Whether you are someone working as a freelancer or working as a manager in an organization, you’ll agree that managing a task through its lifecycle is not simple.
You need to ensure that a task within its lifecycle must meet the following criteria:
- The goal of the task
A lot of organizations and individuals have started using Microsoft tools to manage their tasks and improve productivity but are still struggling. Microsoft tools can make it much easier to share information, collaborate on projects, and get things done. You just need to use its features effectively to get better results.
So, why not make the most of it? Here are our top 10 ways to manage tasks like a pro using Microsoft tools.
Top Tips for Task Management using Microsoft Tools
Task management for individuals using Microsoft To-Do
1. Use My Day
The ‘My Day’ feature of Microsoft To-Do is a great way to organize your day and get more done. It’s not getting the attention it deserves, but with this simple yet powerful feature, you’ll be able to make plans for every task in time so that everything gets completed on schedule!
‘My Day’ is your assistant that helps you decide what to do in the day. You can use a light bulb icon for task suggestions and choose tasks from the list, right-click, then select “Add to My Day” or add new ones manually.
You can work on your tasks from anywhere at any time, even if you don’t finish them that day. Your progress will be saved for the next one!
2. Use tags
You can organize your tasks across different to-do lists by adding a hashtag to your task names. You could use something like #work, #travel or #home as tags, for example!
There are tags for every kind of task. You can quickly see all the tasks that share a certain tag by selecting it or looking for it in the search bar and choosing what comes up!
3. Get Assigned tasks’ list
You can use ‘Assigned to you’ feature to view all the tasks that are assigned to you. Here, all the tasks that are assigned to you via Planner by you or your team will be displayed so that you can manage your assignments from anywhere.
4. Add attachments
You can attach files to your To Do tasks. By using the attachment feature, you can share documents with different devices.
You can add files by clicking on any task you want, then at the bottom of the Task Details Screen, click ‘Add a file’. Your file(s) will be added to the task you selected. You can attach multiple files but there’s individual file size limit of 25MB. As soon as your files upload, a preview can be seen on the task details screen.
To-Do is great for individual use as it is a free cloud-based app and runs independently of Microsoft 365. However, it is not appropriate for team’s task management.
Task management for managers
5. Use SharePoint
SharePoint can help you efficiently manage your team’s task.
- It offers a task list to manage projects. You need to create a task list using the app ‘Tasks’ under Settings and then by importing the list into Project. You can also use Planner to manage your projects.
- You can manage your basic documents (such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote) using SharePoint and add them in folders. You can create folders to specify the type of documents they contain.
- Communication is a critical part of any task lifecycle. Use the News feature on SharePoint to add eye-catching posts like people news, important announcements, updates, and more.
6. Use Microsoft Project
With Microsoft Project, you can plan and manage your projects with ease. The program has many features and capabilities that make it easy for anyone to use it.
- Get multiple views: You can now choose between three different views for your projects—the famous Gantt chart, Grid and Board. The Grid view presents all of project tasks in table form with options for adding any detail in the columns if desired. If you use Planner, then Board view will be right for you as it will present each task as a card – all organized into buckets.
- Break down complex projects: Working on a large project can be complicated. Using features like subtask and summary can help you divide the project in the right structure. In MS Project, an indented task is displayed as a subtask, which is also the summary of the main task and shows their combined information. You can also make a task a Dependent task which can be marked as completed only after its parent task is completed.
7. Use task publishing in Teams
With task publishing, you can streamline the management of tasks across your workforce. As a manager, you can create centralised task lists that are published in targeted locations like stores or factories to track employee progress towards completion deadlines while still always maintaining full visibility into individual assignment status.
8. Use @mentions in documents
@mentions is a great way to assign tasks and track who’s done what. You just need to mention someone in one of your comments who you would like to assign a task. An option will appear in the comment to assign the task. Select the checkbox ‘Assign to’ when you post your comment. Your assignee will receive an email notifying them about their task. Once they complete it, they can mark it as Resolved. Once resolved, these comments can be removed.
This feature is available in Word and Excel doc types only.
9. Create tasks from outlook message
You can create a task based on the contents of an email message in Outlook for web. For this, you need to click on the email and drag it to the tasks button (located at the bottom of the left panel). Your task will be automatically created. Now, you can set time parameters for your task completion and you’re good to go.
10. Flag emails for follow-up
Flag email messages to track responses and follow-ups. Include a reminder alert for yourself or anyone else who might need it!
To send follow up reminder to recipient(s):
- Before sending the email, under the Message tab, select Follow Up (the flag icon) placed in the top menu. Choose Custom.
- Click ‘Flag for Me’ and choose the start and end date. Choose Reminder if needed.
- Add details under ‘Flag for Recipients’. Add a Reminder if needed. Click Ok to confirm.
- An email will be sent with follow up details and reminders.
There are an endless number of ways that you can use to improve your productivity and task management. We just scratched the surface with these top ten tips, what other ways have worked for you? Let us know in the comments section!
Image Credit: Microsoft