently working on providing the ability to create a new project from a Planner plan. Check out more about the new Project for the Web here: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Project-Blog/The-new-Project-is-rolling-out/ba-p/909721  @rolandheller 

 

4. Conversations around tasks: Today in Teams you can start a conversation about a (Planner) tab by clicking on the message icon in the upper right-hand corner, but there isn't a way to create a Teams channel conversation about a specific task. Is that what you're thinking of? Like I could choose a conversation from a plan to start a conversation about in the same channel? @Ed Brown 

 

5. Seeing personal tasks and work tasks in Tasks: It will only show To Do tasks from the work account that you're signed into Teams with. We don't have any plans to have a 'single pane' for your work AND personal accounts, but I will share that feedback with the team! @rolandheller @Freddy Grande 

6. Issue with description field: We haven't released this new app yet, so I don't believe this announcement is connected with that issue. Are you still seeing this issue? @Cheryl Robbins 

Occasional Visitor

Looks great! Will this resolve the issue with max 11 people can be assigned to a single task?

Senior Member

@Joanna ParkhurstThanks for the responses! I didn't post these questions, but can I bump #4?

Adding the ability to have conversations around tasks would transform the usefulness of Planner. This might be achieved by adding @mentions to comments on tasks. As it is, we have to contact other team members through Teams or email directly to let them know we left a comment on Planner.

New Contributor

Hi @Joanna Parkhurst - Re. 4, yes, that's right: create a Teams channel conversation about a specific task. We do it manually currently by creating a new conversation thread on the channel with Subject set to be the task name and we paste a link to the task in the first line of the conversation thread. Then we add a link to the conversation thread as an attachment on the task (with Show On Card checked). This gives bi-directional links between tasks and their respective conversations, and it works great, but the manual setup for each task is annoying.

I also like the separate idea of a user being able to Follow a task and get notifications within Teams of task field updates.

Occasional Visitor

We are trying to make some business decisions surrounding task management and a virtual team.

With all the products on the market and the enormous amount of information we are all trying to understand, bringing all the bits unders a single banner would be most beneficial. I can see great power in Teams tasks, especially since Teams will now allow gmail accounts as an identity. 

 

We have tried to-do, and planner, but there are too many places for tasks to be setup.

 

Before we go and purchase a professional task management system, when will this feature be available?

Occasional Visitor
How will this work with tasks that are assigned to multiple people in Planner. Let's say we have a task called ClientA report that contains three subtasks (check-list items). 1. I assign myself and my co-worker and move it to a bucket called ActiveTasks 2. The main task goes in my, my co-workers or both of ours to-do-list? 3. If it goes into my co-workers to-do-list and when he's done with his part, he checks it as Done, then will the whole task be marked as done, even though it is assigned both to me and my co-worker, and there are subtasks that are not done? Trying to figure out how this will work in practice. Right now, if I assign myself and a co-worker a task, it only appears in the co-workers to-do-list and the whole Palnner task gets marked as done when he checkes it for his part. That is not a good solution. Could work if you could assign sub-tasks to separate persons, any plans for this?