Microsoft Lists VS Planner: What to Use?

If you are a working professional who has to lead various teams and projects regularly, you will need a task management and planning tool. Microsoft provides multiple office tools to deal with various office tasks and projects. Microsoft Lists and Microsoft Planner are such tools. These tools help you plan not only your lessons but also keep track of the progress of those tasks. Often, many users have doubts about which application is better and when to use it. In this Microsoft Lists vs Planner guide, we will discuss both apps and their features so you can decide when you should use Planner and Lists to get the best results. Therefore, if you can’t decide between a Planner and Lists, follow this guide to know benefits of Planner and Lists.

Microsoft Lists VS Planner_ Which Application is Better

Microsoft Lists VS Planner: What to Use?

While Planner aids users in creating team plans and carrying them out effectively, Lists assists users in keeping track of appointments and tasks. Though both of them looks quite similar in form but you can make out the difference you go in a little bit of detail. 

What is Microsoft Lists?

Microsoft Lists is a rebranded application by Microsoft to help the user manage and plan their schedule and tasks. Upon its release, the application replaced SharePoint Lists. In this section, we will discuss the features of Microsoft Lists and when to use them. Microsoft Lists enables users to organize their work and daily schedules. Microsoft Lists allows users to plan and keep track of various essential activities such as issues, assets, routines, contacts, inventory, etc. Microsoft Lists also will enable you to customize views and smart rules and gives users alerts to keep track of their activities. Lists are completely integrated with Microsoft Teams, allowing organizations to introduce its features to help improve their productivity. Continue reading to know when to use Microsoft Planner.

Microsoft lists

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Microsoft Lists: Features

If you are wondering what is Microsoft Lists good for, let us discuss some of their key features. Microsoft Lists has various interesting features that make it one of the best organizing applications. The following are some of the essential key elements of the Microsoft Lists application, which can help you decide between Microsoft Lists vs Planner. Continue reading to know which is better between Microsoft Lists vs to do.

  • Share a List: If you want to share a list outside of the Microsoft Lists or SharePoint sites, you can share a list with Microsoft List. This is a unique feature in the application, as it allows you to share a list outside the host site without having to share user access to the list.
  • Share an Item: Similar to sharing a list, if you wish to share an item, such as a row, you can do it with Microsoft Lists. The application allows you to share an item without sharing user information or other items in the Lists. Continue reading to learn about the various benefits of Planner.
  • Color Code Lists: Color coding is one of the key customization features in the Lists application. When you are dealing with a large number of lists in the application, it can be difficult to evaluate data on the application. Therefore, if you are wondering when to use Lists, you can use Lists when you need to filter a large amount of data in Lists. Color coding helps you navigate the application and properly organize and plan the data.
  • Use Alternate View: Lists application allows you to switch between Gallery and Calendar views. This helps you customize your application and gives you different options for viewing your data.
  • Version History: Version History lets you see all the changes made to your Lists application. This will helps you manage and accurately track the data in the app.

If you are still unsure what Microsoft Lists is good for, let us discuss the advantages of using Microsoft Lists in the next section to help you decide between Microsoft Lists vs Planner. Continue reading to know which one is better between Microsoft Lists vs To Do.

Advantages of Microsoft Lists

The following are some of the main advantages of using Microsoft Lists. In the next section, read about Microsoft Planner and when to use Microsoft Planner.

  • Microsoft Lists can serve as a central repository for all the tasks and responsibilities assigned within the same organization.
  • You can assign, update the status, and even have threaded conversations with Microsoft Lists.
  • Since the application is available on Microsoft Teams, you can organize meetings and collaborate on lists at any time.
  • The app allows you to make as many lists as possible and access them all from a single view.
  • You can also see and check on the tasks assigned to other users.
  • Microsoft Lists also allows users to view and manage lists from any location using a web browser, Microsoft Teams, or the mobile version of the application. Read the following section to know benefits of Planner.
  • Lists also allow the user to set specific rules for events; therefore, if you don’t know when to use Lists, you can use them to set rules for various events in your organization.
  • You can use built-in templates to create lists quickly.

Microsoft Lists VS Microsoft To Do

Microsoft Lists and To Do may look like similar applications, but they are very different and serve different purposes. To-Do allows users to keep track of tasks on a daily basis. It is purely a task-management application. On the other hand, Lists not only help you manage various tasks but also help you organize and plan them. Both applications are fully integrated with Microsoft Office 365 and are also available on Teams. If you still can’t decide between Microsoft Lists vs To Do, we have mentioned a few key features of To Do here.

