July 12, 2024
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Microsoft Planner vs Trello – Which Is Better for Teaching

Microsoft Planner vs Trello – Which Is Better for Teaching

There are several project and task management tools on the market today. They are not all created equal. Trello and Microsoft Planner are two of the biggest names in that field. Both these tools are designed to help you streamline and manage your projects as seamlessly as possible.

However, both of them have their own set of users that will tell you that people prefer a few things on one and not the other. Today, we will take a closer look at Microsoft Planner vs Trello and find out which one is better for teachers.

Why Use Microsoft Planner for Teaching?

Over the years, Microsoft has positioned itself to be synonymous with extremely helpful and effective software in almost every professional field. It’s no surprise that they would have a project management tool as well.

Microsoft Planner is an excellent project management software that comes as part of the Office 365 enterprise subscription.

office 365 enterprise subscription screenshot

It’s rather similar to Trello with the sole difference of not having a free version. Other than that, it offers some excellent tools such as event scheduling, performance reporting, progress charts, tagging, task planning, task commenting, and task tracking, all of which would come in great handy for teachers.

Why Use Trello for Teaching?

Trello has been around for quite a while now, and its popularity shows in the number of users it currently has (over 50 million). The beauty is that Trello is an extremely visual project planning tool that makes it very easy for even the most novice computer users to understand and use.

Unlike, Microsoft Planner, Trello has a free plan that you can try out as a teacher. It also has paid plans for organizations and larger projects.

The best thing about Trello is that it’s so simple to use that teachers can use their boards to collaborate with younger students and parents who might not be tech-savvy. It offers excellent features such as boards, due date tracking, filtering through the boards by keywords or names, and even collaboration among teachers.

trello subscription pricing plan

Microsoft Planner for Teaching – What Can You Do with it?

Here are a few things you can do with Microsoft Planner:

Add Members to a Team

The first thing you will notice about Microsoft Planner is that you can create teams to collaborate and seamlessly communicate with the team members. All you have to do is add the people you want on the team by typing out their names and selecting the ones you want.

You Can Set Due Dates

The software has a calendar embed that allows you to sync up the different processes and tasks you have set for your team. Say, for example, you have an assignment set for your class. Using this calendar, you can easily set due dates for every team member and track their progress as they strive to complete the tasks.

Set Notification Alerts

This is one of the standout features of this software. When you assign tasks to any one of your students, you can set a notification alert so that the software lets you know as soon as that task is handed in to start assessing it. This is a great way to stay on top of classwork.

Proper Task Description

One of the good things about using Microsoft Planner as a teacher is that it provides you with the right amount of space to write up the descriptions of any tasks you hand out.

You also get sections to write comments, provide status reports on the tasks and gives you an excellent checklist for all the outstanding tasks.

Break Down Big Tasks with Planner Hub

Microsoft Planner has a function called “Planner Hub” that allows you to break down huge tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks within the same project. This is perfect for when you hold virtual group discussions with your class.

The biggest issue with Microsoft Planner, apart from the fact that it doesn’t offer a free version, is that every team member needs to be registered under the company email to access the dashboard; that and the fact that you can only create a single checklist for every task.

Here is a video giving you a quick tutorial on how to use Microsoft Planner:

Trello for Teaching – What Can You Do with It?

Whenever you talk about project management software, you will most likely hear Trello mentioned. That’s because it’s one of the best options out there, and here is why:


As far as being “easy to use” goes, there is very little software that can match Trello. The sign-up process is simple, and even the navigation is a breeze. It also helps that it’s extremely visual, which makes it a joy to use.

Excellent Templates for Educators

Trello has an assortment of templates for teachers, which make going about their duties a breeze. If you are looking to manage your class, you can use the “Educators Templates” on Trello to assign projects, place due dates, filter through by student name and even add notes and reviews to every card on the Trello board.

trello education templates

If you are homeschooling, you can use the “Homeschooling Timetable” to methodically assign all the tasks you want your students to take on. You can even schedule them out by date so that class continues even when you aren’t around.

the homeschool planner template for trello

You Have a “Resource Organizer”

This is for subject matter experts (teachers) who want to organize their material in a specific manner. With this tool, you can create a resource Trello board that allows you to have different content categories, label the various additional bits of information you want to attach, such as PDFs, Google Docs, links, and so on.

Here’s one of our videos giving you quick tips on how to maximize using Trello as a teacher:

While you can get your self organized with both project management software as a teacher, the battle of Microsoft Planner vs Trello has to go to Trello for the simple fact that you have a free option to try out and get familiar with it as opposed to paying for an enterprise suite on Microsoft only to realize that you don’t like it that much.

The biggest conundrum, however, is the fact that Microsoft Office 365 suite comes with so much more than just Planner. These are all tools you can use as a teacher. It all comes down to your specific project management needs.

Written by
Jamie Keet
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