Conquer time with new features in Microsoft Planner

Teams and individuals depend on Microsoft Planner to get organized quickly, work together effortlessly, and stay on the same page—no matter how large or small the project. Four new features for Planner will give you greater visibility into project schedules, let you group and filter tasks, allow you to receive notifications of upcoming deadlines, and soon you will be able to publish tasks to your Outlook calendar.

Here is an overview of the four new features.

  • Schedule view—Meet deadlines, plan ahead, and understand project status with the ability to view your task schedule. In addition, weekly and monthly task views allow drag-and-drop scheduling. Read the support article for more details.

Screenshot displays the Schedule view in Microsoft Planner. -

  • Group and Filter options—The Group and Filter options in Planner give you deeper insights into your tasks to help you meet key deadlines. For example, filter your tasks by due date to better understand approaching deadlines. Or use the Group feature to view tasks that have not been started, so you can prioritize your work.

Screenshot displays the Filter dropdown in Microsoft Planner. -

  • Due date notifications—Receive an email notification summarizing tasks due in the coming week—and stay on top of your approaching deliverables.

Screenshot displays Due date notifications in Microsoft Planner. -

  • iCalendar format feed (coming soon)—Make better scheduling and time-management decisions by publishing tasks to your calendar. By adding your tasks to your Outlook calendar, you’ll never lose track of current and upcoming tasks—helping you meet your deliverables. - Screenshot displays the iCalendar format feed Publish prompt in Microsoft Planner.

These features have been among the top requests on the Planner UserVoice forum. Schedule view, Group and Filter, and Due date notifications are now available to all Office 365 subscribers. Outlook calendar integration via the iCalendar format feed is rolling out soon. We look forward to your comments and feedback. Feel free to submit feedback through the Planner UserVoice forum. Visit Planner now!

New to Planner?

There’s never been a better time to start using Planner! With these new capabilities, Planner is a complete solution for task and work management. Planner is part of the Office 365 productivity suite and is fully integrated with the other Office 365 applications. And if you’re already using Microsoft Teams, you can host a Planner Plan inside your Teams workspace, so everybody can collaborate in one place. You can also link a Planner Plan to a task in Microsoft Project Online, so your team can track tasks and work details in Planner even when that work is part of a larger Project plan being tracked in Project Online. Visit Planner to learn more.

The Planner team

Craft a compelling resume with Resume Assistant, powered by LinkedIn—now available

Last November, we announced Resume Assistant, a new feature in Microsoft Word to help you craft a compelling resume with personalized insights powered by LinkedIn. Today, this new experience begins rolling out to Office 365 consumer and commercial subscribers on Windows.

Writing a compelling resume can be a difficult process, but we’ve heard from customers already using Resume Assistant that the new experience is helping them:

“I absolutely love it; I’ve never seen anything like this!”

“I have been struggling trying to figure out how to brush up my resume and these tips took some of the burden off my shoulders.”

“It’s very helpful to have suggestions on the wording to use.”

With over 80 percent of resumes updated in Word, Resume Assistant helps job seekers showcase accomplishments, be more easily discovered by recruiters, and find their ideal job. Our goal is to empower job seekers with the tools to land their dream job. To learn more about Resume Assistant, head over to the official LinkedIn blog or visit Office Support for tips, tricks, and information on how to get started.

Resume Assistant is now available to Office 365 subscribers on Windows whose Word 2016 desktop display language is set to English, who are located in and whose Windows region is set to one of the following region locations: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, and United States. The Region location setting can be found in the Control Panel under Clock, Language, and Region. Resume Assistant can be found in the Review tab of Word.

Real-time co-authoring and drag and drop support are coming to Microsoft’s Office iOS apps

Following the release of OneDrive 10.1 for iOS yesterday, Microsoft announced a major update for its Office iOS apps. Real-time co-authoring is coming to Word, Excel and Powerpoint on iOS, just a couple of weeks after the feature rolled out to Office 2016 for Mac.

Introducing new features in @Office and @OneDrive for iOS, including real-time co-authoring, drag and drop, and universal link support for shared files. Learn more: 

“Using real-time co-authoring, colleagues, friends, and family can contribute to and edit documents simultaneously in the Word, Excel and PowerPoint iOS apps, the Office team explained. “This allows you to know who else is working with you in a document, see where they’re working, and view changes automatically within seconds.” As on other platforms, real-time co-authoring will require an Office 365 subscription.

For iPad users, the upcoming updates for Word, Excel and Powerpoint will also let you drag and drop content between the three Office apps as well as OneDrive. To do that, you’ll just have to open two apps side by side and drag and drop content from one app to another.

