While I haven't traditionally been a fan of Microsoft products, it's undeniable that in the past year, they've shown a strong commitment to software development and have introduced some impressive products. Two noteworthy examples include the new Bing featuring ChatGPT and the star of the show that I'm about to discuss: Microsoft To Do.
1 What is it?
Microsoft To Do is a free app that helps you make your things organized, especially in business environment thanks to the highlight features as follows:
- Creating tasks (either from scratch or from emails)
- Add tasks to
My Dayto work on them
- Manage things by
- Share task list with other people
- Assign tasks to collaborators
- Check progress of planned items
And equally importantly, it is accessible through
Android, iOS, Mac, Windows 10, and the web, and it supports
switch between business and personal account.
2 Why is it good?
Apparently this is a light-weight application and there are countless similar apps for to dos and planning, so why does it stand out?
2.1 Simplify the planning problem
Unlike other giant Outlook applications like Office, To Do essentially focuses on one thing -
just plan my day!
It's generally recommended to group tasks by type, such as
Personal group as shown in the screenshot above. This practice helps keep things organized, especially as your task list grows over time. However, these tasks often have varying priorities and shouldn't necessarily all be tackled in a single day. This is where
My Day comes in handy, allowing you to focus on what's most important on a day-to-day basis.
Some might argue that this approach is too short-sighted and neglects the bigger picture. In my view, the task groups and the backlog already provide the broader perspective, while
My Day assists you in achieving those larger goals one day at a time.
2.2 Integration with Outlook
To Do is a Microsoft product, which means it seamlessly integrates with Outlook. In fact, even if you've never used To Do before, as long as you've flagged certain emails in Outlook, those emails will automatically appear in To Do.
This feature actually helps put things together and prevents you from forgetting about things.
2.3 Flexible customization
For each task, To Do sets up different options to help users specify the task:
There are more info to be put in the task:
- Mark as important
- Sub tasks
- Due dates
- Repeat schedule
··· on the top right allows users to further modify the task:
I believe To Do is exceptional because it doesn't overcomplicate the task at hand. In my view, effective planning consists of three key steps:
- Recording thoughts comprehensively and accurately, which involves creating tasks.
- Identifying the appropriate resources and collaborators for those tasks.
- Taking action on them, which is where
My Daycomes in.
To Do excels by providing the right tools in the right proportions. It doesn't demand excessive time from you, as many other apps do, but rather assists you in optimizing your time and staying organized.