Bring your plans to life with guests in Planner

Published 05-04-2018 04:01 PM 32.3K Views

Hello and happy Friday!


As all of us on the Planner team work to better understand how to create a product that encourages effective teamwork, we think a lot about what it means to work in a team. We think about the tasks and activities teams might want to accomplish. We think about how individuals within a team communicate. And most often, we think about how teams organize and track their work. Until recently, our mental model of what a "team" is revolved around 'groups of individuals within a shared organization'. This is a comfortable definition to make design decisions around, but the more we listened to Planner users and thought about what our own team looks like, the more we realized that this is not a perfect model. 


In practice, a "team" can consist of a lot of different people. One of which is individuals from outside your organization. So, we set out to make sure that teams with guests can also use Planner to get organized and reach their goals!


How does this work? What can guests do and not do? Here's a support article to learn more: Guest access in Microsoft Planner


In addition to guests being able to use Planner, we will soon be delivering the ability to add a guest from within Planner. Here's a support article that explains how this will work: Add a guest member to a plan


We hope this will help bring all of your goals, events, and ideas to life with Planner! Let us know what you think of guest access and how your team works together below!





I hope more information about manage the guests on Microsoft Planner, for security.

Occasional Visitor

Me and my associates are so excited to use this. Thank you for bringing guest access to planner Jo!!

Occasional Visitor

Planner has really made it so much easier to work on projects with people outside my company. Managing tasks is so natural and easy with guests. Thanks for making it happen team!

Not applicable

Good News, i hope MS have more projects for Planner, this is a very helpful tool and integrated in our Office Pack 

Not applicable

Hello  ! 


Good news ! But i can't try with Microsoft Teams. 

My guest can't open my plan in my teams. 


Do you have more informations ? Thank you

Occasional Contributor

A guest can change channel name, can create new task but cannot comment!?!?!?

It make no sense...

Not applicable

Been waiting for this. Awesome update MS!!!


Congratulations Planner team on making this first important inroad into shifting mental models away from traditional organisational hierarchies to network-based team, and for granting outside team members access to Planner. This is an important first step as organisations are strategically making choices about what capabilities they will and will not develop themselves, leading them to choose to access specialist capabilities that aren't core to the organisation but which are essential to project success, externally.

Because teams are more and more composed of people from outside traditional organisational boundaries I suggest you continue evolving your mental models, and perhaps the language you use in thinking about teams.

People from outside the organisation might very well be guests from one perspective - let's call that mental model 'a' - but they are fully fledged members from a project perspective - mental model 'b'. As @Renato Pereira notes, granting them access to Planner is essential (mental model 'b') but limiting their access by specifically not giving a project owner capability to assign the same permissions as they are able to assign to an internal team member is really a decision that appears based on mental model 'a'.

To help with the evolution of you mental models, perhaps you could drop the nomenclature 'guest' and instead call all members 'members'. If it is an imperative from a technology perspective to distinguish internal from external members after they have been granted access to the project, then a symbolic attribute might prove to be just as effective.

I have created a suggestion on UserVoice here.

Not applicable

This is exciting news!!!


Will the invitation email message that goes out to guests be updated so it shows information about Planner?



Established Member

Essential upgrade for ANY collaborative software. Agree with Tim Paul on the mental model and need to move to 'b' mode more appropriate for people-centric organisations and working across disciplines

Not applicable

My guests are getting a  401 Unauthorized error when trying to access Planner on a Teams Tab. Is this a current issue or is it something that still needs to be developed?


Occasional Contributor

My guest cannot use the planner app to see their tasks or assign tasks to other people in my team. You guys have granted full access to the teams app for guests but not done so for the planner app. Since planner is an essential tool for Teams, this for me means this solution is incomplete. They can only work from a desktop computer when we know the importance of having mobility at the workplace. I hope you can do the same you did for the teams app for the planner app, and give this product a big boost in it's capabilities. 

Occasional Visitor

I just tried using this feature. But when adding the guest user, they still receive the email with link to conversations and the sharepoint site created for the planner. No link for the plan is provided. There is also no link in the sharepoint site to the plan either.

MSA accounts can be Guest users (Just like other B2B) but they cannot sign in to Planner?

Frequent Visitor

I'm excited for guest access to planner. However, without the ability to comment on tasks, it's complete show-stopper. Please tell me this is coming soon and was not a design decision. 

Regular Visitor

Greater feature! Work allot with external consultants that I now can bring in to Planner. As stated earlier we really need them to be able to comment though. Being able to comment is a natural way to report on a task that is still in progress.

