Microsoft Lists are a great place to store your information, format displayed data, and add logic/automation to them. Now everyone can try Lists using Microsoft Accounts without any paid plans or trials. What is this and how you can use it? Let’s check out Microsoft Lists – MSA Preview.
Microsoft Lists – MSA Preview is a preview for everyone with Microsoft Account. It means that you don’t need any paid plan – just the Microsoft account. Preview is limited to 200,000 users but it is still available even though it was released 2 months ago. How to start? Simply navigate to the https://lists.live.com page and click on the Sign-in button. Enter credentials for your Microsoft account and that’s it!
The main screen displays all your existing lists and allows you to create a new one.
Create a new List
When you click on the New List button, you can select one from 4 available options:
- Blank list – blank list without any additional columns
- From the existing list – copy an existing lists
- From CSV – create a list based on the CSV file
- From Templates – create a list using one of the predefined templates (with columns, formatting, views)
- Issue tracker
- Employee onboarding
- Event itinerary
- Asset manager
- Recruitment tracker
- Travel requests
- Work progress tracker
- Content scheduler
- Gift ideas
- Expense tracker
- Recipe tracker
Full Microsoft Lists offers to create a list from an Excel file – Preview only from CSV file. This is the only difference here. Other options and templates are the same as in full Microsoft Lists.
Working with the list
Navigate to your list and start working with it.
On the list view, you can add additional columns, sort and filter data, add new items, and create new views. You can also edit data in grid view, share the entire list, and export data to a CSV file.
There are 2 small tweaks compared to full Lists – column type icons and views as tabs.
Each column has an additional icon that shows the type of a column. It is small but has very useful features.
The next is more interesting – all list views are displayed as tabs. You don’t need to use the dropdown to select another view. Just click on the view you want to open. These features should be implemented in full Lists!
Limitations and summary
The Preview for personal use has some limitations.
There are no advanced features like integration with Power Automate or Power Apps. You can’t create alerts or use Power BI. List settings are not available so you can use only the list view interface to manage it.
You can’t connect lists with Microsoft Teams or external data sources.
You can create up to 50 lists with each containing up to 1500 items. Each list has 200MB of storage for data/attachments.
This preview suggests that Lists are coming to personal accounts. Lists for personal tasks/data have a huge potential. I have some ideas on how to start using it for my private staff.
The real potential will be known when Microsoft explains its final place in the entire ecosystem. Free or requires some basic plans? What about limits and storage? Will it be supported by a mobile/desktop app?