Having had a long career working with analog and on-prem tools, I’ve gained insight into what I really needed from a task management system:
Information Hub: I want to go to one place to see everything. I don’t mind drilling down into an item to get a description of it, or a link to the document, or a comment chain, but I want them all in the same place.
Flexible Categorization: I can quickly reprioritize tasks, change their category or status, and tag them with helpful metadata.
Comments and Communication: Sometimes all the tags and statuses aren’t enough, and I want to leave myself helpful information, but I want to surface it to the team. Did I send this doc back for review? When?
Insights: Help me understand my team’s workload and show off to my boss.
So what do I do to tame all these tasks and get things done with these needs in mind? Simply put, I use Planner integrated with Teams. Let me tell you how I got there.
Old School Task Management
When I first started as a technical writer nine years ago, I had the same problem I have now — too many inputs to keep track of. At the time, I was a solo writer, so I did whatever felt best. At first, I tried to keep a list on sticky notes, emulating all those cool Kanban boards I saw on other people’s desks. Things got lost.
Leave the clutter of sticky notes behind with Microsoft Planner
Then I tried a bullet journal. If you haven’t seen bullet journals on Pinterest, it is all the rage with bloggers and Instagrammers who have beautiful penmanship and a lot of free time. I have neither of those, so I quickly lost track, and I lost interest in the systems I built.
Originally published at Sample Site.