Microsoft Takes on Trello, Asana With ‘Planner’ Project Management Tool


Microsoft has added another app to its Office 365 suite. Called Planner, it is a collaboration tool aimed at organising team activities, and works similar to apps like Trello and Asana. It will be bundled along with the Office 365 suite for free, and allows management of projects, teams, workflows, assign tasks, chat with members, and much more.


The Planner is useful for members working with multiple teams. Microsoft says it helps compartmentalise the information of each team, and its members. It also gives progress reports on the tasks of each team, and helps employees organise and manage their workflows.


The layout of Planner feels fairly simple, creating separate boards for each team. Through the app, members can assign, update, and change tasks. Documents and photos can also be shared and attached, and users can also chat with each other. Each board can have different members, documents, photos and chats.


Apart from assigning tasks to individual members, users can also see progress reports. Planner uses colour coding and graphs to show how far long are teams from getting a particular project completed. In the Planner, the colour yellow represents tasks not started, red for tasks that have overstepped the deadline, blue is for tasks in progress, and green stands for completed tasks. Microsoft has also released a demo video explaining what the Planner can do.


The company claims that the Planner works across all device platforms, enabling on-the-go information updates. Microsoft had made the preview version available in December 2015, and has now commenced general rollout. As mentioned earlier, Planner comes bundled with Office 365, which can be purchased online. Office 365 is available for business, professionals, home usage, and even students in different pricing plans. For all those already subscribed, Planner will be made available automatically in the coming weeks as a tile in the Office 365 suite.