O365 Groups Update – Header menu, Planner-Notebook tip

A new and improved header menu is rolling out to Office 365 Groups. I say improvement because much as I like elipses menus (…), they can unintensionally hide good options and features. The new header follows the style of the header in Yammer groups, so when Yammer is integrated into the Office 365 Groups hub of services, navigation will feel more familiar.  The header is taking a little longer to roll out to ‘Group Files, running on the SharePoint platform and presented in OneDrive for Business. And the new Planner service currently in preview will eventually feature there too. For now, Planner is accesible at tasks.office.com. If you haven’t activated the preview, review my previous blog post for the steps to do so.

I want to pass on a tip for using Planner with the ‘Group Notebook. Let me start by saying there is a direct one-to-one relationship between a Plan in Planner and an Office 365 Group. When you create a Plan, a Group will be created. When you create a Group, a Plan will be created. So all the core collaboration, communication and co-ordination services of a Group will be available to use with a Plan. Conversations, Files and the topic of this tip, the ‘Group Notebook.

In addition to the usual task metadata such as due date and progress, Planner tasks offer discussions and attachments. Comment on the task and the conversation is presented on the task and in ‘Group Conversations. Attach a document to a task and set it as the preview image for the card.
Attach a link to resource such as a web page, a download or…. a OneNote notebook page, section or even paragraph on a page. Many people are still discovering the powerful feature of OneNote, being able to link to different areas and content in the notebook. It plays a particularly useful part in referencing portions of your ‘Group Notebook.

In a presentation last year, I spoke about structuring notebooks for easy and more effective team collaboration. One of the concepts was to create a Project section group in the notebook and a section for each project. Now with Planner on the scene, your team can leverage the OneNote-Planner-Office 365 Group integration even more.

In brief

  1. Get your team connected to the ‘Group Notebook – on desktops, devices, tablets, phones. Then they don’t have to be online or in a browser to view and add content.
  2. Create a section group in your notebook to use with the Plan.
  3. Create a section for each task. The pages in the section will be used for capturing notes about the task, jotting down informal progress, key contacts, references to meeting minutes etc.
  4. In OneNote on your desktop, right-click the section and choose Copy link to section.
    The “Copy link to section” function isn’t available in OneNote Online, yet. Show your support for this #featreq and vote on UserVoice.
  5. In your Plan and task, attach a link, type some text to display and paste the link to the notebook section.

The result is quite powerful. A central place to make notes about a task, that is easy to find for all team members and accessible from all devices.

For more tips on using OneNote more effectively with your team, here’s a few of my resources.

  • Ben McMann

    Great tips in the video – loved the OneNote link.