Announcing Microsoft Lists – Your smart information tracking app in Microsoft 365May 19, 2020
Build 2020 brought a lot of Microsoft 365 news and announcements for businesses and developers – including the first disclosure of Microsoft Lists. We are pleased to share our vision for Lists – to highlight how you use it to track issues, manage inventory, build out event agendas, report status, manage FAQs, and more.
Microsoft Lists is a Microsoft 365 app that helps you track information and organize your work. Lists are simple, smart, and flexible, so you can stay on top of what matters most to your team. Track issues, assets, routines, contacts, inventory and more using customizable views and smart rules and alerts to keep everyone in sync. With ready-made templates, you can quickly start lists online, on our new mobile app, and directly from within Microsoft Teams. And because it is part of Microsoft 365, you can rely on enterprise-grade security and compliance.
Summary of what was shared today at Build (more details below):
- Microsoft Lists home (web) and mobile app – Create new lists, share and access recent and favorite lists in one location
- Microsoft Teams ♥ Microsoft Lists – Create a new list or embed an existing list directly in a Teams channel – combining lists with side-by-side conversation
- Ready-made templates help you get started quickly – Jumpstart common scenarios with preconfigured structure, forms, views, and formatting
- Customizable views, smart rules, and sharing keep everyone in sync – Visualize your information, build if/then rules, and share with confidence
Writing something down is one thing. Tracking it and thousands of other related items – across geographies, keeping in sync with team members as status and details fluctuate – well, that’s Lists; an app to track your information and get to work.
And now, let’s dive into the details.
Microsoft Lists home (web) and mobile app
It all starts with Lists Home, a single place to see and manage all your lists. To get there, click the Lists icon within the Microsoft 365 app launcher (aka, the “waffle”). Here, you can start a list in several ways – easily from scratch or with ready-made templates. In addition, you can create new lists from existing lists or by importing Excel table data to jumpstart. Beyond creation, you will see all your favorited and recent lists – ones you own or that have been shared with you. You will be able to create both personal lists you own and can share, and team lists owned by members of your teams.
Lists home brings all your lists at your fingertips, on the web and on the go via the Lists mobile app.
Never miss out on a list that is important to you, just favorite it and you will always be able to access it from the “Favorites” section.
You can expect to see Lists home later this summer on the web and the Lists mobile app later this year. Both provide access to all your lists in one place.
See more about getting started with Microsoft Lists in this new “Create a list” click-thru demo.
Microsoft Teams ♥ Microsoft Lists
Microsoft Lists is for people who get things done – together. Use Microsoft Teams to collaborate on lists, using flexible views like grids, cards, and calendar. This brings content and conversation side-by-side in one integrated experience. You can either add an existing list to a Teams channel or create a new list directly in Teams and chat on individual list items.
When you click “+” to add a new tab to a Teams channel, select the Lists app to begin. The Lists app is used to both create new and embed existing lists – all within Teams. Further refine your list by adding new columns, defining choices in a drop-down menu, create view or edit share links, create custom views and filters and set up rules – all to ensure the list works for you and your team. No compromises. You get the full power to configure what your list looks like and how it works for you – all from inside Teams.
Roadmap ID | Lists app in Microsoft Teams (ID # 64162).
Ready-made templates help you get started quickly
We've designed templates tailored to specific use cases like tracking issues, onboarding new hires, handling an event's itinerary, managing assets, and many more. These templates come with a base structure, formatting, forms, conditional formatting, and everything you will need to get a quick start on the work that matters to you. Find inspiration in them or modify them to bring your vision to life.
In addition to the ready-made templates, there are two other time-saving ways to create lists. You can create a list from an existing list – inheriting structure and formatting. And you can create a list from Microsoft Excel – importing the Excel table data while choosing how to best represent the information. Once started, you have all the new formatting, views, rules and more to best represent your information and get back to business.
Roadmap ID | Ready-made templates (ID # 64166).
Customizable views, smart rules and sharing keep everyone in sync
Customize your lists for whatever your business needs. Lists not only help track information; they help make your information speak for you, clearly and visually. You’ll keep everyone in sync – especially when things change.
Default views | There are four main views when configuring lists: list, grid, gallery, and calendar. Grid (pictured above in Teams) is the main style you see when you first create a list – primarily rows and columns that can be configured and reordered. Grid is best when you want list information to be easily edited. List is similar to grid, but without point and click editing capabilities – it's the view that existing SharePoint list users will be most familiar with. Gallery is a great way to highlight lists that include images; cards are configurable and display a row of information. And when your information includes dates, the best way to visualize all items is to use calendar view.
You can adjust how information appears in these views by using conditional formatting. For example, you can change the background fill color of an item from orange when status is “In review” to green when status equals “Approved.” Background, font color and icons dynamically change when certain criteria are met.
You can create custom views to organize and show items that are most important to you (like certain columns), to add filtering or sorting, or to have a more engaging style. You can create personal views that only you can see and public views for everyone who uses the list to see.
Rules | Building rules is as easy as writing a sentence. Once you decide on the outcome, click-fill if/then steps to design your rules. Choose people, status, and value changes to send notifications or programmatically update values elsewhere in the list. Finally, use rules to set reminders to keep everyone informed.
Sharing | Whether a list is short or long, simple or complex, it’s important to work with others and do so in a way that is efficient and manageable. When you share a list, you can share the entire list with edit or read-only permissions. Or share individual items, where you allow or disable the ability to edit, set an expiration date, or require a password before granting access. And once shared, invitees can add comments on the full list or on individual list items.
Your lists just got a whole lot smarter
Millions of SharePoint users have benefitted from using lists over the years. Microsoft Lists builds on this trusted information platform – bringing new user experiences and capabilities to the foundational innovation of SharePoint lists. Rest assured that all your lists, including lists that you have inside SharePoint sites today, will benefit from all the innovations described here. Lists are lists are lists. Additionally, the value of existing integrations with the Power Platform continue when you need to further customize list forms with Power Apps and design robust workflows with Power Automate. And for developers, the power and value of the Lists API extends custom solutions to connect the list data as a source via Microsoft Graph.
We cannot wait to share more details and documentation when we begin roll out of Lists later this summer.
Resources to learn more:
Track what matters most. Make a list and let it flow.
Seth Patton, General Manager, Microsoft 365