How do you handle your to-do lists? Do you write tasks on scraps of paper? Or do you pop them in a notebook? Perhaps you have a digital application such as Todoist!
If you’re a Microsoft 365 user, you already pay for a task management system! It is called Microsoft To Do.
We all have busy lives; there are so many things that we want to get one. And we have many different areas of our lives to achieve other things. Without a proper task management system, we can quickly get overwhelmed. Trying to remember everything inside of your mind creates stress1. You’ll feel much better if you get all of your tasks out of your mind and within a task manager.
Having multiple Post-it notes scattered everywhere or having a notebook can be a big issue if you forget that notebook or lose your stickynotes1
However, putting a task manager in place could put you one step ahead of the game. And why pay for another application when you have one built into your Microsoft 365 plan? Plus, it integrates perfectly with all of your Microsoft Applications! So, without further ado, let’s get started on showing you around!
Accessing To Do
You can find Microsoft To-Do over the web or by installing it as an application on your computer.
To access ‘To Do’ over the web, log into your Microsoft 365 web portal and select the app launcher. Then select ‘To Do’.
This will then launch it in a web browser; although this method of accessing To Do does the trick, we much prefer to open it via the application installed onto your device.
So, how can we do this? You first need to be within the Microsoft store, search for Microsoft 365 and launch it. Then, from within the Microsoft 365 application, you can search for Microsoft To-Do, which will bring up the app in-store, and you can click ‘Get’ to install it as an application onto your device. This can also be done on any Apple or Android device.
Microsoft To Do is available to enjoy, no matter what devices you choose to use.
When you first open To Do, you’ll be able to see the ‘My Day’ page. This is where the tasks for the day will appear once they are set up. Your focus will be on this page while you’re using the application.
Along the side of your screen, you can see all the different options you can use.
Important – Tasks that take priority/must be completed.
Planned – Tasks with a time limit/deadline
Completed – All finished tasks
Assigned to me – When linking to another Microsoft 365 application, you can collaborate with colleagues and have tasks assigned to you without you making them.
Flagged Email – When integrated with Outlook, you can access email data.
Tools – Where all tasks are stored.
Within settings, many of them are self-explanatory. You can turn most of them on and off. You can also change the background of your ‘My Day’ page by clicking on the 3 dots in the right-hand corner of your screen, you can then choose another pre-set picture, or you can choose just a solid theme as well as light and dark themes.
When you empty your mind, it tends to be a mess. You’ll have different tasks from all areas of your life jumbled up together. We can use Microsoft To Do’s feature ‘Lists’ to organise these jumbled thoughts into categories. For example, if you created a list called ‘Marketing.’ All of your marketing themes tasks would go into this list. This can be done by dragging and dropping these tasks into your lists. You can create multiple tasks and sort them into numerous lists¬
I bet you’re feeling pretty organised right now, aren’t you? What if I said, you could sort your lists into ANOTHER category?
For Example, Lists such as ‘Marketing’ and ‘accounting’ would e put into a ‘Work’ Category. On the other hand, lists such as ‘Shopping list’ or ‘Vets’ would come under a ‘Home’ group.
Adding tasks is simple; select ‘Add tasks’ and input any details necessary. As we know, the task manager is all about the tasks themselves. We recommend emptying your mind onto the task manager for a good hour or so. Having these tasks racing around your head can be overwhelming and confusing. You will probably end up with a long list of tasks that all relate to different areas of your life.
You can then add tasks to ‘My Day’, which will help you prioritise your most essential tasks.
You’ll also notice that we can add steps to these tasks. This means you can set out the process of completing the task and achieve it bit by bit, checking off each part of the process as you go.
Selecting the star icon will move your task into the ‘Important’ folder for your To Do. These starred tasks will automatically appear at the top of your queues, making themselves more visible so you do not skip over them amongst your other tasks.
Deadlines and Due dates can also be added to tasks. This can help with [planning for any deadlines that these tasks may have or timeframes.
As well as this, if a task is meant to reoccur regularly, you can set them to repeat daily, Weekly, Monthly, yearly and on your own customised options.
Another Neat Feature with tasks is that you can attach files to them. This can be used in situations such as adding more information on the tasks, files and documents needed to complete the task, or templates and notes!
Outlook nicely integrates with Outlook in the ‘Flagged Email’ section. You can switch this on and off within your settings in the connected Apps area.
You don’t want tasks all over the place, with some in Outlook and some in To Do; This will complicate things much more as you would be working across two different platforms and trying to keep tabs on the tasks.
When you open Outlook, you can select the option to ‘Follow Up’ (flagging it) on an email. You can also give this a deadline/ Due date so that you have a time frame in which you need to complete this. Once you have done this, you can go back into To Do, sync the integration and whatever email you flagged will appear within the flagged email section. To Do will also apply the reminders and deadlines, and finally, you can move it into the lists and groups that correspond.
By now, all your tasks, from Outlook to your mind, should be within Microsoft To Do. And you’ve probably sorted them into lists and groups.
You’re almost done.
Now, it’s time to plan your day. It is the number one productivity tip we can give you; planning your next day will help drastically improve your timekeeping. So, go through your tasks, and add to the ‘My Day’ page everything that you believe needs to take priority.
We advise you not to put too many tasks not your day. This will overwhelm you. We think the best option is to aim for around 3 tasks per day; this way, you’re still progressing without the anxiety of having a huge list of tasks that will scare you.
Now, you can go and be your best, productive self!