7 Microsoft To-Do Tips to Help You Get More Done

We're all busy, which means most of us are looking for any type of leverage we can find to use our time more efficiently and get more done. While there are countless productivity apps out there, Microsoft To-Do is a great option for folks looking for a free, relatively easy-to-use app. If you use Microsoft To-Do, you can use these seven tips to get more done.

Also read: 5 Great Free Productivity Apps in the Mac App Store

1. Schedule Due Dates

While you can add tasks to your Microsoft To-Do list without any other stipulations, it's usually helpful to include due dates so that you can prioritize items based on when you must complete them. Luckily, it's easy to add due dates to any task, both when you create it or through editing the task after you add it to your list.

MS To Do Adding Due Date

When adding a new task, you can add a due date by pushing "Set Due Date" at the bottom left. You can also make the task recurring to repeat as frequently as you need or set a reminder if needed.

To add a due date or edit one on a task that's already created, click the task, then tap on "Add Due Date" to select a date. If the task already has a due date, you can tap on it to make changes.

Also read: The Ultimate Todoist Keyboard Shortcuts Cheatsheet

2. Use My Day to Plan Ahead

The Microsoft To-Do app includes a unique list labeled "My Day." This list can help you organize tasks from any of your lists in a single place – plus, you can add one-off tasks to this list without inputting them anywhere else. For someone who juggles multiple to-do lists in the Microsoft To Do app, My Day can really help you manage your time wisely so that no tasks fall through the cracks.

Microsoft To Do Myday View

To add a new item to My Day, simply click on the plus sign (+) bubble at the bottom right of the screen. From there, add a task just like you would to any other list and press the checkmark to save. If you don't assign this task to an existing list, the app will auto save it to the "Tasks" list in addition to your My Day list.

You can also add items from your other task lists to My Day by pressing the button that says "Suggestions" in the bottom center of the screen. If an item that you want to add to My Day doesn't appear under "Suggested," you can go to the list where you saved the item, open the task, and choose "Add to My Day" from the options listed below the task title.

MS To Do My Day Suggestions

If you use My Day, remember that the list resets at midnight daily, so any tasks you don't accomplish that day will fall off the list. However, they will appear under the "Suggestions" section so that you can add them back to your list.

Also read: The 7 Best Google Chrome Extensions for Productivity

3. Customize Lists

Sometimes it's hard to easily distinguish which to-do list is which when you quickly glance at them. However, Microsoft To-Do offers some great list customization options to help you avoid that problem.

Microsoft To Do Customize Emoji

First and foremost, you can name each task list anything you'd like and can even include emojis in the title. This can help you easily decipher your work task list from, say, your home chore list or grocery shopping list. You can add emojis to your lists in two places: in place of the default checklist icon or within your list title.

To add the icon into the checklist icon, open the menu to rename the list, then click the emoji button (the face with a plus sign) to select an emoji for the list. To add an emoji to your title instead, simply open emojis from your smartphone keyboard and type them in like you would letters.

MS To Do Customize List

In addition to using emojis, you can also customize the theme of each task list to help it stand out. You can either customize the coloring of the list with one of the 14 color options Microsoft provides or choose a photo theme (but only from options Microsoft provides).

Also read: 6 Must-Have Reminder Apps for Android

4. Create Subtasks to Stay on Track

While some of your tasks on your to-do list may be simple, others may involve several steps. Studies show that breaking those larger tasks down into smaller steps actually boosts your productivity. Thankfully, Microsoft To-Do makes this process easy to do with subtasks or steps.

Microsoft To Do Steps List

Once you create a task, click on the task to edit it. From this menu, you have the option to "add step," which creates subtasks within the task. You can add as many steps as you need, check off each step as you complete it, and keep track of your progress with the running counter of how many steps there are versus how many you've completed.

Creating subtasks can really help you make sure you don't miss any steps within the process when completing more complex tasks. However, even after you check off all the steps in a task, Microsoft To-Do won't automatically check off the main task, so you'll need to still check the entire task off your to-do list once all the steps are completed.

Also read: 7 Project Management Tools Made For Any Team

5. Use Tags (#Tags) to Sort Tasks

Sometimes tasks from different lists require the same concentration, items, or location. In these cases, it probably makes sense for you to do them at the same time, but it may be hard to realize that if you can't look at all of your task lists simultaneously. However, Microsoft To-Do actually makes this quite simple through the use of hastags.

MS To Do Hashtag Search

You can add tags when you first create the task or by editing the task after it's created. Also, you can add tags into any part of the task, such as the title, note, or even subtasks within the main task. Regardless of where you add the tag, you'll still see the task when you search for the tag using the search at the top right of the app's main page.

6. Share Your Microsoft To-Do Lists

Whether you work with an entire team of people or have a running grocery list for your household, there are times when you need to share a list on Microsoft To-Do with someone else. Luckily, it's fairly easy to do via text or email.

Microsoft To Do Share List

To share your list with someone else, simply click the "Share" icon at the upper right of the list. From there, you'll have the option to send an invitation to anyone via email, text message, or even a social media application or instant messenger app like Slack.

Once you share the list with others, they will be able to add tasks themselves, or you can assign tasks to any individuals who have access to the list. You can also revoke access to the list at any time within the "Manage Access" settings.

7. Program a Microsoft To-Do Siri Shortcut (for iPhone Users)

If you're short on time and use an iPhone, you can boost your productivity even more by adding a Siri Shortcut for Microsoft To-Do. To add a Siri Shortcut, follow these steps:

  1. From your To-Do settings, select "Siri Shortcuts."
  2. Tap on the plus icon (+) next to the item you want to add a shortcut for (like adding a task or opening a list).
  3. Pick the phrase you'd like to use with Siri to execute the task, then under "to do," select the list you'd like the item to be added to and set any additional steps with the "Show More" button.
  4. Once you're done choosing all the settings you need, click "Back -> Add to Siri."

Also read: 11 Useful Gmail Search Tips to Improve Your Productivity

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can Microsoft To-Do help me work more efficiently?

Microsoft To-Do is a simple task management app that offers many features for free. With To-Do, you can create task lists, add subtasks, share lists and collaborate with others, and integrate your To-Do list with Outlook Calendar or other applications.

2. Which apps can integrate with Microsoft To-Do?

Like most other Microsoft applications, Microsoft To-Do easily integrates with anything in the Office 365 family. However, integration with most apps outside of the Microsoft family requires a third-party automation app like Zapier.

3. What are Microsoft To-Do's limitations?

While Microsoft To-Do offers many great features, it does come with some limitations. For example, To-Do doesn't offer much in terms of integration with third-party apps. Furthermore, you cannot add notes or due dates to subtasks, only to the main task. There also isn't a way to access reports on your productivity, which some people find beneficial.

Megan Glosson

Megan Glosson is a freelance technology writer based in Nashville, TN. She has extensive experience working with everything from printers to smart home systems, and serves as the go-to “tech guru” for a small business that sells digital products. Megan has created thousands of articles for online publications and company blogs, including How-To Geek, Clean Email, and Review Geek. When she’s not writing, you will probably find Megan playing board games with her partner and two children or swimming in the pool. You can check out Megan’s entire portfolio on her website, https://www.meganglosson.com/.

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