Work effectively with tasks using the To Do App

Aug 4, 2022 | Microsoft 365 Hints and Tips

Do you get overwhelmed with the number of tasks you need to complete? To Do may be just the tool you need.  It is one of the many apps available from the Microsoft 365 subscription. It can even integrate with Outlook, Planner and Teams. You can use it on a mobile device or the desktop and it syncs automatically. This blog is specific to the desktop version but the mobile version is very similar.

The To Do Screen

The general To Do screen is shown below.

To Do Screen

Adding a basic Task

  1. Select Tasks from the pane on the left
  2. Click on Add a Task and type in a task name
  3. If required set a due date, reminder or make the task repeat using the icons shown below. Once the task has been created these options are also available in a pane on the right along with assigning a category to colour code the tasks or adding a file.
Add a task in To Do App

4. Right clicking the task gives many of the same options but in addition a list can be created from the task or the task can be moved or copied to an existing list (lists are explained later in this article)

Mark as Important

Any task that is marked as important is moved to the top of the list and also shows in the Important view in the pane on the left

  1. Click on the Star to mark the task as important
  2. The task will now also be available in the Important view in the pane on the left

Mark as Complete

When tasks have been completed you will want to indicate this

  1. Click in the Circle next to a task to mark it as complete
  2. It will still be visible in the Completed section within the Tasks View

Changing the order of the Tasks

  1. The order of the tasks can be changed by dragging and dropping the items in the list
  2. Alternatively, the Sort icon can be used to sort based on importance, due date and more

Add to My Day

My day is a to do list for that day only.  When you go into To Do the following day the list will be empty.  This helps focus on the important tasks at that point in time.

  1. Click on the Sun icon to Add to My Day.
  2. The task will now also be visible in the My Day View in the pane on the left

NOTE:  The Suggestions option in My Day provides a pane with a list of the tasks that you are most likely to want to add to My Day.


For more complicated tasks or tasks of a similar nature Lists can be used to organise them more effectively.

  1. Click where is says New List in the pane on the left and type in a suitable name
  2. Items can be added to this list in the same way as normal tasks
  3. If a higher level or grouping is required then the Create Group icon creates a new group that can be named. Lists are added to this by dragging and dropping
Create Group Icon

4. Much of the functionality already explained is also available for a task within a list.
5. Lists can be shared with others using the Share Once shared Tasks within that list can be assigned to others and will then appear in their Assigned to me view in the pane on the left.

Share icon

Outlook Integration

Flagged emails are linked to Microsoft Outlook emails.  If this is not working check that the option is turned on in settings. Emails that are flagged on Outlook are automatically shown in the Flagged email view in the pane on the left from the To Do app. When the flagged item is marked as complete in either Outlook or To Do it is removed from the flagged email view.

In addition, any tasks that are added in to do also appear in the tasks section of Microsoft Outlook.

Planner Integration

Any tasks that are assigned to you in the Planner app automatically appear in the Planned View.  Just like the flagged emails, when the task is marked as complete in either Planner or To Do it is removed from the Planned view.  If this feature is not working make sure it is turned on in settings.

Teams Integration

To Do can be added to the pane on the left side of Teams so you don’t need to leave your Teams environment to check on what you need to complete.

  1. From Teams click on the ellipses in the panel on the left-hand side
  2. Choose Tasks by Planner and To Do
  3. This will now appear as an icon at the bottom of this panel

Hints and Tips

  1. The Search box at the top of To Do can be used to search across all tasks within the application
  2. Hashtags can be used in the task name to categorise the tasks. These can then be searched on to find related tasks more easily
  3. In Settings there is an option of To Do Settings which allows To Do to be customised. A couple of particularly useful options are switching on Smart Lists for All and Completed.  These then appear alongside the default views in the pane on the left to show All Tasks in one place and Completed Tasks respectively.

Further Reading

If you’ve enjoyed reading about how you can work effectively using Microsoft To Do app, there’s some other blogs below that you might find useful:

Want to learn more about Microsoft To Do App? Then email to discuss how I can help or have a look at the Microsoft 365Courses I run.