How to Use Microsoft Lists as a Progressive Web App on a Mac

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Microsoft Lists are growing in popularity, and now you can run the Track and Coordinate app from the macOS desktop. Here’s how.

Image: PhotoGranary/Adobe Stock

Whether you need to create a workflow, create and share checklists, coordinate events with colleagues, track and assign issues to be resolved, collect assets or other items, from organizing dependencies or compiling actionable lists, Microsoft Lists is gaining popularity due to the simplicity of the application. interface and powerful collaboration capabilities. Because the app easily integrates with Power Automate, teams can further extend the functionality of lists across teams, regardless of member location.

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Included in Microsoft 365 Business and Enterprise subscriptions, users can create, share, and edit lists using the app’s web interface. Mac users will also find a new Progressive Web App version for working with lists right from their Mac desktop. Standalone versions for iPhone and iPad are also now available for tracking and organizing information and coordinating lists with colleagues.

To install the Microsoft Lists desktop app on a Mac, using a compatible browser (such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge), sign in to your Microsoft 365 account, then click the launcher icon in the top left corner, then select Lists. The Install Microsoft Lists Application window will appear, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

macpwafigA
Image: Erik Eckel/TechRepublic. The Microsoft Lists macOS desktop app is installed using the Microsoft 365 portal.

Microsoft Lists for Mac is a Progressive Web Application, which means that the program is an application whose data and operation are generally delivered via the Web using common Web technology, such as HTML. PWAs are designed to provide an independent, self-contained experience when creating, editing, and storing files on the local Mac.

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As of this writing, Microsoft’s Lists implementation requires the Mac to have an active internet connection to access existing files stored in Microsoft Lists and create new files, as there is no offline work option. was readily available using the Lists PWA on my Mac.

Integrated with Microsoft 365 services, Microsoft Lists can be used with many other Microsoft solutions. Some of the apps Lists works with include Planner, Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, and Teams.

When Microsoft Lists PWA is installed on a Mac, a corresponding icon is created in Mac Launchpad. However, a standalone application entry is not added to the macOS application directory. Instead, to open lists locally on the Mac, users can create new list files and edit existing files using the Launchpad icon or application launcher from their compatible browser. such as Microsoft Edge, as shown in Figure B.

Figure B

macpwafigB
Image: Erik Eckel/TechRepublic. The Microsoft Lists app can be opened using the local PWA icon or the app launcher in Microsoft 365.

Once installed, you can create new Lists files by clicking the + New List button located at the top center of the Lists window. Once you click the + New List button, Lists opens the Create List window, from which you can create a new blank list, create a list from an Excel file, or create a list from ‘an existing List file. Alternatively, you can create a new list using one of the many pre-prepared templates as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

macpwafigC
Image: Erik Eckel/TechRepublic. Microsoft Lists on Mac provides a number of pre-made templates.

After creating a new entry, Lists will ask you to enter a name, which is required, for the new list. You can also provide an optional description, an extra step that can better help you and others locate specific listings, once those collections of files inevitably begin to grow, as shown in Figure D.

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Figure D


macpwafigD
Image: Erik Eckel/TechRepublic. When creating new files in Microsoft listings, you can provide optional descriptions, specify differentiating colors, and even associate different icons with the new entry.

When creating new listings, you can also choose from a variety of colors, not to mention icons, which help differentiate files by category. For example, you can sort files by color for different functions, such as finance, human resources, operations, etc., and choose different icons for different purposes.

After using the drop-down menu provided to specify the location where the file should be saved, clicking the Create button creates the new file and saves it to the assigned location. Sharing the list with others is easy: just click the Share button and enter the names of the users you want to collaborate with.

Clicking the +New button adds a new item to the newly created list. Lists allow you to add columns, such as providing yes/no options, specifying date and time, currency, choices, and hyperlinks. Users can also add comments, further enhancing collaboration and communication.

With the ability to manage access directly from a list, switch to grid views including editing, and create alerts, such as when items change, Lists is a simple yet powerful app that Mac users can use to organize and track a variety of items and functions.



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