Have you heard about Microsoft Teams laptop with Microsoft TeamsChances are, if you have been working with Office 365 for a while or following the tech announcements you will have heard of Microsoft Teams.

Many people are confused as to what Microsoft Teams actually is and what it can do for them.

What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is an app that is part of your Office 365 subscription. It is used for Chatting, Calling, Online Meetings, File and document storage -Teamwork and you can add other apps to it to make the work more relevant.

If you are used to using Skype for Business, you may be thinking that Teams is simply a replacement for Skype for Business (Microsoft are on the way to ditching Skype for Business).

You would be right and wrong at the same time.

Whilst Microsoft Teams can be used for Chat, Calls and Video Calls and Meetings it has a whole lot more to offer that Skype for Business does not.

Here is an example of how it can be used. I can create a Team called Admin to which I invite all the administrators across the company. Within Admin there are three Channels. One for the Christmas Party, one for Travel and one for Entertaining.

In each of the Channels there will be a Posts area a Files area and a Wiki.


This is where you have Team Chat. Conversations can be held here. All team members are part of the chat and can dip in and out at will.


This is for storage of team documents. Anything can be stored here. Reports, working documents, receipts, spreadsheets, presentations, pdfs in fact anything that everyone in the team need to access.


A Channel Wiki can be used to contain useful links and announcements.

How would you use it – Let me set the scene?

You are in charge of organising the Christmas Party. You create the channel and then invite suggestions from team members. This is done in the Posts section where Channel chat takes place. When one person – let’s call her Jane comes up with a brilliant idea, that post can be “liked” or “loved” just like on social media.

Once you have reached the idea for the party, tasks can be assigned. The Planner App can be added to the Channel so that the plan can take shape. Add a Microsoft Form to capture information and a plethora of other apps can be added too depending on the need and suitability.

Set up the file structure within the files section, a folder for Venus a folder for quotes etc. Then start to add your files.

Documents, spreadsheets and presentations are stored and can be accessed by any team member.

Documents can be worked on collaboratively as they are automatically shared with everyone who is part of the team. Documents can be opened right there inside Teams or they can be opened online or on the desktop app.

Now that you have your file structure set up, your team members invited and suggestions coming in, you decide that you need to have a team meeting.

Head over to the calendar and create a meeting, choose which channel to hold it in and add the details: time, date, agenda any notes and go ahead and schedule the meeting. The meeting will appear in the Channel and any one can join direct from here. Simples!

When in the online meeting, you can share your screen, share an application, share a document or a presentation, give control to others to get their input and even share a Whiteboard for brainstorming sessions.

But what if I want to chat with Jane and not everyone else?

A personal chat is the answer. Start a private chat with Jane. This lives outside the Team/Channel and is only visible to the two of you. You can add more people too if you need to expand the conversation.

What about External Members

With Microsoft Teams so long as your administrator has enabled it, you can invite external people into your Team. They can do just about anything a full member can do. Guest members are usually not able to create new Channels or Delete Channels but otherwise they have the same access to everything in the Team. They can access the files and add files too.

This is just a brief outline of what Teams can do. There are many more scenarios. How will you use it?

Shelley Fishel

Author Information

Shelley Fishel is the owner of tomorrow’s VA an online training platform for Microsoft Office and a well published author on Microsoft Office. She has been working in the IT Training arena since 1998 starting out working for a training company before setting up her own company which she sold in 2019. Shelley now works predominantly online – delivering courses and webinars and speaking at events and conferences.

Shelley holds the COLF and CDOL qualifications from the Learning and Performance Institute of which she is a Fellow.

This article first appeared in Executive Secretary Magazine, a global training publication and must read for any administrative professional. You can get a 30% discount when you subscribe through us. Visit the website at www.executivesecretary.com to find out more or to get your 30% discount email subscriptions@executivesecretary.com
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P.S Get to grips with Microsoft Teams – take my course – How to Use Microsoft Teams and start making the most out of it.

