Learn how to use Microsoft To Do with Outlook, Microsoft Teams, Planner and other parts of the Microsoft Ecosystem. Being able to integrate To Do with other Microsoft solutions helps you stay on task across multiple platforms and track the most important tasks regardless of who or where they come from.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of everyday tasks and priorities in the modern world. Hybrid schedules and work from home increasingly comingle personal lives with work obligations. Solutions like Microsoft To Do help keep track of it.
Integrating To Do with other parts of the Microsoft 365 Platform makes it even easier to keep track requests regardless of which platform they come from.
Let’s take a look!
Using Microsoft To Do with Outlook
Microsoft Outlook is a cornerstone of task management for millions around the world. Microsoft has been in the process of rolling out a new Outlook experience for its users. Part of the experience is better integration with other Microsoft Services.
There are three ways that you can use Outlook with Todo.
- Sync E-mails flagged for follow-up in Outlook with To Do
- View To Do Lists under Outlook Tasks
- Launch Microsoft To Do from within Outlook for Desktop
Each one of these works slightly different and the usefulness will vary depending on your current e-mail workflow.
How to sync follow-up items in Outlook to To Do
The flag for follow-up feature in outlook, lets you mouse over a message in your inbox, and on the right side you can click a small red flag like the picture below. If you are logged into the same accounting in Outlook as you are with Microsoft To Do then the two systems will automatically sync across the cloud.
It can take several minutes for it to show up in To Do, but a new section will appear called Flagged email on the left side of To Do. Tasks that are newly created here can be moved to different lists, have custom notes added or assigned to My Day.
The To Do item will automatically include notes and information about the original incoming message meaning that you won’t have to re-create the detail within a new task.
Using To Do Lists within Outlook Tasks
People that live within the My Tasks section of Outlook will notice that new To Do lists are automatically sync’d as Tasks. This implementation gives you very few options to work with To Do tasks and basically puts a To Do list in the same area as your other Outlook Tasks.
Using the Integrated To Do app within Outlook
For a more full featured experience with Microsoft To Do inside of Outlook, there is a To Do button on the left side of Outlook. When you click on the blue check mark, it is an integrated version of Microsoft To Do. The same syncing features will occur as noted above. This view gives you many more features and options than are otherwise available within the Outlook Tasks view, but won’t necessarily show you all of your Outlook Tasks in one place.
We’re excited to see how the integrations evolve over the future, but we can tell that Microsoft is serious about providing a single source of task management even if the vision isn’t fully realized at this time.
Enabling Outlook Tasks sync with To Do
If you are working with Microsoft To Do and Outlook there are several options you should be aware of. If you navigate to File, Options, Tasks there are a few options that might help you work with Outlook and To Do.
You can set Outlook to open tasks in the To Do app to manage Outlook Tasks from To Do. This will create a new section within To Do called Tasks that will look similar to sync’d follow-up items. The tasks can then be assigned to different To Do lists or My Day.
Another option is to enable reminders. Reminders will pop up at a set time within Outlook.
How to Add Microsoft To Do to Microsoft Teams
If you currently use Microsoft Teams at work for video conferencing and chat, you can add task management functionality through Microsoft Teams Apps. Microsoft is transitioning Microsoft Teams from a simple messaging app to a business platform to centralize all of the different things that you have to keep track of an interact with during the day.
The following steps use the latest version of Teams, but you can follow them on older versions to add the To DO and Planner app to Teams.
First, open teams and navigate to the + Apps button on the bottom left corner.
Select Tasks by Planner and To Do. Microsoft does not offer a stand alone app for Microsoft Planner, and only has an app available for To Do. The one app covers Microsoft Planner tasks in the sense that items assigned in Planner become To Do list items.
After adding the app it becomes available under the … button at the bottom left above the Aps section.
Once the Teams App is installed you will be able to see your To Do lists and works very similar to an embedded version of To Do so you don’t have to launch a web browser to keep track of your day.
It’s worth checking out Teams Apps of you use other task management solutions or other programs. There are hundreds of apps available that extend the functionality of Teams to consolidate information across multiple systems.
Using Microsoft To Do with Microsoft Planner
Microsoft Planner is a short to medium term project management and team collaboration solution that has features to integrate with Microsoft To Do. No additional setup is necessary if you are logged into Planner and To Do using the same Microsoft account.
The systems will automatically sync with each other.
To move a task from Planner to To Do, click the … symbol at the top of a Project Card. Then assign the task to yourself or to another member of your team.
When a task is assigned, the systems will take a few minutes to sync and then the new item will appear in an Assigned to Me section of To Do.
Items under different categories of To Do can be dragged and dropped into new lists, marked as Important, updated with different due dates or details or assigned to My Day.
Using Microsoft To Do with Power Automate Flows
Power Automate is a process automation solution from Microsoft. It’s included in many enterprise tiers of Microsoft 365 subscriptions and can be quite useful. The solution uses the concept of triggers or events to start a workflow.
For example, you could dynamically send an e-mail when an item from Microsoft To Do is completed, or you could automatically add a new To Do list item whenever you receive an e-mail from your boss.
The Power Automate workflow will detect when an action occurs like receiving an e-mail from a specific person or when a task is completed then start the process flow. Process flows can be very simple with only two steps or very complex involving many different systems that don’t have to be within the Microsoft ecosystem.
For those interested the following video explains how to build a simple flow.
Some flows are also easier than ever to create now that Microsoft has enabled Copilot natural language process to convert plain English to workflows.
Microsoft Launcher with To Do Integration for Android
An Android launcher is a software interface that allows users to customize the look and functionality of their Android device’s home screen, app icons, and overall user interface. It essentially acts as the device’s home screen manager, offering a range of customization features.
Introduced in 2017, Microsoft Launcher for Android takes this concept a step further by focusing on productivity and task management. Seamlessly integrated with Microsoft 365, it syncs calendars, documents, and To-Do lists across your devices.
It’s regularly updated and worth checking out if you have an Android phone and work within the Microsoft productivity suite often.
Microsoft To Do can be used with a number of different applications within the Microsoft Productivity Suite. Most of the features will automatically be enabled if you are logged into different applications using the same Microsoft 365 account.
Tasks created from Outlook and Microsoft Planner will automatically sync to new lists and sections of Microsoft To Do which can be triaged, updated and assigned to different lists or My Day. The To Do app experience itself can be access through the To Do button of Microsoft Outlook for Desktop or added to Microsoft Teams by adding the Planning and To Do Teams App.
With all of the options available, Microsoft puts task management at your fingertips.