How should we improve Labels in Planner?


Hello Tech Community!


The Planner Team is constantly striving to provide excellent service by adding and improving on existing features. We have noticed a need on improving upon labels, but would like to gather more feedback in order to get better understanding of your needs.  


We would like to learn more about how you utilize labels, specifically:  

1) How do you use labels to organize your work?   

2) How many labels do you need?  

3) Would you like an ability to customize colors? If so, how would you use it?  

4) How would you like labels to appear on task cards? 

5) Is there anything else would you like to add in regards to labels?  


Let us know what you think in the comments below!


The Planner Team  

15 Replies
Hi! Thank you for reaching out to the community about feature feedback!

My personal opinion is that the colors should be customizable or at least you can change order on the labels!

It would also be nice to be able to visualize label tagged tasks with the corresponding color on card somehow or some more visual way than today!

@Joanna Parkhurst 
Hello there, thanks for reaching out to the users :)

1) I do three main different jobs in my work - Let's say application, animation and movie. So i tag respective task with one of the labels. Also, I use one for 'other', one for 'holidays' and I have one left.
2) For now it's 5, but if I'd like to include other members in my company, I'd need around 10, but we are small company.
3) Yes, we use in our company different colors for different products, eg. animation is somewhere near cyan, and application a pinkish one. It's additional, organizing thing, not neccessary, but nice.
4) Task title could be in label color. But most important, on the schedule view, I'd love to have tasks colored as labelled. Work in progress colouring isn't necessary, as we have icon for it.
5) Yes, moving them up and down :) But the most important thing for me is using it more to separate different tasks, based on labels. A must have for me is an option to make label color appear on the schedule view, like on the printscreen (I managed to color it through personal CSS using Stylish add-on).

@Joanna Parkhurst We create tasks that are relevant in a number of different ways to our teams.  For example, I might ask someone from a team containing say 30 people to resolve a customer technical issue.  This issue might be relevant to other customers too so it is worth thinking about that.  It may also be something that we might then blog about to generate work in this regard.  If it is such an interesting issue then we might discuss it at our team meeting.  We used to use asana and we would tag the above task with the following tags/labels:


  • Customer query (we would then collate all tasks tagged as such onto a customer query workflow board)
  • Jeff's tasks (we can then identify all tasks of any nature assigned to Jeff)
  • Ongoing product development (a board full of ideas to develop in future)
  • Blog ideas
  • Team meeting agenda items

One of the weaknesses on planner is that I can't tag tasks with multiple tags as per the above to slice and dice the whole pool of tasks to arrive at individual task lists or marketing, blog, technical lists as described above.  We would therefore like to have as many custom tags and labels as possible.




1) How do you use labels to organize your work?  

We use buckets to indicate the Responsible Team member. We assign all team members who work on a task to that task which sits in a person's bucket. We use labels to tag the domain of the task...for example, the task is to develop a training calendar. Luke is accountable so the task sits in his bucket. Luke and Ian and Ty have to work on the task so they are all assigned that task. The task is in the domain of workforce engagement and training, so it gets two Labels. 


2) How many labels do you need?  

We will need about a dozen labels. Most tasks will have about 3 labels assigned.

3) Would you like an ability to customize colors? If so, how would you use it?  

We would like to be able to drag the colors of labels around, so that blue or red could be at the top, not just pink.

4) How would you like labels to appear on task cards? 

We like how labels appear currently. Perhaps a little bit bigger/more bold.

5) Is there anything else would you like to add in regards to labels? 

@Joanna Parkhurst 

I use the Planner to manage a work 'pipeline' for a team. I use labels to be able to select appropriate views for different audiances. By Supplier or by works area and also to focus on work targeted for completion in the current delivery period. As there are so few labels then I use a hash tag in the Task title together with the text search filter to focus the view on differnet works areas, projects, work-packages etc. But I would rather not have to use this method as it is not possible to OR as it is with the Labels. I would like to have n+1 labels. The current visual layout is fine for me. I need to restrict others from changing the labels. I would like to allow users some freedom to add 'user' labels for particular uses. Thanks

@Mateusz Szuter 


+1 for

4) Task title could be in label color. But most important, on the schedule view, I'd love to have tasks colored as labelled. Work in progress colouring isn't necessary, as we have icon for it.

@Joanna Parkhurst 


Was looking at the use of labels in conjunction with some "rules" - would like to define some rules that would change between labels similar to what can be done with Jira. Particularly wanting to designate a label based on when last updated, for example.

Hello. As it is not possible to customize the "progress", we are using labels instead with our own progress steps. Therefore we are using the group by label function all the time. However, recently, many more labels have been added (such as, light green, teal, magenta, etc) and now the group by label has become very chaotic. We could really use the option to remove the labels which we do not use. Thank you for your consideration.

@Joanna Parkhurst 


As long-time users of the Office Suite, we're delighted to begin using To Do, Planner and Project to gain needed efficiency across our business. Most of our initial preparation has been organizing Planner for our Leadership Team's usage. In so doing, we've found the following three short-comings that would be easy improvements to code and would provide high value for us. PLEASE CONSIDER ASAP!


1 - Open the full task window when adding a new task.

