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How to Manage Projects using Microsoft Lists

One of the latest products from Microsoft is Lists. It is, I will say, an upgrade of the old, boring SharePoint Lists, but with a better look and a new found ease to use built in. Microsoft Lists is part of the Office365 suite. It can be found from within a search of your apps, as shown below.

When selected, we end up here:

As you can see, we are on the SharePoint site. We have four options for creating a new list. They are as follows:

  1. From scratch (a blank list)
  2. From Excel
  3. From an already existing list
  4. From a template

For the sake of example, we will use the template, Work progress tracker.

Before we make a final selection (does this template suits us best?), Lists provides a preview of what we will get with the template:

When we hit the Use Template button, we are directed to name this particular list, add a description, and choose a color and icon.

Once we click Create, here we are:

We can then customize the list to accommodate the needs of our project. Let’s say that we need to display the following data points:

  • Task name – we will use Work item for this
  • Description – we will use it as is
  • Task Cost – we will create this field
  • Start Date – we will use it as is
  • Due Date – we will use it as is
  • Assigned to – we will use it as is
  • Progress – we will modify this field

Firstly, we rename Work Item to Task name, as shown.


Next, we will remove fields which we are not going to use (those of Category, Priority, and Notes).


Now, we will modify the Progress field. This field has default values as shown below:

Let’s select Edit.

We want to have the following options without the ability for the user to add any others:

  • Not started
  • In Progress
  • Completed
  • Abandoned

We will modify the values as shown.

Now we must create the new field, Task Cost.


We choose the appropriate currency. I live in Croatia, so I’ve selected Croatian currency (Croatian Kuna).

Finally, we will reorder our fields like this: Task name, Description, Task Cost, Start Date, Due Date, Assigned and Progress:


When we are done with the reordering, we select Apply.

Now, we can begin putting items in our List as shown.


It’s probably not ideal to have to add items one by one, so we use Quick edit:


The result is something like:

Before I conclude this article, I’ll demonstrate how to delete a list:


This is just a little piece of what can be done with Microsoft Lists. Much more can be done with this powerful tool, and it is definitely very, very useful. Have you tried Lists? What do you think? I’d love to read your comments below.


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Written by Nenad Trajkovski

MVP – Project

Nenad Trajkovski was born in Zagreb in 1963. year. After completion of Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Nenad has started on the development and implementation of enterprise systems (ERP) in companies of various areas (banks, card houses, production companies, auto industry, wholesale businesses, oil companies, and others). He has extensive experience in working with business processes, people and knowledge in information technology and financial accounting activities.

Currently, Nenad works as a consultant for the implementation of business systems, and as Project Manager. He is trainer for Project Management and Risk Management in Microsoft Innovation Center in Varaždin. At WinDays08 conference he has been declared as the best speaker, and his session as the best one. He was among TOP 10 speakers in the Microsoft Sinergija 2009 and at the Microsoft Vzija 2009. Shared first place as the best lecturer at KulenDays 2009 and the PMI Forum 2009 in Zagreb. Regular speaker at the Microsoft Community. On WinDays10 conference Nenad was among the top three speakers; at the conference Microsoft Vision 9 in Skopje between the top 5 speakers as well as on Microsoft Synergy 11 which was held in Belgrade. Certified Accountant, PMP (Project Manager Professional), PMI – RMP (Risk Manager Professional), MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional), MCTS – Microsoft Project 2010 (Microsoft Certified Technical Professional).  and MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer).

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  1. Nice! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Nenad, Thank you for posting this information. Can you give a few examples when using Lists would be ideal?


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