A little over a month ago, the Planner team was in Orlando for Microsoft Ignite talking to users about their experience and learning what we can do to deliver an even better experience. We also had a joint breakout session with the Microsoft To-Do team and delivered our vision for the future of the task at Microsoft. For those who couldn't attend, this blog will share our review and news from the event and our roadmap for the next quarter.
Planner and To-Do Breakout Session
Our primary presentation at Ignite was a presentation of our vision for the future of the task in Office 365, including the latest updates to Microsoft To-Do and Microsoft Planner. We even debuted a demo for a bi-directional integration between Planner and To-Do!
Ignite Expo Review
There were so many great conversations this year relating to how people use Planner, what they want to see next, and general questions about features and availability. Here are the greatest hits from those conversations:
Microsoft Teams integrations
Our vision for the Planner integration in Microsoft Teams will continue to become reality over the next year. Many Planner users asked about when and how they can access their Teams-specific plans from the Planner web app. We are working towards being able to access Teams plans from the Planner web app, which should ship in the first quarter of 2018.
Multiple plans per group
Relatedly, users want to be able to create multiple plans per group, and we are also working towards that functionality as well, targeted for the first half of 2018. This feature will enable users to create new plans within existing groups, opening many more usage scenarios for Planner - more on that when we're closer to shipping.
Mobile app onboarding into Microsoft Intune
Microsoft Intune is a cloud-based solution for management of mobile apps and devices. IT Admins can now manage Planner across iOS and Android mobile devices with Intune.
Mobile SSO + Mobile deep link
We have made two enhancements to the Planner mobile app to provide a smooth and seamless experience between Microsoft mobile apps. First, we enabled single sign-on to prevent the need to sign into Planner if you are already signed into a Microsoft enterprise mobile app, and second, we created a deep link between Planner and other Microsoft apps to enable a quick transition that is nearly unnoticeable. For example, clicking on a plan from the Microsoft Teams mobile app will bring you quickly into the Planner mobile experience without missing a beat.
For tasks that multiple people need to complete, we have released the capability to copy a task within a plan. As seen in the image below, you can select which fields within the task that you want to copy, and the new task will surface in the same bucket.
At Ignite, we shared our near-term roadmap for Planner during our presentation. For those who couldn’t attend, here is the rundown:
Updates to assignment notifications and due date reminders
There are a number of updates coming to Planner notifications that improve the user experience. Planner will send individual email notifications directly to the assignee(s) of a task. If a task has a due date, Planner will also send due date reminders starting a week before a task is due. Users will be able to select their notification preferences in Planner settings to make sure that they’re only receiving notifications that they want to receive.
Users will be able to publish an iCalendar feed for a plan or my tasks and view tasks in your Outlook (and other mail clients) calendar.
The new schedule view – a very hot topic at Ignite – will enable users to both drag and drop tasks on the calendar to create start and due dates, as well as view all plan tasks on a calendar to have a visual cue of how much work is being done in the plan at a given time.
External user access
Many users have asked us about external user access – inviting users outside of the Office 365 tenant to join the plan – and it’s something we look forward to delivering.
Groups naming policy
In line with overall Office 365 Groups policies, customers will see updates to naming policy, enabling admins to determine names for Office 365 Groups (and associated plans).
Microsoft Teams My Tasks App
As we work towards having a full featured Planner experience within Microsoft Teams, we will deliver the My Tasks page to Teams, via Teams’ apps functionality.
Removing task limits from Microsoft Planner
Many users have asked about overall task limits within Planner, and by the end of December, we will have removed all functional limits to tasks. When users open their Planner boards, we will surface the tasks that are most relevant to them and provide options to fetch older tasks as needed.
We look forward to continuing the conversation on the Tech Community page and thank you all who could make it to Ignite this year!
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