Microsoft Lists Offers New Ways to Boost Productivity

The Microsoft Build 2020 conference in May brought a lot of Microsoft 365 news and announcements for businesses and developers – including the first disclosure of Microsoft Lists, a smart information tracking app in Microsoft 365. The new Microsoft Lists began rolling out to Microsoft 365 business customers worldwide in July. August brought the addition of the Lists app in Microsoft Teams. All are expected to be complete in production worldwide by the end of October 2020.

What is Microsoft Lists?

Microsoft Lists is a Microsoft 365 app that helps you track information and organize your work. Lists are simple, smart, and flexible, allowing you to track issues, assets, routines, contacts, and inventory using customizable views and smart rules and alerts to keep all your team members in sync. Microsoft Lists is available within the Microsoft 365 app launcher AND directly in a Teams channel. Both allow you to create new lists, share and access recent and favorite lists across your organization and your Teams channels. And because it is part of Microsoft 365, you get enterprise-grade security and compliance.

Creating a List

You can create a new List in several ways – either from scratch or with built-in, ready-made templates. In addition, you can create new lists from existing lists or by importing Excel table data. Beyond creation, you can quickly access favorited and recent lists, either ones you own or that have been shared with you, plus Team lists owned by members of your Teams.

Organizations who utilize Microsoft Teams can collaborate on lists, using flexible views like grids, cards, and calendar. This brings content and conversation side-by-side in one integrated experience. You can either add an existing list to a Teams channel or create a new list directly in Teams and chat on individual list items.

What about SharePoint?

Millions of people use SharePoint lists and libraries every month in Microsoft 365 to track issues, manage inventory, report status, onboard new hires, build out event agendas, manage FAQs, and more. With flexible columns, forms, and views, you can build your own solution to meet your specific needs without knowing how to code.

Fully integrated with Microsoft 365, Lists works seamlessly with other apps, such as Excel, SharePoint, Power Apps (custom forms), Power Automate (customer flows) and Power BI, enabling your organization to build powerful information tracking solutions at a fraction of the time and effort it typically takes to create custom apps from scratch.

Lists, Planner, Tasks and To Do….Oh My!

Its been a big year at Microsoft for new tools and features in Microsoft 365, including the introduction of Microsoft Lists, the new Tasks app in Microsoft Teams, and various upgrades to the two major task apps, Microsoft Planner and Microsoft To Do. While it’s great to see so many upgrades and feature additions, it can create confusion among these four apps. So, which tool when?

Our partners at AvePoint help navigate this question in a recent blog post, which helps outline where Lists, Planner, To Do, and Tasks in Teams fall along the spectrum. As you can imagine, there’s both overlap and aspects of each of these apps that aren’t actually just about tasks.

Graphic provided courtesy of AvePoint

We encourage you to read the full AvePoint article here, and check out the AvePoint blog about how you can supercharge Microsoft Teams with Tasks and Lists. In addition, the Microsoft Tech Community has published a variety of resources to learn more about Lists, and how to incorporate them across your organization:

Interested in learning more about how you can incorporate Microsoft Lists across your organization? Contact the C3 Integrated Solutions Team at

Bill Wootton is the Founder and President of C3 Integrated Solutions, a full-service IT provider based in Arlington, VA that specializes in securing our nation’s Defense Industrial Base through cloud-based solutions and industry leading partners. Bill is passionate about bringing cyber-awareness, and cyber-maturity to the nation’s Defense Industrial Base, working with clients to help them achieve CMMC and NIST 800-171 compliance by providing MSP, security and Office 365 integration services.

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