Microsoft Time Tracking

Simplify Your Project Management with Microsoft Planner: A Complete Guide


Can you painlessly plan, track and execute a project from start to finish without headaches or chaos?
Yes, with the combination of Microsoft Planner and Timeneye time tracking!
Join us in this article, as we dive into the basics of using Microsoft Planner for tracking projects, tasks and deadlines. We'll teach you how to set up your projects and plans, how to create and assign tasks, and how to track time and budgets to meet all the deadlines and deliverables.

Why Microsoft Planner? Key benefits and project management features 

Like many Microsoft products, Microsoft Planner's main benefit is for sure the integration with the rest of the Microsoft Suite.
In addition to that, Microsoft Planner offers a sleek and minimalist interface, making it a lightweight software that still includes all the necessary features to manage a project from start to finish.
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Top Microsoft Planner features for Project management: 

  • kanban style interface;
  • visualisation of tasks, with priorities and deadlines;
  • colorful and versatile task labels;
  • attachments and comments features;
  • integration with other software.

Setting up your Microsoft Planner account

Where do you start with Microsoft Planner?
Log in with a microsoft Account to access Planner. The first thing to do is set it up according to your needs. You may even customize its appearance with the colors you like, as well as the languages and timezones.
The Microsoft Planner web app works perfectly, but you can download the mobile app as well.

Navigating the Microsoft Planner interface

To get used to the interface and its features, you need to learn a bit about Microsoft Planner and where you will find the main features.

  • Boards: the main layout of a project in Microsoft Planner, where you'll find plans, buckets and tasks;
  • Plans: your projects in Microsoft Planner;
  • Buckets: sub categories or phases of a plan that you can add tasks to;
  • Tasks: the individual action to complete the projects;
  • Labels: tags you can use in your tasks to categorize them

How to Create Plan

Always have a plan!

No, really, the projects in Planner are called Plans. For every project you want to track in Microsoft Planner, you need to create a new Plan.

planner new plan


You can start from scratch or use one of the pre-made templates. You have to name your plan, choosing a name that identifies clearly what project you're working on. Then decide its privacy settings. 

new plan create


In addition to creating plans, Microsoft Planner also allows you to create Buckets.

planner new bucket


Buckets are essentially categories or groups that help you further categorize and prioritize your tasks within a plan. By using buckets, you can easily separate tasks based on their phase, importance, or any other criteria that make sense for your project.

All these steps only take a few minutes, so you'll be ready to create tasks next.

But how do you create tasks in Planner?

Creating and managing tasks in Microsoft Planner

Under every bucket you created, find the button to add a task ("Add task").
planner new task
Simply add the task name. Try to be as specific as possible so the person who will be assigned the task knows what they're supposed to do. Then add a due date (if relevant) and assign it to yourself or a team member. And it's done.
But Microsoft Planner's task management features don't end there: just click on the task you created to expand it.
In the Task detail panel, you have the opportunity to add details such as priority and status. Additionally, you can mark a task as "repetitive" if it represents an assignment that needs to be done regularly.
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You can also add to dos (or subtasks) related to the same task. This feature is particularly useful if you have a big task that needs to be broken down into smaller steps.

Microsoft Planner Labels: how to use them

Labels are an incredibly useful feature in Microsoft Planner that allows you to categorize and organize your tasks effectively, using colorful tags. By creating labels, you identify at a glance different types of tasks or specific attributes associated with them.

planner task detail


For example, you can create labels based on different project phases or departments involved in the project, making it easier to track progress and assign tasks to the relevant team members.

To label a task, simply choose the task you want to assign a label to, and select the appropriate label from the labels' menu. The colorful label will then be displayed alongside the task, making it visually easy to identify.

You can also filter and search for specific tasks based on their assigned labels.

Collaborating with comments and attachments in Microsoft Planner

Collaboration between team members is key to the successful completion of a projects. Especially if you have multiple team members working on multiple projects, every person involved needs to know what they're working on, what deadlines they have, and keep all the relevant material (documents, briefs etc) at hand.

Attachments can be added to Microsoft Planner tasks, making sure every person assigned to the task as quick access to the documents they need.

Comments are another useful Microsoft Planner feature for teams to better cooperate. Team members can use comments to ask questions, explain edits, report problems and in general, keep the rest of the team updates and on the same page.

planner comments



Tracking progress and deadlines in Microsoft Planner

Right in your Microsoft Planner interface, next to the board view, there's another view called "Schedule" view.
It's basically a calendar dashboard where you can see all the deadlines, and start and finish dates of your tasks. This view is very useful to keep track of multiple deadline.

Time tracking: adding Timeneye and track time for tasks 

Timesheets are necessary but often tedious task. Time tracking is crucial for both administrative purposes, and for ensuring that a project stays on budget and on track. Without accurate time tracking, projects can easily go out of control.

Fortunately, Timeneye time tracking offers a solution that seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Planner.

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By adding a convenient time tracking button next to your tasks in Microsoft Planner, Timeneye allows you to effortlessly keep track of the time spent on each project phase and task.



You won't have to juggle multiple tabs or deal with complicated interfaces anymore. The time tracking button fits effortlessly in the interface and in your workflow. Now, you'll have a clear understanding of how much time each task is taking, and all this data will be securely stored in the software, readily available for monitoring and analysis.

timeneye time tracking in planner-1


This information is invaluable for project managers, as it enables them to meet deadlines, manage workloads effectively, and make more accurate estimates for future projects.


Integrating Microsoft Planner with other Microsoft apps

As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, Microsoft Planner can be connected (a part from Timeneye) with other tools, specifically with other Microsoft Suite tools:

- it connects to Microsoft Viva Goals, for goal and OKR tracking and planning, and to check the overall's team performance and engagement;
- You can add a Plan and its deadlines to an Outlook Calendar;
- You can open any plan in Microsoft Teams (which has a dedicated MS Planner app as well);
- It's possible to export Planner data and import in into Microsoft Power BI, where you can create beautifully visual dashboards, graphs and charts;
- Finally, you can use Microsoft Power Automate to build custom connections and integrations using triggers.


In conclusion, Microsoft Planner offers a seamless and efficient solution for planning, tracking, and executing projects with ease.

Its integration with the Microsoft Suite, sleek interface, and essential project management features make it a valuable tool for any project.

By integrating with Timeneye for time tracking and other Microsoft apps for enhanced functionality, Microsoft Planner becomes even more powerful. Overall, Microsoft Planner is a must-have tool for painlessly managing projects and achieving success.

So why not dive in and explore the world of efficient project management with Microsoft Planner and Timeneye?


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