8 Microsoft Teams tips and tricks

Is your team using Microsoft Teams for collaboration? These tips can help you get the most out of it.

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A latecomer to the group chat scene, Microsoft Teams has become a powerful corporate chat application. Teams enjoys one significant advantage over competitors like Slack and Convo: It comes with a Business Essentials, Business Premium or Enterprise Office 365 subscription, which means many companies already own it.

Like other chat tools, Teams lets you set up multiple channels (discussion areas) for your team, share and store files, and conduct live voice and video meetings. As part of the Microsoft Office suite, Teams integrates with other Microsoft apps like Word, OneNote, Planner, and SharePoint. Indeed, Microsoft has announced that Teams will eventually replace Skype for Business as the primary communications client in Office 365.

If you company has begun working in Teams, try the following tips to get more out of it.

1. Title your chat exchanges.

Channels typically contain numerous conversations. To help a particular chat stand out and make it more searchable, give it a title. For example, if you're chatting with someone from marketing about a new social media campaign, call the chat “Facebook push with marketing,” and those keywords will pop up when you do a search later on. To name a chat, just click the pencil on the top next to the member names and type the title you want.

2. Use SharePoint to store and share files.

Many enterprises rely on SharePoint as a secure file storage and collaboration platform. The good news is it’s highly integrated into Teams. In every channel, you can click the Files tab to share files with team members via SharePoint or access SharePoint files already shared to the channel. Team members can collaborate on files shared to a channel using Office Online or an Office desktop app.

3. Forward emails into a channel.

Although some tiny startups skip email and use chat exclusively, Microsoft is well aware of how much most of us in the corporate world depend on email. Fortunately, you can forward any email message to a channel from Outlook.

Just click the ellipsis next to any channel name and select “Get email address.” That generates an email address for the channel. Copy it, and you can use that address to forward Word docs, messages, or just about anything you want to add to the channel. It’s a nifty workaround.

 

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