Create trackable tasks from your ad hoc Teams messages

Published Jun 14 2021 07:00 AM 7,353 Views
Senior Member

Tasks happen everywhere. They can pop up in an email thread, working file, or team chat—really, wherever you work most often. But ad hoc tasks like this are disruptive and often forgotten. We’ve all been there: you promise yourself (maybe even out loud) that you’ll definitely remember so-and-so’s request only to forget it a minute later.

 

That’s why one of our goals at Microsoft is to help you quickly capture those kinds of informal tasks the moment they happen. We’ve done this for emails in Outlook and comments in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint docs—and starting today, you can create tasks from Microsoft Teams messages on desktop and web.

 

This update also addresses one of the most requested asks from customers. Before, lots of people were using third-party apps or creating Power Automate flows to convert Teams asks to tasks; now, that conversion is natively built into the Teams experience.

 

Converting a Teams message into a task on desktop or web is super easy: hover over the message, select the ellipses () from the pop-out menu > More actions > Create task.

 

createtasks.gif

A task created this way opens a pop-out window directly in Teams for editing its details. Here, you can choose to add your task to the default Tasks list in To Do or a specific Planner plan. Added tasks will show up in both Tasks in Teams and the standalone To Do or Planner apps. The editable task details are slightly different depending on which option you select:

 

  • If you add the task to the To Do Tasks list, you can edit the task name, priority, due date, and notes.
  • If you add the task to a Planner plan, you can edit the task name, priority, due date, notes, progress, and bucket. You can also assign the task and decide whether to post a reply about it to the original Teams message thread.

 

Task editing options for adding your task to the To Do Tasks list (left) and a Planner plan (right)Task editing options for adding your task to the To Do Tasks list (left) and a Planner plan (right)

 

But you’re busy, and this might seem like a lot to fill out for a simple task—especially if you don’t know all the details up front. That’s why Teams auto-populates the task name and notes fields for you, getting your task in the queue right away so it’s not forgotten while you wait on more information. The default name matches the first paragraph of the message, while the default notes field includes details from and a link to the original message.

 

Choosing to post a reply helps everyone on your team track the task and keeps those assigned to it accountable. This option produces a short summary graphic in the original Teams message with a button to open the task in the Tasks app, where you can manage that task in the context of your Tasks list or the underlying Planner plan.

 

Summary graphic from posting a reply about the created taskSummary graphic from posting a reply about the created task

This new way to capture tasks is perfect for tracking requests that come out of informal Teams messages and gives your team additional control and confidence over ad hoc requests. If your team asks a question you can’t answer without more research, convert that ask into a task. If your manager pings you for updated sales numbers, assign that ask to your sales lead as a task. If a colleague needs help finishing her presentation, get your entire team involved to deliver it on time. Tasks from Teams messages automatically appear alongside your other tasks in the Tasks app and To Do or Planner, so you can nix the sticky notes and instead manage all your tasks together. Plus, creating tasks out of ad hoc requests relieves the stress of trying to remember (or find) what was asked of you—all those requests are in one place.

 

Bonus coverage! Creating tasks from Teams messaging isn’t the only Tasks app news this month. You can now delete and rename any task from Planner and To Do directly in Tasks. Before, you had to do this from each standalone app.    

 

We’d love to hear your thoughts on other ways we can help you capture tasks from wherever you’re working. Post a comment below with your ideas or feedback. You can also send us feature suggestions and report a problem directly in Teams: simply select Help in the button left corner of the app and choose the best option for your input. And keep visiting our Tech Community Blog for all the latest Tasks in Teams and Planner news.

12 Comments
Contributor

Tested, looks great, nice to have feature. Thank you.

Frequent Contributor

Looks really great. Been waiting for this a long time. Question: For the Tasks App in Teams, is there a plan to add in the 'My Day' view from To Do? I use that view a lot in To Do. It is on the UserVoice here (not many votes though!) include to-do "my day" functionality in planner tasks – Welcome to UserVoice!

Senior Member

@Andrew Gilleran - Thanks for using the new feature! As for including the My Day view in the Tasks app, this is something we're looking into but there's no timeline for its development yet. 

Occasional Visitor

Great feature! I'm not seeing all the Teams that have plans in the "Create in" drop down, is there something I need to do to ensure that they show up in the drop down? For example there are Teams that have plans, that I am the owner of, that do not appear in the drop down.

I'm excited for this! I'm having the same issue as @helenbarna

Frequent Contributor

Excellent news - next would be good to browse/search for tasks using a compose messaging extension...just like you can do with DevOps integration and others

 

Where's the Planner compose extension in Teams? - Microsoft Tech Community

  • A big thing missing is a modern way to have a conversation around a task, just like we do with document conversations in Teams
Senior Member

@helenbarna and @charles_edwards: Glad to hear you're excited about the feature! But sorry you're running into issues. Would you mind posting screenshots of 1) the "Create in" menu and 2) the Teams channels that host the missing plans? If you'd rather not share that information publicly here, please send this account a direct message with those screenshots. To do that, select this username, then select "Message" in the upper-right corner. Our engineering team will take a look at your screenshots and respond accordingly. 

charles_edwards_0-1625152738756.png

 

Screenshot 2.png

screenshot 3.png

charles_edwards_1-1625152850228.png

 

Occasional Visitor

@PlannerTeam@charles_edwards As I was taking screen shots, I realized that the teams that weren't showing up were "hidden" teams. Even though I had a Team pinned at the top, it was also hidden. As soon as I un-hid them they appeared in the list. Thanks :)

Occasional Visitor

@PlannerTeam great feature. 

One question if I may - is there anyway (or anything on the roadmap) to allow me to create a task that can be assigned but without needing to use a Planner (and therefore create a new Team). 

My use case must be fairly standard - I have a non reoccurring meeting with an adhoc group of people. We come together, agree some actions that we want to track and ultimately review that people have done those actions. Currently I have to create a new Microsoft Team for what ultimately could be a one off meeting - this seems overkill and doesn’t help with Teams Governance issues. 

Why can’t new Plans be created associated with a meeting or chat as opposed to needing to be assigned to a new Team? Any workarounds? 

Thanks so much - I love Planner but having to constantly create a new Team to get the most out of it just kills the experience for me. 

@PlannerTeam Any update with my issues? Thanks in advance.

Frequent Visitor

Like the idea of this feature. Works well in chat messages at creating a task from those discussions, but seems to be very hit or miss for me when I am trying to create a task from a Teams message when in a channel and selecting specific plan in Planner to add it to. I am getting a can not create your task and try again error message the majority of the time I try to create a task from a post within a channel and add

 

 

 

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