First experiences with Microsoft To-Do

Microsoft this morning announced their new “Microsoft To-Do” app available for public preview on all mobile platforms and the web.

This app will eventually supersede the Wunderlist app that Microsoft purchased almost two years ago. I use the Wunderlist app for my personal life, sharing lists with my wife for things such as groceries. Microsoft even refers to Wunderlist as the go-to app for personal task management.

While Wunderlist works will in the personal context, it doesn’t integrate with any work services such as Office 365. This is where one of the challenges with Planner comes in as people want to use the Kanban-style interface to visualise and manage their personal task list (more on that in a post soon).

So with Microsoft To-Do to replace Wunderlist I went out and installed it, and straight away noticed a few issues I wouldn’t have expected to be there when compared to other previews Microsoft has released.

The first one is that when signing in with a Microsoft Account for personal use – there is simply no sharing option. So while I can import lists from Wunderlist, I can’t continue to share them with my wife. This is a deal breaker because while I want to manage my personal tasks using the new app, I don’t want to have to continue using Wunderlist for my shared lists and then To-Do for my individual lists.

Secondly the app experience is inconsistent. On my Android it is called “Microsoft To-Do”, but in the Windows Store it is still called “Project Cheshire”.

Although after installing it the app is called “Microsoft To-Do”.

I was able to log in to the app on my Android, but not on the Surface. In fact, I was given a message that was just wrong, given that I was logging in with a Microsoft account:

Thirdly the app apparently supports signing in with an Office 365 account. The app FAQ even says that you need to have the correctly licensed service, and the blog post says the service is built on Office 365. But when attempting to sign in with my Office 365 account I get denied at every turn, on the web:

On the Windows app:

On my phone:

Looking around my Office 365 tenant I don’t see any reference to To-Do. I’m set to First Release, I’ve looked in Services & add-ins and no joy.

As a preview this product is unfortunately a complete bust for me – both on a personal and work level. I’m hoping that perhaps the Office 365 sign-in issue is simply that it hasn’t been made available globally yet, but if that is the case I’m surprised that the announcement would have gone out without it being fully available globally.

The To-Do team do however have a UserVoice and Twitter account going, so hopefully they learn from other Microsoft app teams and iterate quickly!

Also published on Medium.

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