14 Jan Tasks – Top Tools in Microsoft 365
I am sure you will agree that top levels of an organisation are an essential ingredient in the recipe of a successful business, but this can be very difficult to achieve if you are not using the most appropriate tools available. For example, if you are a writer and have a series of 10 blogs to write, all of which are due on different days and at varying times, have different levels of depth to achieve in the content you are producing, and the clients presenting you with the information have special requirements as to what the piece of writing needs to include, without some level of organisation it would be impossible to achieve those tasks to the best of your ability.
One of the ways of achieving these levels of an organisation is with the use of To-Do lists. According to MindTools “To-Do Lists are essential if you’re going to beat work overload. When you don’t use them effectively, you’ll appear unfocused and unreliable to the people around you.” ¹ Microsoft 365 has an application that offers exactly this.
Microsoft 365 – or ‘Office’ as it was previously known – has been a staple of day-to-day life for many of us for almost 46 years. The financial figures of Microsoft give you a representation of how successful it is – with an average profit margin of a ridiculous 65%, it is one of the most successful companies on the planet. For further evidence of its success, simply take a look at the popularity of its applications. Microsoft ‘Teams’, for example – which jumped to popularity at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic – has recently reached an astounding 115 million daily active users – to put that in perspective that is the population of Spain and Italy combined!
The application that Microsoft developed to create an organisation in your workday is ‘Tasks’.
If you are familiar with Microsoft 365 you may say “but Microsoft already has loads of task tracking applications” and you would be correct. There is; ‘To-Do’ to track your individual tasks and ‘Planner’ to track team or group tasks. Tasks in Microsoft Teams is unique in that it brings these two together so you can now see both individual tasks and your group tasks in one place.
You can also run a new Tasks experience on Outlook on the browser. Outlook on the web has updated the classic Tasks experience with a new feature cleverly powered by ‘To-Do’. All these features allow you to be more productive with your time. Microsoft 365 has plans for the future of Tasks.
How do Tasks help me day-to-day?
It is all well and good telling you how good Tasks is, but how can it help you with the day-to-day running of your business? Using the earlier example of a writer with 10 blogs to write, if used correctly the writer can use Tasks to organise his day accordingly to ensure his teams’ tasks don’t coincide or have any detrimental impact on one another.
Microsoft sees their task management applications as living in a sort of ecosystem. They see their task-related apps and services in three different categories: task engines, task hubs, and then first-party apps.
We will now break those three categories down briefly.
These are apps like Teams and ‘Outlook’, where other work takes place, but you want the ability to capture tasks whilst doing it.
Task engines are where tasks are stored. Microsoft says these engines are Planner and To-Do. They are the staple of the task management system.
These are the ones that allow you to save tasks while you are working. One example is Microsoft Word – you may be working on a document, resulting in a task which you then want to save back to Planner or To-Do.
This is not in the current capabilities of Microsoft 365 but it is something that they are working on.
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At Inology we offer expert advice on IT and the use of Microsoft 365. Our experts can help you to get the most from Microsoft 365 and ensure you are using tech to its full potential, both in-office and when working remotely. Call us today to explore 365 with one of our specialists and discover where you can make changes to achieve the maximum possible benefit from your IT.