Microsoft Planner

What is it?

Microsoft Planner is a way to organise teamwork and tasks. It provides a hub for team members to create plans, organise and assign tasks to different users and to check updates on progress through dashboards. It also provides a centralised place where files can be shared and gives visibility to the whole team.

With Microsoft Planner, you can:

  • Create a task list for your team/project.
  • Set task owner, completion dates, sub-task checklists, group tasks in ‘buckets’, assign labels and add attachments.
  • Set notifications for task owners to indicate tasks have been assigned/are due.
  • Plan an event or a project launch.
  • Publish content and manage the publishing process for articles and blog posts.
  • Create and follow a process such as monitoring colleagues or student tasks from scheduling to follow up.

Planner is accessible online via


The help available within each application should be the first place to visit for ‘how to’ questions. The help function can be accessed by pressing the F1 key or going to the ‘Help’ menu on the top ribbon in most Microsoft 365 (M365) applications.

For further help with Planner, please visit the M365 Help and Support site. Here you will find:

Planner is supported by IT Services. If you are unable to resolve your query using the above resources or if you appear to have a technical issue, you can contact the IT Support Centre.  

There is also a Microsoft Planner Issues page where you can see questions other Planner users have raised and raise questions yourself.

Instructions for staff and postgraduate research students on how to install Microsoft 365 are available here:

Learning about Planner

Microsoft provide a number of written resources, with supporting videos which tell you more about Planner:

Information handling

Information classified as Very Sensitive must not be processed or stored on M365 and advice must be sought from the Information Governance Office if you handle this type of information.

If you’re processing/storing information or data classified as Highly Restricted in M365, please follow the information handling minimum controls set out in the Information security classification examples and handling guidance for confidential information.

Continue to adhere to the Information Governance Office Best practice guidance on sharing and storing information and Records Retention Schedule whenever you’re working with data.

Need help on information handling? Contact your Information Governance Guardian.


Global limitations:

The official document containing limitations of Planner is not available at present, however this thread in the Planner forum contains a list of known limitations.

University of Manchester limitations:

The ‘new group creation’ facility for Planner is turned off. You can create Planner plans, but you will need to link these to existing groups/Teams.

The reason for this is that in creating a Plan and assigning it to others you create an M365 Group. M365 Groups power the collaboration experience for several M365 products such as Teams, SharePoint, Planner, Outlook Groups. There are therefore risks associated with creating ad-hoc groups in this way.

To request creation of a Group, please raise a ticket with the Support Centre. Go to the ‘Request Support’ and select ticket ‘Microsoft Office 365 Request/Issue’. Please state whether you want a Microsoft Team or a Group without a connected Microsoft Team.

Additionally, the self-service addition of apps and add-ins for Microsoft 365 Office and associated products is still under review by the IT Service Security Working Group as to how they can be risk assessed and supported. This process should be completed in the near future at which time information will be updated and communications will be sent out to staff.