Top 10 Microsoft Teams Tips

Microsoft Teams has spoiled its users with all possible features. Updates are being released almost monthly. Using Teams is becoming more user-friendly, with new keyboard shortcuts for personal use, and an optional notification style for Mac users. Even conferencing has been improved recently with the ability to monitor call quality during meetings, auto-recording, adjustable mic sensitivity. Furthermore, you can search for a meeting based on what was said using Microsoft Search.

Whether your team is office-based, working remotely, or in the hybrid mode, Microsoft Teams can fulfill your requirements by building a collaborative environment in the company. And if you’re one of those people who spend half if not most of their working day in Teams, then you need to know these Microsoft Teams tips! So, without further ado, let’s get into them. 

Make your chats searchable

Chat is an essential feature in Microsoft Teams. It’s where all the magic happens. A lot of work is usually done while chatting. Employees share a lot of information and updates via the chat on a daily basis, so the number of messages at the end of a working day is huge. So, what do you do when you need to go back in the chat history and find something? Certainly not scroll and waste precious time. Instead, you use this tip! Teams allows the ability to search the chat history. You can search for messages, people, bookmarks, and files.

You can search your chats in Teams not just effortlessly but efficiently with a pre-set of filters to help you save time and optimize the search process. Use a keyword you remember from the conversation, a phrase, a message, and all the private and group results will appear. That is not a problem if you get too many results because you can use the advanced search filters to narrow it down. Select the sender, choose the type of conversation chat or channel, choose a date, a channel, a team, and other metrics to help you save time and find what you’re looking for easily. 

Go further and use the mic to ask Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana to search. At the moment, Microsoft Teams supports queries in English. 

Use SharePoint

Combine the features of premier document management in SharePoint with Teams collaboration tools. Utilize the power of SharePoint to connect teammates, create an information hub, share resources, and data, create files in the cloud, and invite others to work with you.

The document library in SharePoint allows for real-time file co-editing. Synchronization is ensured. Updates to documents will be instantly synchronized between the two platforms. Moreover, Microsoft Teams allows file sharing in channels, but SharePoint allows file sharing even in private chats!

Manage remote projects efficiently with SharePoint, track progress, reduce emails with discussion boards, engage your team in decision making with instant surveys, organize your data with SharePoint lists, create a document library per each SharePoint site, and highlight important information to save your team’s search time. 

Tabs in chats

Tabs are channel-specific. There are three default tabs per channel – Posts, Files, and Wiki. Your conversation around the channel goes in the Posts tab. The Files tab stores the files you post and share within the channel. Wiki is an adjustable tab where you can organize helpful information and policies about the channel.

You can also add many other tabs to your channels to leverage the use of Teams. If there is an app that you use a lot then go ahead and add it to your tabs right now! It will save you more time than you think. But onto our actual tip. In addition to channels, you can also customize private chats in Microsoft Teams and that includes adding tabs. All you need to do is click on the + icon and choose any app you want to pin to the tab bar.

This can come in handy in a number of different ways. For instance, if you’re chatting with your colleague from the legal department who sends you a lot of documents to sign, you can add the signNow app to the tabs and go there instantly. 

Urgent Chat Notifications

Standard messages are the periodic messages you send in conversations. But when you are in a hurry and want to notify the recipients about a message you sent, you can set your message as important, and a red exclamation mark will show up to spotlight it.

You can also choose to make your message urgent. It will notify the recipient, a person, or a group every 2 minutes for the next 20 minutes or until they read it—the ability to prioritize messages could be beneficial in time-critical situations.

To do that, select the ! icon from the toolbar below the chat box and select the relevant status.

Channel Cross-Posting

Since time is the most valuable resource in the business world, Teams found many tricks to help you save it. Suppose you have a message that you want to share with more than one channel. Save time, and be more efficient with the channel cross-posting feature. It reduces the copy, paste, and send actions.

Don’t send the same announcement or message to multiple channels and teams. Instead, you can send it to various recipient channels at once. Based on the type of message you are cross-posting, you can set the reply-back policy by allowing everyone to reply to your message or just keeping that exclusive to yourself and moderators.

Here is how to do it: 

  1. Go to a channel and select a new conversation. 
  2. Click on the Format icon (the very first one) and you’ll see the window like this one. 
  1. Write the message, choose whether or not you want people to respond and select Post in multiple channels. Choose the channels you want to send it to and voila, you’re done.

Bookmarking Messages

The more you collaborate with others, the more conversations you will have. Sometimes you need to go back and think about a message or take action based on something you received. You can use the bookmark feature in Teams to save a chat entry for a later time.

You can always use the “Search chat” feature to find the message but if you know at that moment that you will need that message then spend less than a second to bookmark it. Plus, you can see a list of all your bookmarks and review them one by one. When you no longer need the bookmarked entries, you can easily unmark them.

Tag users to group them

As you interact with other teammates in different channels, you may want to use tags to categorize people based on your own criteria, like projects, locations, experiences, roles …etc. It will help you directly communicate to everyone under the same tag.

These sub-groups will enhance your connectivity with others. You can quickly mention or start a chat with everyone included under the tag—no need to type their names one by one. Whoever you assigned that tag will receive a notification just as they would if you mentioned them individually.

Mention the tag in channels, or start a new conversation and select the tag assigned to people. Please note that this feature is available only to owners of teams. 

Sync files to your desktop

When you are working in a cloud-based environment, synchronization is an absolute must. Sometimes, it would be more convenient to use file explorer to navigate a file through your desktop quickly. It is also useful when you want to access files offline. 

This is possible with Microsoft Teams synchronization feature via the OneDrive client. Any changes you make to shared files in the document library will be synchronized between Teams and your desktop when you are online. It is also applicable for your teammates. Their changes will be updated in real-time, and your desktop version will be the most recent one as long as you have an internet connection.

Take advantage of the mobile version 

Teams is largely used as a desktop app but its mobile version offers a number of advantages as well. The mobile application unlocks the same collaboration tools as the desktop platform. 

Here are some reasons why you should take advantage of the mobile version of Microsoft Teams:

  1. Engage with your teammates anytime and anywhere. 
  2. It’s secure so your personal data is safe and not mixed with business data. 
  3. You can separate personal and work calls and messages, and easily transfer calls between devices. 
  4. Access and co-edit your shared file, and much more. 

Templates

If Teams is your main collaboration platform then you should definitely invest in a template solution. The gist of template solutions is rather simple but the benefits they offer are tremendous. You create one template team per collaborative process with all the necessary configurations (e.g., channels, tabs, apps, settings, etc.). You can then use it to create a new team easily and quickly. 

The level of configurations and the extent to which you can duplicate them into new teams depends on the template solution you choose. Collaboration Templates by SalesTim allow you to collaborate more efficiently by providing pre-built workspaces for all your business processes with all the necessary tools, tasks, file templates and other content as well as advanced governance policies (e.g., naming, membership, audience, etc.).

Template solutions not only save your time, but also provide you with a predefined structure for processes and workflows in your organization.

Contact our team now to learn more about the benefits of templates.

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