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New updates to Planner comment notifications and settings

We’ve received a lot of great feedback on Planner notifications from our users, and over the last few months we’ve rolled out some updates to address this feedback. Here’s more information about the specific changes: 

 

Improvements on who receives task comment email notifications

Previously, whenever a user posted a task comment, a notification was sent to the inbox of all plan members subscribed to the plan’s group. This meant lots of users received comment notifications on tasks not relevant to them. Due to this behavior, a common refrain we’ve heard from customers is “I’ve started using Planner, but these task comment notification emails are too much!” We’ve recently rolled out an update to Planner’s integration with Groups to directly address this.


This update changes the behavior so that users will no longer receive comment notification emails in their inbox for tasks they have never commented on.  Therefore, if you have never commented on a Planner task, and have no plans to comment on it in the future, you should never receive a comment notification in your inbox for said task.


However, when you do post a comment on a task, you will receive email notifications in your inbox for each subsequent comment made on that task (even for comments made by other users). We believe this behavior better scopes the notification audience to those who are most relevant to the task.


Please note that the above behavior only applies to task comments submitted from within the Planner apps. If you choose to “reply all” to the comment notification email (in Outlook or another email client) to add a task comment, all plan members will receive a comment notification email.


You can still check the group mailbox to see the email notifications for every task comment made in a plan.

 

Adding more context to the comment notifications

The email subject line for comment notifications now includes the task name and clearly notes its contents. (Pro tip: you can now construct email rules to route comment notifications to a specific folder since the subject line should always contain the words “comments on task”).


Within the email notification itself, we’ve included the task and plan associated to the comment, as well as deep links for users to directly open the task in Planner to reply. These links are located at the end of the email. (Pro tip: If you choose to reply to the email notification to add a comment, make sure not to reply all if you don’t want your comment to send a notification to all plan members!)

 

Screenshot of email notification for first task commentThis email notification is sent for the first comment on a task.
Screenshot of email notification for replies to commentsThis email notification is sent for each reply to a task comment.

 

Improved plan notification settings

Our team has updated our notification settings to more cleary define what each options does and makes it easier to configure your notifications.

 

For each plan, opening the “Plan settings” under the “…” menu will show the group email settings for said plan. This is where a group owner can control whether group email notifications are sent when a task is completed or assigned. We’ve also added some information to help guide users to their “group settings” if they want to stop all group email messages from reaching their inbox. Since the options under “group email settings” apply on a per plan basis, a user must visit Plan settings for each plan they are a member of to adjust them. 


PlanSettings.PNGPlan settings screenshot

 

We’ve also added a link to “Planner notification settings” inside Plan settings. This link directs the users to where they can adjust their preferences for the types of notifications which are sent to them across all their plans. 

 

Notification Settings2.PNGPlanner notification settings screenshot

 

 

For more information on how our notifications work, please consult our Planner notifications help article.


Let us know what you think about these updates below, and as always please submit ideas for improving Planner through our UserVoice page.

 

11 Comments
Contributor

Sounds like a great start at making this more usable, @Charlie Tran! Please pass along thanks to the team that made this happen. Hoping you'll continue with the other suggestions in uservoice like getting emailed on comments on cards you're assigned to, being able to tag people to cause them to get an email (if they so select in an options menu somewhere to receive emails when tagged in a planner card), opt in and opt out of following conversations on a given card (or all cards in a plan)... in addition to / overriding the opt-in-by-commenting feature!

Regular Contributor

Love the changes. Agree with @Ian Bruckner - need the ability to @Tag people in the team in the conversation. (i'd prefer all conversation moves to Teams, but I get not all Planner users are Teams users.)

Regular Visitor

I agree with @Ed Hansberry   In general, email notifications are a step backwards from information centralization.  Planner needs a robust in-app notifications center that gathers all activity in the system, so we can catch up right in the app.  We also need the ability to drive Planner notifications into the Teams activity stream.  With those two improvements we will be able to disable email notifications completely.

Is this already implemented? Although I disabled the notification feature for the whole group, it's still sending e-mails to 75 people. Really frustrating and annoying. 

Contributor

@Ed Hansberry & @Bruce Cannon - I agree - it would be neat for the planner notifications to function more like teams conversations. However, I do strongly feel they deserve to be obviously tied to individual cards to keep the conversation relevant to the reason it exists (and so you can refer and find it easily in the future w/in the plan).... pretty close to how "tab conversations" work. I'm not sure I'd agree that email should disappear entirely, though I do think individuals should be able to choose settings for notifications around planner cards quite the same way they can choose their own personal options for teams conversations.

 

Also... seems like they're headed in that direction still. I just dug up the specific user-voice entry and saw this:

 

Based off the feedback we’ve received so far, we have plans to address the following notification asks in the future:

1. Additional notification settings so you can choose how to receive your notifications (email, mobile push, etc.)
2. The ability to follow a task or plan and receive notifications when they change
3. Notifications when you are @mentioned in a task
4. Notifications within Teams

Occasional Visitor

Hi everybody, 

 

i need some help! I need to move a trello board into planner, u know how i can move a Json trello board to Planner? easy and free :D

 

Thank U

 

AL

Occasional Visitor

Can you please, please incorporate a setting that sends email notification updates to all users who are 'assigned' on a task?

 

This would avoid the following scenario that leaves me frequently banging my head against the desk:

 

  • Colleague A assigns Collague B a task in Planner
  • Colleague B receives email notifying them that task has been assigned to them.
  • Colleague A leaves a comment on the task asking for an update from Colleague B
  • Colleague B doesn't receive an email notification because they haven't yet commented on the task, and is not aware that Colleague A needs an update.
  • Colleague A chases up Colleague B by email asking them to look at the task in Planner.

 

Very simple update and easily accounted for I hope...

 

Regular Contributor

Is it just me or is there no way to turn off notifications for a specific task? I'd like a link in the email that says "Stop notifiying me about this particular task" when I don't want the task removed from what I am monitoring (I'm usually assigned to) but I don't need the blow by blow commentary.

Contributor

Is the best way to include others into task comments, to simply CC them?  Then if they respond, they will continue seeing comments from that point on?

 

How can I include someone to see the entire task history and comments from the start when they have not been assigned the task?

 

Id prefer not to ask them to have to monitor the group mailbox.

Occasional Visitor

As Cameron LUND also mentioned, we really need an option for Assignees to receive notifications when comments are added to Planner. It's almost useless without it as you then have to mention them in Teams or send an email.

Regular Visitor

I agree with @Ian Bruckner If you are assigned to a task you really need to know if there are comments made on your task. Am I’m missing something, why would you not want notifications in that scenario.