Planner recommendations or best practices?


Hello there,

I am searching for advice and hopr to find it here.

I am looking into Planner as a way to manage open tasks in a group of people, all on O365, currently in the same tenant. Those tasks are either internal or related to a customer. We do have regular physical meetings where we discuss the progress and new todo's. 


I started with a Team and a channel per customer. In each channel I created a plan. In each plan I named 3 buckets (Support, Infrastructure, Projects). I do have about 20 customers, thus I would end up with 20 channels and 20 plans. obviously, I just tested with 4 customers.


Problems with this setup:

  • A review can only be made plan by plan. I can only export plan by plan. (I tried flow, but I was not able to extract data from plans located in teams channels)
  • Plans in Teams channels are somewhat disconnected from the rest of the plans. I.e. when I create a plan in Planner, I cannot assign it later to a Teams channel. I have to create the plan within the team. 
  • I have to add every single plan one by one to an Outlook calendar
  • Sometimes tasks are similar. There is no way to copy a task from one plan to another


Next I tried with just one plan, giving each customer a bucket and started to work with the color coded categories (Support, Infrastructure, Projects).


So far this seems the better solution. But I have not enough experience (yet) to see the disadvantages in the future.

  • A review can be easily made, since all open tasks are at the same place. 
  • I have to add only one plan to Outlook calendar
  • Tasks can be easily copied from one bucket (customer) to another

Any advice is very much welcome. Perhaps there is a better way?






4 Replies
best response confirmed by DanHuber (Contributor)
I think you got how it works pretty well! For now you can’t copy tasks, setups between existing plans! You can automate some tasks via flow but I think you figured out what works best for you

@adam deltinger thanks for your feedback.

I am now working with just one plan, with it's advantages and disadvantages :)


@DanHuber my organization is looking to move to a set-up almost exactly like yours. How well has that set up worked for you so far? Any regrets?

Hello @ChristianMNP ,

No regrets so far, but perhaps some wishes. Planner is not perfect, but quite useful. Also, I might not exactly use it the way it is meant for. In any case, if someone has a better tool for what I do, please let me know.

Here is my preliminary feedback:

  • If you have many buckets in a plan and many tasks per bucket, scrolling becomes a nuisance. But it's better than distributing the tasks over several plans. (I've ended up with two plans)
    (Yes, I am using SHIFT+MouseScroll)
  • Moving buckets over several (horizontal) pages is cumbersome as I always view "Group by Bucket". 
  • Task sorting within a bucket would be nice. I.e. none or priority or date, per bucket.
  • There are no task dependencies. That is, I cannot relate one task to another, except in the text. It would be nice to have something like "depends on task x"). If possible even across plans? 
    (there is a new feature "Copy link to task". I have not used it much yet, since the links created are quite long. But it might ne considered as sort of "depends on task (URL). Though even then, I cannot make a structure/hierarchy of tasks. All is flat. This is probably that feature I miss the most.
  • I cannot show task notes AND task checklist on the card at the same time. This is a shame.
  • It should be possible to "assign" checklist items to people
  • I have buckets for which I have completed all tasks. I can hide tasks that are completed per bucket, but I cannot hide buckets. That clutters the plan. Actually the plan is growing as it is in itself never finished. 
  • We are not using comments per task. Not because it's not useful, but because it clutters the inbox. Each comment creates an email. I have not found a way to prevent that. Outlook rules do, for whatever reason, not work 100%, unfortunately. 
  • Would be nice to be able to edit some card content from the board view without having to open the task. I.e. for tagging. 
  • Adding a new task is IMHO a bit counter intuitive (if that's the right word). Add task, enter name, enter due date.. so far, ok. Than when selecting assigned to, the pull down window does not go away without clicking somewhere else (or ESC), then again Add Task. I cannot add additional info here, I have to reopen the task for the notes, checklist, etc. Not the way I prefer to work, but perhaps ok for people that do new tasks without additional information.
  • I miss keyboard shortcuts (new task, etc..)
  • I almost never use the Schedule view. Probably because of the missing dependencies between tasks. But then, it's not Project, right?
  • Would be nice if the Filter function would also hide empty buckets (if filtered)
  • Cannot move tasks between plans, if plans are in different teams. 

Does that preliminary list help?