Improvements to Planner integration with Microsoft Teams

One of the bugbears for users of Microsoft Teams is the challenges of Planner integration – or lack thereof.

In the early days of Teams, the Planner integration was very limited – it had no ability to see existing Plans that had been created, only those that it created.

As of present Teams production builds the frustration is that users need to keep navigating across to tabs within channels within teams in order to see their tasks – as any Plan created inside a channel would not show up under My Tasks inside of Planner and similarly users could not access My Tasks from within Teams.

There are two key improvements in this area, though not 100% feature complete.

Accessing My Tasks in Teams

To see My Tasks inside of Microsoft Teams you will need to switch to the developer preview mode. This can be done by clicking on your picture in the bottom left corner, navigating to About, and then selecting Developer preview.

You will then see the following warning:

Continuing will restart the Teams application and get you to sign in again. Not much will appear different except that the navigation on the left will now show three dots underneath the Files button.

Clicking this will now show the Planner app button.

And clicking this will now bring up the My Tasks from Planner inside the Teams interface, allowing you to group by progress or by plan.

Accessing Planner tasks from Teams in Planner

It seems like a no-brainer, but it is currently in progress.

At the moment the functionality is limited where I can see tasks from a Plan in a Teams channel, but not the Plan itself.

Notice in the screenshot below the names of the three Plans: Paradigm Solutions, Teams eBook, and Teams-Planner test. Now take a look under the My Tasks heading and you’ll see that there are tasks from a Plan called “Plan”, but then looking back at the Plans listing it’s not there.

Over at the Office 365 Roadmap you can see that some of these bits are in development and should be released to production early in 2018.

Hopefully the Planner team can keep up with the pace set by the Teams team for integration and development!

How to keep email signatures out of Teams and Yammer

While Teams and Yammer provide us a way to communicate without email, sometimes we still need to connect the conversation threads together.

Already in Teams we can surface Yammer threads, and in both products we can send emails in to become a thread in those platforms.

The problem is that when sending an email in to Teams or Yammer the entire content of the email goes across. This is most annoying when any email you create attaches an email signature – which generally occurs in Outlook be it desktop, mobile or web.

Effectively what your colleagues will see is a thread that starts with your email signature – at which point many people will stop reading as there is no context.

Using Exchange transport rules you can actually exclude email signatures from going along with your email to Yammer or Teams, however the requirement is that your signatures are applied by a cloud-based service on transit – and not by Outlook itself.

Continue reading this over at Exclaimer.