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4 ways to take Microsoft To Do from task manager to productivity powerhouse

By Dane O'Leary · July 9, 2020
Hero image for automation inspiration with the Microsoft To Do logo connected by dots to the logos of Slack, Trello, and OneNote

Microsoft To Do checks the most important boxes for a to-do list app. It has granular task management, scheduled tasks with reminders, the ability to break tasks into multiple lists and subtasks, and access to your tasks and the interface on mobile or at your computer.

It owes quite a few of its features—the minimalist UI, ease of use, and general flexibility —to the now-retired Wunderlist. Microsoft acquired Wunderlist in 2015, and began work on the app that became Microsoft To Do. Wunderlist was shut down for good in May 2020.

A good to-do list takes you only so far, however. If you're spending too much time copying or retyping items from your email or team chat into Microsoft To Do, Zapier can help. Use Zapier's automated workflows to connect Microsoft To Do with your other apps and cut out the manual work involved in staying on top of your tasks.

You'll need a Zapier account to set up these workflows, which we call Zaps. It's free to sign up.

Next-level integration with other Microsoft apps

There are some native integrations between Microsoft To Do and other Microsoft apps. If you're finding the things you'd like to do aren't built-in, setting up Zaps—our word for the automated workflows you create with Zapier—can help you take control of your to-do list.

From porting Microsoft To Do tasks to Microsoft OneNote to creating or updating tasks in Microsoft To Do when a Microsoft 365 file is updated, Zapier brings more utility to Microsoft To Do when it’s used alongside other Microsoft apps.

Create tasks on Microsoft To-Do from new OneNote notes

Create tasks on Microsoft To-Do from new OneNote notes
  • OneNote logo
  • Microsoft To Do logo
OneNote + Microsoft To Do

You can also use Zapier to build your own custom workflow between Microsoft apps, like Excel or Office 365. On these pages, you'll want to use the drop-down menus to select the trigger—the event that kicks off your workflow—and the action you want to have happen automatically, then click the blue button to connect the apps.

Keep your team focused and productive

There are a wide variety of project management tools that teams use to collaborate or to maximize their productivity.

Project management

Project management apps — like Trello, Asana, and Wrike — can be more powerful than you need from a to-do list tool. For this reason, you may find yourself using an app like Microsoft To Do separate from your team's project management tool to stay on top of your own tasks.

Zapier can help you connect those tools and create a system that supports team-level and individual-level work. You can set up Zaps that let you turn your duties on team projects into tasks in Microsoft To Do to ensure your contributions to a team project never fall through the cracks.

Team communication and collaboration

Communication is crucial for collaboration and team productivity. On its own, Microsoft To Do isn’t a very strong team communication and collaboration tool. However, you can use Zaps to integrate Microsoft To Do with a designated team communication platform like Slack.

Manage your schedule and calendar

Although you can assign due dates and reminders to your tasks, Microsoft To Do isn’t the best tool for actually managing your schedule, at least not on its own.

Instead of relying on Microsoft To Do to manage your schedule, let Zapier ensure your Microsoft To Do tasks are added to your calendar by automating with your preferred schedule management tool.

This works the other way too: Use Zaps to add tasks to Microsoft To Do when an event is created or changed in your schedule.

Supercharge your sales process

With Zapier, you can boost your customer service and sales support skills by connecting those customer-oriented platforms with the tool you use to organize your personal work.

Most sales teams invest a ton of time and energy into warming leads. With Zapier, you can set up new tasks to be created in Microsoft To Do whenever a new Lead is added to your customer relationship management (CRM) program. This is a great way to capitalize on a prospective customer becoming interested in your product or service.

Lost deals usually mean another hands-on process. Fortunately, there are Zaps that you can use with Microsoft To Do to minimize lost deals and sales. One example is to create new tasks in Microsoft To Do when a deal progresses to a certain stage in the process (or meets some other criteria).

Let automation boost your productivity

Like other to-do list apps, Microsoft To Do is great for what it does, but has its limitations. Zapier helps flip the script and expand its capabilities.

Whether you’re looking for better integration with other Microsoft apps, to boost your customer support capabilities, or for a way to bridge the gap between personal task management and team communication, there are a variety of useful Zap templates with which to get more from Microsoft To Do.

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A Zap with the trigger 'When I get a new lead from Facebook,' and the action 'Notify my team in Slack'