Planner Quick Start

Planner offers a simple, highly visual way to organize teamwork and collaborate on projects effectively.

  • Create new plans.

  • Organize and assign tasks.

  • Share files.

  • Chat about what you’re working on.

  • Keep track of your team's progress and stay on top of your work—from anywhere, on any device.

  • Manage a marketing event, brainstorm new product ideas, track a school project, prepare for a customer visit, or just organize your team more effectively.

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You don't need to install any software on your computer or device to use Planner; you connect through your web browser.

Sign in

Whenever prompted, sign in to Planner or Office 365 using your work or school account.

Being signed in allows you to:

  • Access your organization’s Planner site.

  • View, edit, and create plans and tasks.

  • Communicate with other plan members.

  • Track plan progress.

To sign in to Office 365, you will need:

  • Your work or school account credentials.

Sign in to Office 365
  1. Open your web browser.

  2. Type or into the Address bar.

  3. Press Enter.

  4. Select the account you want to sign in with, if multiple account tiles appear.

  5. Enter the email address and password associated with your account.

  6. Select Sign in.

For more information, see Where to sign in to Office 365.

Screenshot of the Office 365 sign-in pane


If you’re already working online within your organization’s Office 365 environment, you can connect to Planner from the app launcher.

Connect to Planner from Office 365
  1. Display the Office 365 home page, or select the app launcher App Launcher at the top of the browser window.

  2. Select the Planner tile on the home page or in the app pane.

Screenshot of the Office 365 app pane with the Planner tile active.

Open an existing plan

  • Select an existing plan in the Favorite plans or All plans section of the left pane.

Screenshot of the Favorite Plans and All Plans sections of the Planner dashboard.
Create a new plan
  1. Select New plan in the left pane.

  2. In the New Plan window:

    • Type a name for the plan.

      Planner creates an email address for your plan automatically. You can use it for discussions with all plan members.

    • Provide an email address, if you want.

    • Make the plan private if you want only plan members to see it, or public if you want it to be visible to the rest of your organization and in search results.

    • Enter a unique description for the plan to differentiate it from other plans.

  3. Select Create Plan.

Creating a plan also creates a new Office 365 Group, making it easy for you and the people you're working with to collaborate not only in Planner, but also in OneNote, Outlook, SharePoint, and other apps. The plan email address that Planner creates goes to Outlook Group Conversations.

Note: When you make a plan public or private, you also make the Office 365 Group public or private. Learn more.

Screenshot of the New Plan window.
Add people to a plan
  1. Select Members (or Add Members, in a new plan) in the upper-right corner of the Planner window.

  2. Begin typing the name or email address of a person within your organization that you want to add to the plan.

  3. Select the person's card when it appears.

Note: Want to add people outside of your organization to a plan? This is in development and not yet available in Planner. For more information on features currently in development, please see the Office 365 Roadmap.

After you add people and tasks to your plan, you can assign people to tasks.

Screenshot of the Members list when entering the name of a new plan member.
Add tasks to a plan
  1. Select + below the heading of the bucket to which you want to add a task.

    A new plan starts with a To do heading, but established plans might have named buckets instead.

  2. Select Type a task name.

  3. Type the task name.

  4. Do either of the following:

    • Press Enter to create a task without a due date.

    • Select Set due date and select a date. Then select Add task to create a task with a due date.

Create multiple tasks quickly

  1. Select + below the heading of the bucket to which you want to add a task.

  2. Select Type a task name.

  3. Type each task name, pressing Enter after each to create the task.

After you add people and tasks to your plan, you can assign people to tasks.

Add tasks
Add task start and due dates
  1. Select the task to open the task window.

  2. Select Start anytime below Start date, and then select the start date you want.

  3. Select Due anytime below Due date, and then select the due date you want.

  4. Select Dismiss Dismiss button in the upper-right corner of the task window to save and close the task.

Screenshot of the expanded Start Date menu for a Planner task.

Set up buckets for tasks

Create buckets to organize tasks into things like workstreams, project phases, or topics.

  1. Display the plan board.

  2. Select Add new bucket to the right of any existing buckets.

  3. Type a name for the bucket, and then press Enter.

Don't see Add new bucket? The board might be grouped by something else.

Change the task grouping
  1. Select Group by near the upper-right corner of the plan board.

  2. Select Buckets.

Want to change a bucket name? Select a bucket name to make changes. You can even rename the To Do bucket to something that you might find more useful!

Add new bucket

Group by buckets

Comment on a task
  1. Select the task to open the task window.

  2. Select Type your message here in the Comments area of the task window.

  3. Type the comment that you want to attach to the task.

  4. Select Post.

Comments on a task
Add an attachment to a task
  1. Select the task to open the task window.

  2. Select Attach in the Attachments area of the task window.

  3. Select Browse SharePoint if you want to attach a file from a SharePoint site, or select Upload a file if you want to attach a locally stored file.

  4. Navigate to and select the file you want to attach.

When attaching a file, you can upload the file to OneDrive for the plan, or you can browse to find it if you've already uploaded it. If your file isn't located on OneDrive for the plan, you can add a link to it instead.

The first time you attach a file, photo, or link to a task, that attachment becomes the task's preview picture. It's shown on the Board, and offers a quick way to identify the task and get to work. Want to change the preview picture for a task?

Screenshot of the Attachments area of a task window with the Attach list open.
Get email about a plan
  1. Select More More icon at the right end of the links below the plan name.

  2. Select Subscribe to email updates.

You will receive email when:

  • A plan member adds a comment to a task.

  • A task is assigned (or reassigned) to any plan member.

Note: Planner sends task assignment notifications only if the plan owner has turned them on.

Screenshot of the More list with Subscribe To Email Updates active.

View your plan's progress

In Planner, every plan has a board and charts.

  • The board offers a flexible way to organize your team’s work, and makes it easy for you to see who’s doing what and get details about any task.

  • The charts show how your plan is progressing, with details about what’s done, in progress, not started, and late.

Select Board or Charts at the top of the Planner window to switch between them.

Screenshot of the Charts page of a plan.
Get help with Planner
  1. Select ?.

  2. Select Tell me what you want to do and type what you want help with.

  3. Select a topic from the search results.

Screenshot of the Planner Help pane with Assign A Task in the Tell Me What You Want To Do box.

Planner help and training

Planner training

What's coming in Planner

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