Microsoft Planner belongs to the Office365 suite of applications. It is a planning application that teams and individuals can utilize to create plans, assign tasks, communicate and collaborate, and share documents, among other uses. Tasks can be created and configured in a specific manner tailored to the needs of the team. The process is fairly straightforward, yet many people have problems with it.

Actually, updating task progress in Planner can be as easy as monitoring the progress of tasks assigned to each individual at specific intervals. However, the devil is in the details, and some people can’t seem to get the hang of it. If you’re in this boat, this guide is for you. By the end of this guide, you will have learned how to manage task progress in Microsoft Planner.

How to Set Up Microsoft Planner

Microsoft Planner is the virtual task management tool in the Office 365 suite. It provides an easy way for teams to collaborate and plan and monitor tasks. Users can also update task status and share task information for more seamless project coordination.

In Planner, you can break a big project into smaller tasks, with a timeline for each task, which collectively make up the duration of a specific plan. As tasks get worked on, you can change their status from “Not started” to “In progress” and finally to “Completed”. You can even create additional tasks if needed.

Planner includes plenty of templates that allow you to quickly jump into tasks and projects, thereby saving a lot of time. You just need to make sure the templates are in tune with your team’s tasks and refine them if needed, and you can go right to work.

To begin, you must sign in to your Office 365 account. Go to the Planner page in Office 365 and enter your user details. Once logged in, click Planner in the Home tab to load the Microsoft Planner interface.

Here, you have three ways to proceed. If you already have created plans, select the most frequently used ones by clicking “Favorite plans”. If you want to view all your plans, click “All plans”. However, if you want to create a new plan from scratch, click the New Plans option.

In the Create New Plan window, type a plan name in the given field. It is better to use a name that concisely represents the purpose of the plan. In the “Who can view this plan?” group, choose “My organization” to make it available to everyone in your team and “Only people I add” to restrict viewing to those allowed access. Don’t forget to add a plan description and choose whether new members should be automatically added to notification emails.

When you’re done with all the configuration, you can finally click the Create Plan button. After creating the plan, you can go ahead and add tasks.

To begin, open Microsoft Planner, select your plan and click the + or Add Task button. Here, you should give your task a name. In the “Enter a task name” field, type the name of the task. Next, choose a due date. Finally, assign the task to a team or individual collaborator.

With that done, click the Add Task button to create the task. You can create multiple tasks this way and assign them to different people.

How to Update Task Progress in Microsoft Planner

Task progress in Microsoft Planner is divided into three components, each one representing how far the task has gone.

Not started.

Assigned to a task that hasn’t got going or that hasn’t been assigned to anyone. It could also be given the label if the start date for the task is still in the future.

In progress.

This label is assigned to tasks that are underway. It doesn’t matter what percentage of the task is done. Microsoft Planner only has this one label to mark all ongoing tasks, irrespective of the individual level of completion.

Completed. This label is assigned to tasks that have been finished.

Thus, updating task progress is about switching between these labels for each created task as appropriate.

How to Manually Update Task Progress in Microsoft Planner

There are several ways to update the progress of tasks in Microsoft Planner.

Note that each progress stage is represented by an icon.

Not started.

A blank circle.

In progress.

A half-colored circle.


A fully colored circle with a tick in the middle.

Groups > Progress

  • Navigate to Groups and select a task.
  • Click the Progress drop-down arrow.
  • Select the option you need.

For example, if the task is completed, select Completed from the Progress drop-down list.

Selecting Symbols

Each task has a symbol that represents its progress. Completed tasks have the symbol of a full circle with a tick in the middle, while tasks that are in progress have the symbol of a half-full circle.

Select the symbol next to the task to open a progress selection pane and select another progress status.

Task selection

This is another way to change the progress status of a task. Simply select the task to reveal the progress selection pane. Update the task progress from there.

How to Use Planner with Microsoft Teams to Manage Tasks

Because creating a new plan automatically creates a new Office 365 group, you can collaborate using Planner tasks across other connected applications in the Office 365 family, such as OneDrive and Outlook.

You can also use Planner with Microsoft Teams to manage created tasks. You can either collaborate over tasks through Planner or by adding one or more Planner tabs to a Teams channel.

Here is how to create a Planner channel in Microsoft Teams:

  • Open Teams and select a channel. In the channel, click the + button.
  • Find and select Planner.
  • Create a plan with the correct details and save it. You can also choose already existing plans.

The process of adding a task, assigning it, and updating it is the same as explained above.

Microsoft Planner is used to create small tasks that collectively fit into a larger plan for a team to collaborate on. Knowing how to update the progress from initiation to completion and also collaborate across a platform like Microsoft Teams can increase both individual productivity and teamwork in the organization.


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