The user experience is widely reported in forums as being annoyingly clumsy. What we, and many community posts, are asking for is a simple one-click open of the full task window. Today, we can only add 3 bits of data to the initial screen. When this proves too limiting, as it has with the 95% of the first 75 tasks we've added, we then have to click away from the add 

1st click - add task, opens new task where we can only enter Task Name, Due Date, and Assign. This is the real problem because in our first 75 tasks we've needed to add more than these three limited fields to virtually 100% of our new tasks. Why not give us full access on this so we can use all the available fields? It wouldn't hurt anyone if this was the default. We could all use as many fields as we would like. But, because this is the case, then we have to proceed as follows to get to the full screen for every new task.

2nd click - Add Task - closes this new task and takes you to a possible next new task...with no way to easily open the new one you had just created.

3rd click - Click previously created new task to open it - result simply closes the new task box

4th click - 2nd time click previously created new task to open and edit it - result opens task where you can finally get to all the fields as desired.

Summary - Clicks 2, 3, and 4 could all be eliminated by having Click 1 simply open the full task window.


2 - Allow Users to control Label Sorting instead of forcing sort by recently used.

Again we find many posts that share our view that it is very annoying that labels order is only sorted by recently used. In our case, we have defined the following 7 stages of development that we want to use, which would be very helpful visually. Because these stages are SEQUENTIAL, we want/need them to stay in our defined order for easy selection. 





5-Pending Publish




Unfortunately, what the sort by recent does to our list is quite messy as the following shows.







5-Pending Publish


Summary, please let us sort by A-Z, or even more simply turn the recent sort OFF so the default order just stays unchanged.


3 - Reduce the excess space used by each Comment in the log. 

Simply, there is way too much space used around each Comment. This wasted space means that our logs are much longer than is necessary to scroll down through. 

Summary, making the Comment logging space more compact would increase the ease of use.


Many thanks for considering our requests. 1 and 2 are big deals for us!

Please arrange for a MS 365 group that there is one coordinated set of labels across all teh plans that are used in that Group, this would then alloe tasks to be moved across plans and teh labels reatained and impose some level of management of labels, as opposed to teh free for all at the moment - or maybe have an option for no control and control :)
Hello planner team,

I believe it would be great the user could choose the number of labels, their colors and the order they will appear on the top of the task.

Number of labels: the need of labels vary a lot depending on the project.
Color changing: the way to use colors also vary a lot depending on the project. Sometimes I wish to have more red labels, for exemple, because it would be connected with the logic of a group of labels. So, making it free for the user to customize would be a perfect solution.
Organization of the labels: The position of the labels on the top of card is perfect! But sometimes the label that matter most is not the first of the list. So, it would be great that we could change the position of the labels between themselves.

Best Regards!

Paula Vasconcelos

@Joanna Parkhurst 


Good Morning Joanna,


I appreciate that the MS Planner Team has been making the efforts to reach out to the Planner community.


A couple things I would like to see. I've noticed a lot of the functions mentioned in previous comments have been implemented. I would hope to see the following:


1. For the actual 'Card', is it possible to change/manipulate its appearance either with Solid Colours, Gradiant Colours or Custom images, instead of just plain white cards, as well with the coloured labels? Even the option for a light grey so it is a little easier on the eyes.

2. For the MS Planner application in SharePoint, you are provided some backgrounds to use, but they aren't necessarily appropriate for our team, and would appreciate the ability to customize the background colour of the application, either with Solid/Gradient Colour or a custom background. 


Thank you for your consideration, and I hope to see these recommendations be considered into future production updates


Kris Smith

@Joanna Parkhurst 


We use all 25 colors.

I'd love to duplicate colors. We have categories across our teams. It would be nice to add additional category and assigned person as the same color.

We need to be able to customize the colors. 



@Joanna Parkhurst In a project management context we use MSPlanner to record tasks that apply to approximately 100 different lines of effort, including about 60 different products, and about 40 different process categories.   We use the Buckets to create a Kanban board (Backlog/To do/Doing/Blocked/Done), so that we can analyse where my team is stuck, and reallocate tasking or resources when certain lines of effort become higher priority.  (we use the 'assign to' file for humans).   We are used to dealing with the 'infinite' number of tags/labels available in Outlook (which is how we were previously tracking tasks).  Most tasks have one label, however some tasks will have multiple labels (such as relating to product X, product Y and process )


At the moment, we are stuck because at 25 labels, we can only label the first 25 lines of effort.


Right now we need at least 100 labels, however I'd suggest it should be an infinite bucket.  Setting a limit on labels seems to limit the use of MSPlanner to only very rudimentary tasking systems.


Colour coding is a nice visual cue to have, however it will not hurt at all if colours are re-used - there are only so many colours.  It would be valuable to be able to set colours (as we can do in Outlook). More importantly, I would like the labels to sort A-Z (or be able to set the order myself).


Separately, we very much need to be able to distinguish assignment roles - including "leader"; "contributor"; "reviewer/approver"  



@Joanna Parkhurst Please enable the customised ordering of labels - or at least order them by default alphabetically.


The current order by recently used does not make sense when working collaboratly in a bigger team.