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Microsoft Lists vs Microsoft To Do – Which One to Use?

Microsoft lists vs. Microsoft To Do? – Which one to use?

Microsoft lists vs. Microsoft To Do? – Which one
to use?

Microsoft Lists and Microsoft To Do are two different apps, but they are available under the Office 365 umbrella. There are huge differences between the two apps, and thus their usage depends on the type of tasks you are involved in.

Microsoft To Do is a task management app, while Microsoft Lists is an app that helps you track information and organize work.

Microsoft To-Do is a direct replacement for Wunderlist, a task management app that Microsoft acquired in 2015. It focuses on a personal approach to task management. The app is designed for individuals who need to track their own tasks.

On the other hand, Lists is a different beast entirely. It’s geared more toward business users and allows them to keep track of all kinds of information. It can be used to organize anything from movie night checklists to bug reports or company projects.

Let’s look into each app individually, its usage, and the different features available.

Critical features in Microsoft To Do

Microsoft To Do is a task management app to help you stay organized and manage your day-to- day. The app has many features to help you be more productive at work.

In Microsoft To Do, you can create new lists for various tasks or activities and add items to those lists. Each item can include a title, date due, reminders, and notes. You can also attach files to items.

Additionally, you can mark items as important and assign them to other users. When you complete an item, you can delete it or mark it as done.

My Day Feature

To Do includes a My Day feature that enables users to manage their daily routine by creating a custom list of tasks they want to focus on each day. In addition to adding tasks, you can also add subtasks.

To add a subtask:

  • Click on the parent task.
  • Next, click Subtasks from the command bar.
  • On the Subtasks panel on the right, type the title of your new subtask and press enter. Your new subtask will be added to the list.

Adding subtasks is an easy way to break up a task into more manageable steps.

You can also add a due date to any task by clicking inside of the due date textbox and selecting a date from the calendar picker.

To get more specific with your dates, you can also use keyboard shortcuts.

Simply press T on your keyboard or 1 to choose today’s date to select tomorrow’s date. Press 2 to select two days from now or 3 to select three days from now and up until five days from now.

You can also use keyboard shortcuts to set dates in other contexts, such as the My Day view.

Intelligent Suggestions

If there are tasks in your lists that need doing soon but aren’t urgent just yet, Intelligent Suggestions will surface them at the top of your list so they don’t slip through the cracks. The suggestion algorithm learns from what you’ve previously marked as important or gave more priority among other scheduled tasks.

Cortana Integration

To Do has Cortana integration. If you’re working on a deadline, Cortana will nudge you to finish your tasks by reminding you what’s on your task list and when they’re due. Asking Cortana to “add a task” will create a task in To-Do, not a new list in Lists.

Creating a Microsoft To Do list is easy. You can create and share it with other people in your team or organization who have access to the same Office 365 account by adding them as members to the list. They can add tasks, mark them as complete, edit their order or delete them from the list.

You can also import all of your Outlook Tasks into Microsoft To Do using an Outlook Task connector available for all Office 365 subscribers with a mailbox on Exchange Online (which is most of them). This makes it easy to pick up where you left off in creating and managing tasks in Outlook Tasks.

Microsoft Lists features

The Lists app in Microsoft 365 helps you track information and organize work. Lists are customizable, so you can create one for any scenario.

A list in this app refers to a collection of data that can be shared with a group of people. Lists are simple to create and easy to share with others. They’re built from the ground up with mobile experiences in mind so that managing list items on the go is quick and easy.

Some of the most essential features are:

Templates: The starting point for your lists

Microsoft Lists offers several templates designed to work well across different industries and scenarios. These templates are a great starting point for creating your own list and are also customizable once created.

Views: Tailor your list to fit your needs

Views help you organize and tailor your list to fit your needs better. You can create views for specific situations or audiences. For instance, you can create an Approved view that only shows items that have been approved by someone else or an Auditing view that includes columns from another table.

You can also tailor the look of each view by sorting, filtering, grouping, or hiding columns. For example, if you want to send a specific view of the list to someone else via email, you can choose how many items will show up in that view.

Lists are simple, smart, and flexible, so you can stay on top of what matters most to your team.

With Microsoft Lists, you can:

  • Track tasks in your team or across your organization.

You can create a list that contains all the tasks you need to do, assign them to people on your team, and track the status of each task. With Microsoft Lists, it’s easy to perform bulk actions like moving items between statuses, creating views across multiple columns, and more. Use the checklist template to get started easily.

  • Track issues and risks in projects.

You can create a list that tracks all project issues and risks, their impact on the project timeline and budget, who they’re assigned to, and their current status. Use the issues template to get started quickly.

Lists also integrate with other services such as Excel, PowerApps, and Power Automate (formerly Flow), for easier data access and operation.


Both Microsoft Lists and To Do are phenomenal task management software. They are designed to help you get more organized, get things done, and stay connected even on the go. The significant difference is in their task management features and integrations, making Lists more suited for teamwork and To Do more of a personal tasks management tool.

To improve your productivity and effectiveness in your daily tasks, you need a well-organized management system. Esoftware can help you automate your tasks through customized software aligned with your needs to smoothen your business operations. Schedule a consultation now, and let’s analyze what your business requires.


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