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Microsoft To Do automation: 5 ways to streamline your task management

By Dane O'Leary · December 14, 2023
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. From granular task management to scheduled tasks with reminders, it's a power app that stands out for its user-friendly and flexible features. 

And because Microsoft To Do is part of Microsoft's wider ecosystem, you can sync it with other Microsoft apps and carry out actions between them, like flagging Outlook emails as Microsoft To Do tasks or using Cortana to automatically add items to your to-do list. 

But this can only take you so far—especially if you have a whole network of different apps you use for work. You might want a faster way to save Slack messages as tasks, for example. Or you might want to automatically block out time on your Google Calendar for your to-do items. If that's the case, Zapier is your best bet. 

You can create automated workflows—what we call Zaps—to streamline your task management. Take a look.

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Table of contents

To get started with a Zap template—what we call our pre-made workflows—just click on the button. It only takes a few minutes to set up. You can read more about setting up Zaps here.

Create tasks from other Microsoft apps

Like we mentioned, there are some native integrations between Microsoft To Do and other Microsoft apps. But if you're finding the things you'd like to do aren't built-in or you're looking for more flexibility, setting up Zaps 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.

Streamline team projects

Project management apps—like Trello, Asana, and Notion— 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.

This works the other way, too. For example, you might jot down tasks as notes in Microsoft To Do, but then you need a way to add them to your team's official project management tool (like Notion). That way, you can easily assign specific tasks to other team members, or collaborate with them in the comments section of your project management tool. 

With these Zaps, you can add your Microsoft To Do tasks to your project management tool of choice—automatically. 

Collaborate and communicate with your team

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 or Discord.

Of course, your team might communicate solely via email. If that's the case, you can use these Zaps to turn requests sent via email into tasks, or notify them when you add new tasks to Microsoft To Do. 

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, let automation do the work for you.

And this is just the start of what you can do with Microsoft To Do and Zapier. What will you automate first?

This article was originally published in July 2020. It was most recently updated in December 2023 by Elena Alston.

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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'