Microsoft Teams Tips & Tricks

The use of Microsoft Teams has skyrocketed over the past 12 months with the widespread shift to remote working. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella revealed that Teams now has 115 million daily active users, which is more than a 50% increase from only six months previous. This staggering adoption of this technology has allowed many sectors to continue in a ‘new normal’ but are we really maximising the technology to its full potential? 

This article will give some neat tips and tricks for better meetings, productivity, and organisation on Microsoft Teams.

Tips for better meetings:

The ability to meet virtually is a lifesaver in many ways – but using these tips will take them to another level.

Blur your background:

The perils of working from home can include interruptions by unwanted visitors. Cue the family cat jumping onto the table behind as you are delivering an important presentation. With Teams, you can blur your background by clicking the three dots at the top of a video call to save yourself the difficulty of pesky distractions.

 

Record and Transcribe your meeting:

The ability to record virtual meetings is incredibly useful. This feature allows you to review the meeting later, allowing you to breakdown or analyse what was said at your own pace. This is automatically saved to Microsoft Stream for everyone to access.

You can also create a transcript of the dialogue of the meeting using the native features in the stream. 

 

Make Notes:

A mental note is easily forgotten. This simple feature allows you to jot down important points which crop up before, during or after a meeting. The Notes button will create a side panel where you can store any notes needed.

 

 

In a meeting, just click the three dots … and select Meeting Notes.

 

Tips for productivity: 

These tips will give you little insights into improving focus and productivity.

Frequent commands:

This tip really helps to save time.

The search bar in teams can also act as a command line. Entering one of the recognised commands is a shortcut to the most frequent actions on teams. For example: /call to make a call /files – to view your recent files, and /unread to see all new activity. The full list of accepted commands can be found here.

Turn on do not disturb:

The enemy of productivity is distraction, which is so easy when there are constant pings for unread messages with people trying to grab your time. When you are trying to focus, you can easily switch off those unwanted distractions by turning on ‘do not disturb’.

To do this, you just need to click your profile and set the status to ‘do not disturb’.

Another clever feature is that you can set up priority contacts who can still reach you when you have temporarily paused the bombardment of messages. Users are granted priority access in your privacy settings, so you never miss an important message from your manager.

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Make messages work for you:

Find yourself having to leave a task to message someone? Well, you do not need to; you can message anyone directly from anywhere in the application simply by @theirname in the search bar. @mentions is also a useful tip to find messages directed at you.

Additionally, if you have read a message but it is not urgent to reply, then you can mark the message as unread by clicking the three dots next to a message while in a conversation or activity feed.

Start using together mode:

Virtual interaction crops up some challenges, especially in meetings when you cannot see everyone on the call. Microsoft Teams have addressed these issues with a feature called Together mode. This feature is located in your in-call background and places all the participants of a call onto a shared background to appear as if you are all in one room. Please note you need a minimum of five people on the call to use this feature.

 

Tips for organisation:

Keeping the masses of content neatly stored can be such a burden. These simple tips will help fix that. 

Favourite teams and channels:

Every user of Teams will have teams and channels which they use more frequently than others. To make things simpler, you can favourite them, which will keep them at the top of the list.

 

 

Click the three dots next to the team or channel name and favourite them.

 

Group users into tags:

Within a business, there are normally subsections based on roles, projects or locations. The tags feature allows you to group people together, which makes it easy to communicate with the entire subgroup with a @mention or chat function. 

 

You can add and manage tags efficiently in your Microsoft Teams options. 

 

Customise your tabs:

Each new channel comes with two preconfigured tabs: Conversations and Files. Users can now add custom tabs for other 365 tools, websites and third-party plug-ins, meaning you can perform tasks without having to exit the window.

 

Successfully adapting and navigating Teams can be a challenge in itself, but staying on top of your workload within the application can be a laborious task if not organised properly. We hope these tips will be of use to you in the future and allow you to complete your best work more easily.

 

We hope these tips serve you well. If you are interested in subscribing to Microsoft teams, please get in touch today.

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