Microsoft To Do App Reviewed
In this article I review Microsoft’s To Do App. Looking at what is good and what is bad. In summary I loved the simplistic interface and ease of use, but this does become frustrating with the lack of features compared to others in the market.
I’m not the most organised person in the world however…
Working as a consultant and hot desking for many years I got good at working with just my trusty laptop as my best friend. My to do list was always a different beastI scribbled notes on random bits of paper in whatever office I happened to be in, which I would never find again or I kept it all in my head. It turns out our brains are wired to keep us thinking about unfinished tasks, hands up if you have had more than a few unbroken nights sleep remembering about that thing you just had to do.
You can’t see it but my hand is waving in the air.
It’s fine though if you are just managing one or two things but what happens when you have to juggle lots of tasks all vying for your attention. That’s why getting it out of your head and onto a to list helps and preferably not a paper one. So, I have to admit to being a bit curious when I saw Microsoft addition to the Office 365 suite of tools, Microsoft to Do appearing on my office 365 app launcher.
Created by the team who built the Wunderlist app (support for this is stopping in April 2018 after it was acquired by Microsoft) so you may want to consider moving to another app ahead of this date.
The app was in preview for a while however, that has now ended. Users who were on “preview” versions of Microsoft To-Do (v1.18 or older) are still subject to their admin’s preview preferences, which are saved in the Office 365 Admin Center via an opt-in toggle.) Click here to find out how to check this.
The interface is very simplistic however, this post outlines a little bit more about this app.
If you have never used a To Do list app before and are looking for a basic lightweight solution this does tick those boxes. It can help you manage your to do list, simplify task management, set reminders and due dates based on your daily priorities. You can assign your tasks to “my day” so you can set goals for what you want to complete that day. It sits at the top of your projects so is easily accessible.
- Separate work and personal task lists can be created which I like and Microsoft To Do also offers the ability to colour code these to differentiate them which is nice. There are up to 5 different colours and 6 themes available however, they are limited to individual task lists.
- For those Office 365 users it integrates and synchronizes into your tasks in your Outlook calendar. If you are already making use of this, you should find your tasks are all already in To Do.
- Microsoft To-Do, supports iOS, Android, Windows, and the web. For those with Office 365 it can be accessed from the 365 portal. I have been using the App for iOS, it is easy to add tasks and is a really nice display.
- The ‘My Day’ list starts empty each day, so any unfinished tasks are cleared out ready for a new day which is frustrating.
- There is no ability to view tasks for the days ahead to help with track of future tasks and planning. I like to review what is coming up for the week in an easy to view way, so I can prioritize my workload.
- An item cannot be broken down into sub tasks. You can only have one level tasks so a bit more customization on the tasks would be a nice to have.
- Smartwatches are currently not supported.
- There is no inbox which means you are not able to turn emails into tasks that link back to the original email so you won’t have to hunt for it later and a nice easy button to help you do it and add a due date too so you won’t forget to follow up.
In fairness, the To-Do app is being called a preview by Microsoft. As with all their new release products, Microsoft will continue to refine, improve and I expect offer better integration into Office 365. For a newbie list maker who just needs basic functionality this is perfectly adequate. If you are a sophisticated list maker used to the likes of trello or ToDoist or have perhaps received an Alexa for Christmas which integrates then this is definitely not the app for you as it stands.
How do I get it?
Microsoft To-Do is turned on for customers by default and access is managed through per-user licensing.
To Do is being rolled out right now on Office 365. Navigate to your Office 365 App centre and scroll down the list. Alternatively, you can download it from any Windows, IOS or Android App store or the web.
What about Macs?
There is no app for Apple Macs, but you can use Tasks in the Outlook app and the web portal version of To-Do.
Are there any Requirements for Microsoft To Do?
Users need a license for Microsoft To-Do, and a mailbox in Exchange online or tasks so that tasks in Microsoft To-Do can sync and store.
Why should I use it?
If you are using Office 365 it makes sense to integrate with what you have so it keeps everything together and accessible. If you are happy with a simple user interface to track tasks its perfect. However, this will not suit more sophisticated app users.
Can I import tasks?
You can import tasks from Wunderlist and Todist, just go to https://import.todo.microsoft.com/ and follow the wizard.
Can I use this on another device?
Apps are available for Android, iPhone, Windows 10, and the Web, Microsoft To-Do syncs automatically and securely via the Outlook Tasks API, meaning your data lives in Exchange and automatically integrates with Outlook Tasks.