June 6, 2016
Microsoft has launched Planner, a project management app that will change the way users interact with their everyday planning needs.
Planner's announcement came today on Microsoft's blog. The project management app was released for free, under the Office 360 suite. Planner focuses on helping users with project management – similar to apps such as Asana and Trello. In the app itself, Planner uses the popular digital whiteboard format, utilizing notecards where users can track projects, communicate progress, and attach files. The app also integrates with other Microsoft products like OneNote and Outlook.
“The addition of Planner to the Office 365 lineup introduces a new and improved way for businesses, schools and organizations to structure teamwork easily and get more done,” said the Planner Team in their blog post. “With Planner, teams can create new plans; organize, assign and collaborate on tasks; set due dates; update statuses and share files, while visual dashboards and email notifications keep everyone informed on progress.”
Microsoft hopes that this app will help connect not just individuals working collectively on a project, but for schools, universities, and corporations that are all using Microsoft and Office 360 products. And Planner's debut comes at a peak time in the industry – with the rise of remote and independent workers, project management apps have actually risen in popularity. They're convenient, sleek, and help keep workers on track with their projects and day-to-day tasks. And, as a result, Planner has been quite popular in its early stages.
“Since we rolled out the Planner Preview, we have been working closely with a variety of Office 365 customers from around the world,” said the Planner Team. “Many of them have already experienced quantifiable benefits from increased collaboration and expedited time to value.”
Time will tell how Microsoft's Planner app fares with the public, but so far it's a welcome addition the realm of project management. While companies like Asana and Trello have a substantial advantage thanks to their established popularity, the integration of Microsoft's other programs should provide some lively competition in the project management race to the top.
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