Occasional Visitor

It's not working for me...any thoughts?


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Occasional Visitor

Same for me as for Elijah Purcell. However, I put in a complete emailaddress. Both single name and emailaddress did not work for me. 

Occasional Contributor

Testing this today. A few things that appear to need improvement.

1) Adding a guest from within Planner is still not working (see post from Elijah Purcell)

2) Adding a guest can be accomplished using Outlook on the Web (BTW, WHY couldn't you guys just leave it named Outlook Web App, urrrhhh!!). This is essentially adding the user to the associated SharePoint site. The email that the guest receives does not have a link to the Planner site, all links are to the SharePoint site (see post from Alberto Ovalles). This is confusing and clunky as the proper URL has to be manually constructed and re-sent in a separate email.


It's close to 6 months since these issues were first mentioned here. Joanna, what's the ETA on getting these issues resolved?

Occasional Visitor

Tried adding a provider from outside the organization directly from Planner but still doesn't work

Occasional Visitor

I'm very much liking Teams and Planner in particular, and with the new Admin panel in Office 365, enabling external and guest user access rights and permissions is easy (although it seems to take a loooong time to take effect). 

The issue I'm facing is that guest users cannot see tasks assigned to them in their Planner app.  We have 3 separate companies, all using Microsoft Office 365, and each creating Teams and plans in Planner (with a mix of internal and guest users).  The only tasks that appear in Planner for each user are those that are within plans inside their own company.  All tasks from the other two don't appear.  The only way to view them is to log into Teams for that company, as a guest, and open the specific plan and apply the filter.  This affects the web interface, desktop app and also mobile app.  This makes it very difficult and almost unusable to collaborate on tasks with guests, as they don't know what has been assigned to them or when it is due.

I personally don't have any of my own plans, but am assigned tasks by other companies.  When I open Planner it's therefore empty, and when I try to open any of the plans on my mobile it says the link is invalid or I don't have the appropriate permissions.

@Joanna Parkhurst I'm hoping I'm missing something.  Is this a known issue?  Is there a solution or is it being fixed (and when)?

Thank you for any replies and support.

Occasional Visitor

I am wondering why are guests not notified via email if they have a task??? This is a no brainer in my opinion. Companies often work with people outside of their own organization. The email is trusted and added to the Team. There are tasks assigned to this external vendor but he never get's a trigger via email??

This makes Teams useless in my opinion when you work with people outsid eof your own organization?


Can you please respond why this not allowed and if you are working on enabling this?



Occasional Visitor

I have been invited as a guest to a Planner, how do I get it visible in my own planner app, and how do I get the tasks get assigned visible in "my tasks"

Occasional Contributor

Hi @Richard_E70,


I'm using MS Teams to create channels and invite guests, so on this we have a 'Planner' tab where he can manage tasks.

I realize that if he delete one, that task disappear only to him but not for me (owner of task); but whe he post some notes/comments, I don't receive email alerts.

Senior Member

Dear Microsoft,


can we can the Admin restrictions for deleting tasks and buckets? 


Tnx! :)

Occasional Visitor

My guests are not getting email notifications for tasks on Planner in Teams. I have turned emails on and ran tests but its not working. This is vital in the coordination use with external consultants I'm using it for. Is there a fix?


Sometimes seems that MS allow students to create apps and they cannot move forward as a true business app

Occasional Contributor

Is that possible the guest do note receive notifications even if they manage it ?! 



Frequent Visitor

Would be great if it worked, but it doesn't.   Even adding external users to groups doesn't work well.  When they finally receive the welcome message, it does not agree with the instructions above;  perhaps the instructions are outdated.  The instructions say that the guest can email the group, go to Sharepoint, Go to the Shared Notebook, or Remember your group.  These are in fact not what the group guest is supposed to be able to do.  He/she is supposed to only be able to access Planner.  So right off the bat, the whole procedure is messed up.


Signing up for a Microsoft account gives the guest user access immediately to the entire Group and its files, which are highly private.  Telling people that they should then go to a specific URL to access the Planner after they have navigated through a confusing sign-up process is just not workable.  In any event, when they try that, it still doesn't work.  So basically, it was a huge headache that doesn't work, and a waste of time.


Microsoft should be able to do better.

Established Member

The planner for guest does work when they login and go to the channel planner and there they will see their tasks. My problem is that the guest does not receive an email in their email saying that they have a task assigned to them. Will the guest not working every day on my planner to see the task assigned to them they will not know about the task. 


Is the email notification working for guests? 




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‎May 04 2018 04:09 PM
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