Planner Adds Priority to Tasks

New Priority Field Set to “Medium” for Existing Planner Tasks

Office 365 Notification MC189277 (August 30) told us that Planner had added a priority field for tasks. The change has been rolling out since and turned up in the Office 365 for IT Pros tenant over the weekend.

I think it’s fair commentary to say that most people expected Planner to make this change a long time ago. After all, Planner has been part of Office 365 since 2016. Despite many upgrades since to add essential features like guest access, support for multiple plans within an Office 365 Group (or team), and some moderately better graphs, no one within the Planner development group ever imagined that it’s natural for people to assign different priorities to items, or perhaps they didn’t want to add a priority field because it closed the functionality gap a little between Planner and Project. Well, now that inexplicable lack of a priority field is closed and we can all rest easy.

Four Priorities for Planner

The priority field accepts four values: Urgent, Important, Medium, and Low. The default priority assigned to new tasks is Medium (Figure 1) as is also the case for tasks created previously.

Setting the priority for a Planner task
Figure 1: Setting the priority for a Planner task

You don’t get the chance to set a priority for a new task when creating tasks through the default Group by Bucket view, so if you want to change the priority, you’ll have to open the task and update it.

Group by Priority

But then you discover the new Group by Priority view, which arranges tasks in priority order and sorts the tasks in descending due date within priority (Figure 2). Now it’s easy to create new tasks with the appropriate priority by clicking the + (plus sign) at the top of each column. You can also change a task’s priority by dragging it from one priority column to another. It’s a really nice and easy way to organize tasks that I think will be very popular with Planner users.

Planner's Group by Priority View
Figure 2: Planner’s Group by Priority View

Client Support

The Group by Priority view is available in the browser client and Teams. The priority field is not yet visible in the Planner mobile client, so the Group by Priority view isn’t available there either.

Planner doesn’t support PowerShell, so you can’t update Planner items with a script. You can use the Graph to access Planner, but an update will be needed before the Planner API supports priority.

Need more information about using Planner? Look no further than the insightful and interesting coverage of the topic presented in the Office 365 for IT Pros eBook!

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