  • To-Do is available on Teams and Microsoft Office 365.
  • You can add different lists for each task.
  • You can set due dates, reminders, and notes for specific tasks.
  • You can also attach files to your To Do items.

Also Read: How to Duplicate a Page in Microsoft Word

What is Microsoft Planner?

Now that we know what is Microsoft Lists good for let’s discuss Microsoft Planner and its features. This app is a task management and planning application that helps users plan their professional schedules. Microsoft Planner takes inspiration from the Kanban board concept to manage tasks visually. First introduced by the Japanese car giant Toyota, the Kanban board concept enables easy tracking of larger projects through a simple drag-and-drop interface. In the interface, tasks appear as cards that can be moved across columns. Microsoft Planner is fully integrated with Microsoft Teams; this allows you to introduce the Kanban board as a dedicated tab to any Teams component. Members of your team can access the data on Planner at any time and manage their tasks as needed. Let us now discuss various features of this app, so you can decide between Microsoft Lists vs Planner.

Microsoft Planner

Microsoft Planner: Features

Since we already know what is Microsoft Lists good for, let us now give you various features of Planner, so you can decide which app to choose. Microsoft Planner is one of the most advanced task management applications out there. The following are some of its most important features to know when to use Microsoft Planner. Also, read the previous section to know which is better between Microsoft Lists vs To Do.

  • Schedule View: Schedule View allows users to have a better understanding of the project status with the ability to view task schedules. which allows members to finish their tasks and meet deadlines on time. Read along to learn about the various benefits of Planner.
  • Assign Tasks to Multiple Team Members: With Microsoft Planner, you can assign a task to multiple team members. This feature saves a lot of time, and tasks are attended to early on. This also helps in collaborations between different team members. Read the previous section to know when to use Lists.
  • Group and Filter: The Planner gives you Group and Filter options while performing a task. These options can be very helpful and help a team member meet their deadlines on time. You can filter tasks according to their required deadlines to keep track of task progress.
  • External User Access: Microsoft Planner allows you to invite a guest or external user. You can share information about your plan and task by sharing it with a guest. This feature helps you interact and plan according to the requirements of the customers.
  • Due Date Notifications: Due Date Notifications, help you be on time with your deadlines. This feature gives you reminders and alerts for upcoming deadlines, so you can plan your tasks better.
  • iCalendar Format Feed: With this feature, you can import your tasks to Microsoft Outlook through an iCalendar feed.

Advantages of Microsoft Planner

The following are some of the key advantages of using Microsoft Planner.

  • The Kanban board interface allows you and your team to start and finish projects quickly.
  • Email and due date notifications in the Planner app let you stay on track with your tasks and make sure that you never miss a deadline.
  • With Microsoft Planner, you can get all the information you need to finish, organize and collaborate on your tasks in one place. Kanban card window, checklist, labels, and comments help you locate tasks easily in Planner.
  • The project calendar view in the Planner application lets you set deadlines according to your preferences and priorities.
  • With Microsoft Planner, you can create and compile reports and track progress to stay on schedule with the Planner Hub.
  • With Microsoft Planner, you can see the progress of all the assigned tasks and assign one task to more than one team member.
  • Microsoft Planner allows you to get a unique Outlook email for communications with each plan; this lets you plan and organize your tasks more accurately.
  • Microsoft Planner is fully integrated with Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Office 365.

Also Read: Fix Microsoft Store Not Working on Windows 10

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Which is better, Planner or Lists?

Ans. Both applications can be very useful in planning and assigning organizational tasks. Lists and Planner, both have distinctive features and purposes.

Q2. What are the key features of Microsoft Planner?

Ans. Microsoft Planner allows you to invite an external user, group and filter tasks, and assign tasks to multiple team members.

Q3. What are the important features of Microsoft Lists?

Ans. Microsoft Lists allows you to share lists and items. The application also allows you to color code lists for better navigation.

Q4. Can I invite an external user to Microsoft Planner?

Ans. Yes, you can invite external users in Microsoft Planner to better plan and coordinate a project.

Q5. Is Planner available on Microsoft Teams?

Ans. Yes, Microsoft Planner is fully integrated with Microsoft Office 365, and Microsoft Teams.


We hope this guide was helpful to you and that you could choose between Microsoft Lists vs Planner. Let us know which application you liked the best. Please let us know in the comment section if you have any suggestions or queries.

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