Microsoft Launches Office 365 Planner For Project Management

If you work in a large group across numerous projects, you may be familiar with project management software like Basecamp and Trello. Microsoft is now rolling out a preview of its project management solution, called Planner, to Office 365 customers in its First Release Program.

Microsoft announced Office 365 Planner in September and explained its visual approach to organizing workflows. Planner divides overarching goals and plans into separate "Boards," with each task represented by a card. The tool also use charts to show progress on tasks and can be used to organize Office attachments. The service also integrates existing Office 365 groups so you can hit the ground running.

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Office 365 will start rolling out to First Release customers today. Microsoft's blog says that it expects "to make Planner generally available to all eligible Office 365 commercial and education customers in 2016."

Microsoft's First Release program lets users try out the latest releases and provide feedback to Microsoft. It allows for administrators to stratify who gets to try new features first or provide them to an entire organization.

Planner was previously being worked on under the code name "Highlander." In June, Microsoft completed its acquisition of to-do app Wunderlist, and in time we'll see if its capabilities will be built into something like Planner.