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Manage your projects with Microsoft Planner, included free with Office 365.

Microsoft Planner Vs Project Online

For small businesses and small teams to collaborate and track work, Microsoft launched the new app Planner in June, 2016. It comes free as a part of Office365 suite. Planner is a project management service which uses the established concept of a digital whiteboard plastered with note cards, which you can use to track projects, communicate progress, and attach files. It also integrates with other Microsoft products like OneNote and Outlook. It is another way to address how we manage tasks and digitally experience teamwork. In the following table, we have compared the low cost Planner with Project Online, the more versatile but pricier online project management software from Microsoft.

Capabilities Planner Project Online
Manage Project Level Information
List projects across organization yes yes
Mobile-friendly list of projects yes (with third party apps)
Can create custom views, groups, and filters   yes
Allow collection of custom project fields   yes
Control who can view project/plan yes yes
Control who can edit project/plan   yes
Upload and associate documents to projects yes yes
Project level discussion/posts yes yes
Manage Tasks
Provide Mobile-friendly view of tasks across projects yes (with third party apps)
Provide graphical view of tasks at a project level view yes yes
Provide a My task summary view across all projects yes yes
Assign a single task to multiple people   yes
Associate effort and cost related values   yes
Task level discussion/posts
yes  
Associate files to individual tasks yes yes
Calculate completion date based on completing proceeding or subsequent tasks   yes
Associate external data like risk, issues, and deliverables   yes
Link and populate employee timesheets   yes
Additional Capabilities / Features
A web based API exists for programmers to extract data yes yes
Information can be managed offline   yes
UI can be customized
  yes

As free software from companies like Google and others have seen increasing adoption, it’s been a while since Microsoft stopped being a dominant player when it comes to producing apps for workplace productivity. With Planner, they might see more traction and reclaim some of the lost grounds.

Project management apps are integral to any business that collaborates online, with businesses of all sizes and types relying on these types of tools to get work done. Planner will be a logical move for project teams that manage projects using Excel spreadsheets. Here Microsoft gains an edge over other competitors to get those teams use its software.

Another reason Planner may gain increasing significance is that, if you want a central list of projects, each with a dedicated document library and ability to track the completeness of tasks, you can do that with Planner.

However, in an attempt to evaluate and accord a place to Planner, amongst the top applications and software that perform similar functions, tech experts have been pitting it against another Microsoft Product which is Project Online.

One distinct advantage with Planner is that there are no additional licensing costs one needs to pay for using it. Which is not the case with Project Online because it is a separate application that requires licensing based on types of users.

Planner and Project are two very distinct products, yet both let manage project collaboration and teamwork. Since both these project monitoring tools are not integrated, you cannot simply start with one and seamlessly move to the next, unlike in SharePoint where one can use the task lists feature to create Projects. Planner is easy to adopt, as it’s quite simple to use and without customization ability.