How Microsoft Office 365 Planner differs from Project Online?

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office 365 Planner and Project Online are two services from Microsoft which are generally confused with each other. Both of them address the teamwork and project collaboration, but they are distinct to each other in such a way that you can’t simply move from one to another.There are few features which distinguish them from each other and below are the highlights along with the recommendation for use.

  • Microsoft Office Project Online requires a license as per the user type, as it is a separate application.Microsoft Office 365 Planner doesn’t’ require any additional license. So you are looking for centralized project list along with separate document library for each project, a Planner is a good option.
  • Microsoft Office 365 Planner is comparatively mobile-friendly than the Project Online with easy drag and drops tasks views whereas Project Online has Gantt task views.No template support for Planner whereas Project Online supports templates.The structure of plan can be complicated and overloaded in Planner if there are a large number of tasks whereas in case of the Project Online, thousands of tasks can be incorporated.
  • In Planner, edits are to be done via a dialog for a single task, and except six colored labels, it lacks the custom field support.Project Online does support the custom fields and the edits for the tasks can be done using task table in a browser.
  • “Planner hub”, which is the list of plans or projects, is the main page for Microsoft Office 365 Planner whereas “Project Center” is the main page for the Project Online.More granular permissions and controls are involved in Project Online.In Planner, one can see the public plans or those of whom they are the member of.In case of Microsoft Office Project Online, only the projects for which the access is granted to the user can be seen by them and not the rest.
  • Custom views, filters and groups can be created using Microsoft Planner whereas Project Online lacks this feature of a Planner.
  • There are settings to control who can edit the plans or projects in Microsoft Project Online whereas same is not available with the Planner.
  • A single task cannot be assigned to multiple people using Planner whereas in Project Online, a single task can be easily assigned to more than one person.
  • There is provision for calculating the project completion date in Project Online based upon the subsequent tasks or on the completing proceedings whereas no such facility is available in Microsoft Planner.The Planner doesn’t associate any external data like deliverables, risk, etc. whereas Project Online associates such external data.

In terms of user-friendly feature and overall experience, the Planner is quite easy and simple to use than Project Online and can be positioned in between the Project Online and office task list.But Project Online has advanced project management approach, supporting different businesses and can be customized as per requirement, but at the cost of increased complexity.

Those organization who are new in project management can certainly benefit with the Planner as it is a great platform and completely free.Generally, the Planner is a daily instrument and not as an alternative for Microsoft Project Online. One needs to choose from them as per their requirement, but certainly, both of them help to manage the digital experience teamwork and the tasks.


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