Microsoft Planner new feature announcements - Ignite 2017

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Hey, finally the Planner team has revealed the new features coming up in Planner in next few months and their vision for long term plans including integration with other apps in Office 365 eco system. Here are the glimpse of those announcements from Microsoft Ignite 2017.

What to expect in near term?

The Microsoft Planner team is listening to user voice portal and have started addressing few from the most requested features. Below are those.

Planner Limitations

This is one of the notable announcement from Ignite 2017. Finally Microsoft announced that all the Planner limitations listed below will be removed with the help of the refreshed Planner UI. This helps organisations to adopt Planner across their entire organisation.

Copy tasks

This feature allows uses to copy and paste task with the same plan. While copying the task you can decide which task field needs (Assignment, Progress, Date, Description, Checklists, Attachment, Labels) to be copied.

iCalendar feed for Plan

Now users can easily subscribe to the iCalendar feed which brings all the plan tasks that are assigned to the user to their Outlook. Thus it simplifies the users to view Planner tasks from Outlook calendar itself.

First the user need to click on the eclipse icon next to their plan name and click ‘Add plan to Outlook calendar’. Now the iCalendar feed will be displayed for the respective plan and user need to click on ‘Add to Outlook’ button. Now a new window gets opened asking for confirmation to save the calendar subscription. Click on Save button now.

Due date reminders

This is one of the most significant top requested feature in user voice. This feature will add more meaning to Planner in terms of this usage and adoption. Users will get email reminders for the tasks with the link to the specific tasks that helps them to stay on top of it.

Schedule view

Now users can see the tasks in Schedule view. All the tasks without dates set are listed on the right pane and users need to just drag and drop the tasks to the respective dates. Now the due date is set. Users can double click on a task item to edit the task.

Planner web part for SharePoint

This web part allows you to get overview of the what’s going on in your team from SharePoint team site home page which helps for great collaboration.

These are the features which are expected to rollout in upcoming months. Now let’s see the long term goals for Planner.

Multiple Plan per Group

Currently Microsoft Teams allows you to create multiple plan per group. The similar experience will also available from Planner.

External user access

Office 365 Groups now supports external user access. Following this, Planner will support users to invite external users (Ex: Vendors, customers) for a Plan to collaborate and work with them.

Plan templates

You can define Plan templates at organizational level which allows users to create new plans easily.

New features coming in Planner Mobile

Below listed are the features we can expect in Planner Mobile experience.

Integration with Microsoft Teams

Teams Plans in Planner hub

My tasks app

Bell Notifications

Planner Bot

Chart view & Schedule view

Microsoft Ignite 2017 session recording on this topic is available here.

Interesting questions and answers

Below listed are some of the interesting Q&A discussed during Ignite 2017.

​1. Is it possible to create task dependencies from Planner?

​2. Will Cortana integration be available for Planner?

​3. What are the different options by which users notified about their tasks?