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Microsoft

Whether you use to-do lists for work, school, or personal tasks, engaging with your tasks is key to a balanced schedule. Microsoft To Do syncs your tasks across your devices, whether you use Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, or the web. To Do is also integrated with the Microsoft 365 suite of applications, including Outlook and Teams.

 

In the first installment of our Six Tips series, we’ll focus on Windows 10 devices.

 

1. Pin to taskbar

You can now pin the Microsoft To Do app to your taskbar to quickly access your favorite lists. Whether you’re adding a new task or updating an existing one, a single click is all it takes.

You can turn this option on in the Settings page of To Do, or right-click on the app when it’s open and select Pin to taskbar.

 

You can pin to taskbar from SettingsYou can pin to taskbar from Settings

2. App badge notifications

With app badge notifications, you can get a sense of how many outstanding tasks you have without opening To Do. This visual reminder helps you keep an eye on your tasks even if you’re busy with something else. That way, you can ensure your important tasks don’t fall through the cracks.

 

We have two options for app badge notifications:

  1. Due today and overdue (default): The badge notification will show a count of both your tasks that are due today and the ones that are overdue.
  2. Added to My Day and not completed: The badge notification will show a count of all the tasks that you’ve added to My Day but haven’t completed yet.

Live update to badge notifications in the taskbarLive update to badge notifications in the taskbar

You can turn this option on from the Settings page, where you can also pick the badge notification type that best reflects your workstyle.

 

3. Using Live Tiles

Keep an eye on multiple lists from the Windows Start Menu. Live Tiles give you the latest status of your favorite to-do lists. Get started with Live Tiles.

 

Live Tiles on Windows Start MenuLive Tiles on Windows Start Menu

4. Assigning tasks in shared lists

When you want to delegate a task in a shared list, type @ to assign it to someone.

Type @ to assign a task to someoneType @ to assign a task to someone

5. Reminders and due dates for tasks

Between multitasking and the number of things going on at any given time, it’s easy to forget the tasks you want to complete. Instead of trying to remember, you can set up reminders and due dates for your tasks in To Do.

Reminders help you complete your tasks in timeReminders help you complete your tasks in time

6. Add context to your tasks

It’s sometimes hard to remember what a task is referring to. With these tips, you can quickly recall what a task is about.

  • Add #tags to your tasks to help categorize them.
    Categorize your tasks with #tagsCategorize your tasks with #tags
  • Make a few notes in the Add note section of a task to help you or someone else recall important points.
  • Attach files that might be relevant to the task.
    Add notes, attach files to your tasksAdd notes, attach files to your tasks

With these 6 tips we think you’ll find it easier to manage your tasks in Microsoft To Do on Windows. If you don’t use To Do yet, you can download it here. We can’t wait to hear what you think of these tips - let us know in the comments below or over on Twitter and Facebook. You can also write to us at todofeedback@microsoft.com.

10 Comments
Occasional Visitor

I really like Microsoft To Do.  But I often find items on one list that I want to move to another.  Please create a way to easily transfer items from one list to another.

 

It would also be helpful if a to do task has dates associated with it that it can be shared with Google Calendar...JD 

Microsoft

@John_Durbin With To Do on Windows you can easily move tasks by dragging and dropping in the desired list. You can also, right-click on a task and select 'Move task to' to move the task a particular list!

Super Contributor

I guess John meant steps. We want to be able to move steps between tasks. And.. web version is horrible :) Especially with dragging steps and tasks. I'm currently locked into using web version.

Occasional Contributor

MS Todo has some great features but their usefulness is severely restricted by the way they are implemented. The biggest issue is the default sort. Whenever I click on tags,  the resulting list is arranged in no logical order (I assume by Creation date, which is meaningless 99.9% of time). The whole idea of having a task management app is to make sure things get done on time, yet Due date is not being used as a default sorting method, and tasks that are coming due today or tomorrow are lost somewhere in between dozens of tasks due weeks from now. I simply don't understand why to this day it hasn't been fixed. Pretty much every other limitation or issue I can live with, but this one is, quite honestly, mind boggling. 

Occasional Contributor

Some other issues that largely take away functionality even though it exists in theory:

 

- Changing due date does not change alert time. There should be an option to move the alert if the task due date was changed. This results in too many steps needed to reschedule a task with an alert, so I avoid using alerts as much as possible. 

 

- My Day planning can only be done on the same day. Most people with busy work and personal lives don't have the time in the morning to do that (meetings to attend, problems to resolve) and plan their day the evening before. 

 

- Steps can't be synced with Outlook. If you share task lists with people in a large organization which uses Outlook as its main email client, can't use Steps. (And if the organization uses any other email and calendar client, no reason to pick ToDo over other task managers).