The session was well structured and the explanation was very clear. It was amazing how Shelley managed to squeeze so much info in just one hour and a half! Colin’s support and contributions were also very valuable, and so were “Virtual Veronica”‘s. Thank you for a most interesting and useful training session at the Miss Jones Virtual Summit!

Laura Carizzo- Royal Norwegian Embassy in Argentina

I haven’t used PowerPoint in 20 years, this has really boosted my confidence.

Lyn Parker

Course is packed with so much valuable information in a easy-to-understand and follow language, even for a complete beginner. I can respect the fact that sometimes it’s very hard for an expert to break the information down to basics. but Shelley has done it brilliantly. I was sure that I knew quite a bit but Shelley has proven me wrong even at the very beginning of the basics of PowerPoint. Lessons are short and precise which allowed me to easily transfer the new skill into practice without being overwhelmed and to carry on adding on more with each lesson. I had so many ‘Aha!’ moments and for most of them I couldn’t believe I used to pay graphic designer to do it for me, now, thanks to Shelley, I am looking forward to creating, designing, converting my presentations all by myself!

Iva Freeman – Vertex Human Capital

Shelley was very thorough and knew a lot of tip’s for using Teams, thank you 🙂

James O’Connor – Cavannah Homes

Very informative, constantly getting everyone in the meeting involved, loved every bit of it!

Dylan Teal Hopkins – Cavannah Homes
Fantastic and informative training and great to see all of the exciting functions with Microsoft Teams.
Laura Rigby – The Apprenticeship College
Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.
Leigh Dowling – Innuous

Microsoft Teams One to One Training Session

Shelley was approachable, easy to work with, and agile with answering questions to apply the session to my specific needs

Melissa Marshall – Present Your Science

A course on Outlook had been on the top of my list when Shelley asked VA’s what they wanted to learn.

It was a real case of ‘so that’s how you do it’ or ‘I never knew that’. I have to say that I learnt so many great tips it has definitely improved the way I work in Outlook and my inbox is looking colourful and organised and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with my clients.

Jacqueline Leake – JLeake VA Services – Outlook

A great course with lots of examples and step by step instructions. I can now confidently create infographics and as a bonus, I learnt a lot of new PowerPoint functionality that will enhance all my PowerPoint work and save me so much time.

Jessica Bailey – Integral Resource

I really like Shelley’s courses. She has a clear and easy to follow teaching style. In ‘How to Create Fillable Forms’ I’ve learned about the functions of the Developer ribbon which will mean I’ll be able to create a bespoke Returns Form for a client who has an online shop

Freya Henderson – Virtual Office Orkney

Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.

Sarah Clements – Inuous

Absolutely superb course, easy to follow and to refer back whilst putting it all into practice! I was unaware of the extent you can customise a presentation and it’s just made me want to know more – what’s next Shelley?

Denise Williams

I thought I had a pretty good grasp of Outlook until I did this course! In her videos, Shelley is clear and concise, and the language she uses is straightforward and jargon-free. Each module is broken down into manageable chunks, which helps keep your attention and means the course is easy to fit in around other commitments. I’ve created email templates and implemented rules that are already saving me time, and as all the other things I’ve learnt start to become second nature, the positive impact on my efficiency is fast becoming clear. This course has been incredibly beneficial and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to strengthen their skills and boost productivity.

Pip Doleman VA

I thought I knew Powerpoint really well, but I wanted to specifically learn how to use Powerpoint to create better infographics, easily and quickly. Shelley explains everything in a very logical and clear way, so I understood everything the first time I heard it. The most useful thing I learnt was that Powerpoint can do so much more than I thought it could. By also using the short cuts that Shelley showed me I am much quicker than I have ever been and I thought I was already quick!

Susan Marot

Shelley Fishel of Tomorrow’s VA has a wealth of experience in Microsoft Office. I met her in person 2 years ago at the PA Show in London. I also saw her in action in a fab workshop and knew she was the whizz that everyone had told me she was. I have since bought a lifetime access to her HUB and all the courses in there are a MUST if you are a VA on a mission. The courses will give you confidence in all the Office 365 components and will catapult you to dizzy heights

Alex Hughes