Drag and Drop OD to PPT.gif -

Lastly, Word, Excel and Powerpoint will get new accessibility features on iOS 11, including the new VoiceOver rotor to change how VoiceOver speaks, reads, and sounds. Microsoft says that these new capabilities will roll out to iOS users in the coming days, so make sure to check for updates in the App Store on your iPhone or iPad.

Microsoft updates its Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams roadmap

Back at Ignite 2017, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Teams would soon replace Skype for Business as the main communication hub for Office 365 customers. To help companies understand when Microsoft Teams would integrate all the messaging, calling and meeting capabilities from Skype for Business, the company published a detailed roadmap last Fall.

A lot has already happened since then, with Microsoft Teams gaining the ability to make external phone calls, plan video meetings with up to 80 users and more. As a consequence, the Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams capabilities roadmap was updated last week to reflect all the recent changes.

In Q2 2018, Microsoft is planning to bring the ability to broadcast meetings, interact with Skype consumer accounts and much more right from Microsoft Teams. Support for Surface Hub, exisiting certified SIP phones Skype Room systems are also expected for Q2 2018, though be aware that dates and individual features are still subject to change.

Do you think the transition from Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams should be easy for most Office 365 customers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Microsoft’s earnings continue to rise as growth ceiling begins to shorten on Q2 2018 results – The numbers are in and Microsoft managed to beat market predictions which allowed the company to sit on a nice bump in stock in after-hour trading. For its Q2 2018 results, Microsoft announced revenues were up to the tune of $28.9 which is a net result of a 12% increase for the quarter as well as a 56% year-over-year cloud revenue growth that brought in $5.3 billion for the company.’s investment and company pivot toward cloud computing is paying off for shareholders who are now pocketing a pot of $5 billion in repurchased shares and dividends from the company.

Q2 2018 Revenue Results – As for the nitty-gritty of the specifics ups and downs of product lines and business categories, suffice to say, Microsoft was mainly buoyed by its Productivity and Business Processes division which saw 25% growth year over year and brought in $9 billion in revenue for the company.
The next shining star was Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud business which maintains an impressive 15% growth margin as it brought in $7.8 billion in revenue for the quarter. Lastly, Microsoft’s More Personal Computing division, which is often weighed down by products such as stagnating Windows licensing and the botched Windows Phone experiment, still managed to eek out a 2% growth for the quarter and bring in $12.2 billion in revenue.

Looking between the numbers – Drilling a little bit deeper, we see that Microsoft ‘s highlights for the quarter include:

Productivity and Business Processes

  • Office commercial products and cloud services revenue grew 10% driven by Office 365 commercial revenue growth of 41%
  • Office consumer products and cloud services revenue grew 12% and Office 365 consumer subscribers increased to 29.2 million
  • Dynamics products and cloud services revenue grew 10% driven by Dynamics 365 revenue growth of 67%.
  • LinkedIn contributed revenue of $1.3 billion during the quarter with sessions growth over 20% for the 5th consecutive quarter. However, when Microsoft starts using obscure metrics such as sessions growth, it reminds me of Xbox. I’m just saying.

Intelligent Cloud

  • Server products and cloud services revenue grew 18% which was driven by Azure revenue growth of 98%
  • Enterprise Services revenue grew 5% driven by Premier Support Services

More Personal Computing (all the consumer stuff)

  • Windows OEM revenue growth grew a modest 4% thanks to business licensing Pro versions of Windows at an 11% growth.
  • Windows commercial products and cloud services revenue declined 4% due to the impact of an apparent larger deal the company made last year.
  • Gaming revenue grew 8% thanks to having the Xbox One X on the market for the three months ending in December 2017.
  • Search advertising revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs grew 15% driven by higher revenue per search and search volume.
  • Surface revenue grew 15% despite the company selling less pieces of hardware in total. picture – As fellow writer and Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley points out, the company continues to show strong growth in its cloud revenue, but the level of growth is less mountain toppling and more hill jaunting as its sequential rate of growth have leveled by to the roughly 7% it was maintaining for the same quarter in 2017.

Despite offering new hardware for the Surface line, the company sold fewer units but at a higher price point which helped it eek out a 1% revenue gain. While not earth ending, it’s not a great sign coming out of the holiday buying season with three refreshed products lines and only marginal gains to show for it. Lastly, we’re still waiting to measure the LinkedIn acquisition as the YoY numbers begin to pair.

We continue to repeat the phrase that Microsoft’s investments in the cloud are paying off, and until either stop happening, we’ll continue to parrot it. Microsoft shows no signs of letting off the throttle for its cloud investments as it chases Amazon and there seems to be huge growth opportunities for businesses investing as much as them.