With the recent announcement of Tasks in Teams, we want to share our broader vision for how we integrate tasks across Microsoft 365.
Whether in your personal life or work, as an individual or as a team, in any industry or type of role – everyone deals with tasks every day. Many of these tasks are generated from Microsoft’s portfolio of productivity and collaboration tools: Office docs, Planner plans, emails, chats, the list goes on and on. While all these apps and services are helping people and teams be more productive than ever before, they also introduce new challenges: How do we cut through the noise? How do we manage our day effectively and make sure nothing slips through the cracks?
To address this need, we’ve layered on tasks as a functionality to help users manage and prioritize their work. The presence of tasks in Microsoft 365 is already extensive, and will be a big investment area moving forward, as we work to connect our tasks experiences across Microsoft products and services.
Our vision for tasks in Microsoft 365 revolves around these core principles:
- Coherence: tasks experiences across Microsoft 365 will have a consistent and familiar experience anywhere they occur, to enable action, navigation, and discovery by users.
- Intelligence: tasks will leverage the intelligent services underpinning Microsoft 365, such as the Microsoft Graph or MyAnalytics, to proactively help users manage and prioritize their workload.
- Integration: wherever a task experience exists in Microsoft apps and services, it will connect to and feed into one of two key task-management endpoints – To Do for individual task management, or Planner for team task management.
Our hero endpoints for personal task management are:
- To Do: ideal for the individual, To Do helps keep track of personal tasks – across both work and life – organizing and prioritizing their day with intelligent suggestions. For those who like to create their own lists in addition to using collaborative tasks from Planner/Teams for their assignments, this is a great tool to give people control and customization.
- Planner: ideal for team tasks, Planner is the easy, visual task management app for Microsoft 365. It offers a familiar experience for teams to create new plans, organize and assign tasks, share task details like files, chat about assignments, and see updates on progress.
Hubs with task management functionality:
- Tasks in Teams: Tasks in Teams integrates both To Do and Planner, so individuals who frequently divide their attention across personal and team tasks will have a view that includes both. For users of To Do and Planner, it is also a great way to access tasks while communicating with a team, without having to switch apps.
- Outlook: Tasks in the Outlook client app sync with To Do, and Tasks in Outlook on the web is powered by To Do. There is additional work is planned to integrate To Do even more deeply with Outlook in the future.
Other currently integrated products and services:
- Word, Excel, PowerPoint: work is underway to allow comments and @mentions in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to be converted into and assigned as tasks.
- Microsoft Launcher: the native Tasks widget and To Do widget in the Microsoft Launcher sync with To Do.
- Cortana: the Lists section in the Cortana notebook syncs with To Do, and you can tell Cortana to add tasks to To Do.
Ultimately, all of these apps, services, experiences, and connections revolve around the user. Wherever YOU prefer to get your day-to-day work done, tasks in Microsoft 365 will be available to help you stay on track and make the most of your day.