Microsoft Planner is almost worth it. Almost.

I’ve been using Microsoft Planner for a while now for various projects and have found, while useful, it is severely lacking in two key areas: custom fields and labeling.

Labeling is an approach Planner uses as an alternative to tagging you would find on other platforms to help with categorizing tasks for organization. Planner includes labels but only six of them to be used across all the cards in a plan. You can assign multiple labels to a card but can still only define six labels total. It’s an unfortunate state because if you have more than six categories you want to apply to your cards you’re forced to use buckets in their place and that restricts you from using buckets for process management. It’s an unfortunate oversight in the application design and needs to be addressed.

Custom fields are the other missing piece of the puzzle. In applications like Trello and Notion you can create multiple fields for storing data on a card. This ability to customize makes these platforms far more powerful for targeted organization than Planner. It should be a simple enough matter for Microsoft to add additional fields to the Planner platform with it’s closer association to the SharePoint platform. Until that happens Planner is going to be a second-class product when it comes to project management.

If Microsoft is serious about the future of Planner in the enterprise they need to step up their game and improve the tool in the ways that matter. It’s a good start but it has a long way to go.