 

Essentially, the way this app is designed, it undermines itself. 

Super Contributor

Personally i have almost abandoned My Day and now mostly use Planned view and use Due date instead of reminders (still use them occasionally). You can set Due Date on other days and when you go to Planned you see tasks for current day first. There are requests on To Do UserVoice asking for setting up My Day tasks on other days. But this is my current workaround. To be honest, there can be cases when you want to move Due date, but still want to be reminded earlier, so changing alerts every time maybe not the only way.

Occasional Contributor

Yes, I am not using MyDay at all. It could be a neat feature, but I don’t have the luxury to spend half an hour in the morning planning my day every day, and I am not going to use it at all if I can only use it sometimes. I use Stars for this (which is not ideal either because they are tied to Outlook priority).

 

Reminders are necessary if you are on the move a lot throughout the day. Some days are just busier than others. I’d rather have reminders automatically adjust to the due date changes, and manually change back the few ones which I want to be reminded of on a particular day regardless of change in the due day, then the other way around (having the due date move by a week yet the reminder is still set too early).

 

However, my single biggest issue is the default sort by creation date in tag filter view. It takes away so much functionality that could be extremely useful had it been implemented right. I can’t even fathom who would even think of this, it’s almost like a stick twisted joke. 

Occasional Contributor

So, here's a typical order of tasks that I get when I click on a project tag. I only wrote down the order of due dates for these tasks, as they were arranged in the resulted view filtered by that tag. This project nears completion so I only have 7 tasks left in it, usually I have dozens of them.

 

Undated
9/2
8/31
8/14 (overdue)
9/2
9/4
9/1

 

How on earth am I supposed to use this output to plan my workload or check progress?  Especially when dealing with a larger number of tasks?  Making sense of this random pile is a task by itself.  The "Planned" view will have tasks from all projects, so while it's great to plan your day, it's not helping with planning or tracking a specific tag  (which may be a project, a person that the task is depending on, etc).  

 

This could be such a great functionality. Want to have a quick 5 minute sit down with Ken to track his group's progress and coordinate upcoming deliverables he owes you ? Click on #Ken, and get all of his tasks arranged in due date order.. oh, look, your group owed me this one last Friday, and this one is coming up tomorrow, are you going to be done then?  Your boss is asking you about upcoming major deadlines ?  Click on #Deadline and get a list of all of them across all projects, arranged in chronological order.

 

Instead, you're just left staring at a random pile of records, & feeling frustrated.

 

If any of MS people are reading this thread, PLEASE fix this one issue. The rest are all minor. This one is huge.

Occasional Visitor

Is there no way to filter Planned on Desktop App?  I can filter this week only on iOS.

Occasional Visitor

One of the thinks that Microsoft changed in the original program, Wunderlist it was to remove the comments in the tasks without understanding the importance of the comments. 

This days apps like WhatsApp, Viber and other apps took over the chatting word (at list in eastern Europe) and this was a opportunity to Microsoft to have a pie of the chatting word as the comments were used to chat by the teams using Wunderlist to manage their tasks, in real time were notifications and you could reply on the chat same as a chatting app. No other chatting app offered this, to manage tasks and chat in the same time.

 

I used Wunderlist for over 4 years, when comments were taken off my Microsoft we find someway to keep going the chatting using groups made by ToDoList in WhatsApp but definitively it has not the same potential, Wunderlist had comments date and hour recorded, you can follow up on the chatting on the task from the first comment and see the task progress. 

 

To improve the app Microsoft has to get back the comments, sub-tasks assigned to list members to collaborate the tasks add Skype calls in to the List Members including Video Calls Conference Rooms like Zoom.  

 

To understand the potential of the ToDo i will give you a example of how we use the app in a small business that distribute casino gaming equipment. 

 

We Have the several Lists, each list hast members only that are involved in the tasks

- Technial - all field repairs - dispatch is opening tasks on the Desktop app, on the field the technicians get the notification on the phone app and fallow the taks and close it when completed

- Administrative - all administrative staff from broken pipes in the building to purchase toilet paper 

- Sales - each sale lead is opened as task and closed when sell is completed

- Orders to vendors - all orders to vendors opened as tasks, closed when received

- Installations - all installations of new equipment are recorded as tasks, closed when completed 

- Parts from warehouse - each time a technician takes a part from warehouse beside his normal stock in his service car a task is opened, when part returned or receipt of use task is closed

- Cars - all cars insurance, DMV checks, technical issues, etc are recorded and reminded 

- Software changes - each time we change the software in the field for a slot machine a task is opened 

 

Beside this each member of the team uses the ToDo for his own private lists with his family for groceries etc.