The hype about Microsoft Teams has died down now. When the pandemic hit there was so much talk, Zoom or Teams what should I use for my meetings?
That was all Microsoft Teams seemed to be – an alternative to Zoom for organisations that had invested in Microsoft 365, effectively giving them a meeting tool for free.
However, Microsoft Teams is so much more as companies, organisations and businesses large and small are discovering.
So, what else can you do with Microsoft Teams?
Glad you asked 😃
When you open Microsoft Teams, you see a list of shortcuts on the left-hand side. These are the different areas inside Microsoft Teams.
This is the first port of call. Here you will find a list of all the activities going on. You will see notifications of reactions to your posts (more on that later) and any messages that you may not have seen. A red badge will appear on the icon to show that you have a new activity to explore. Notice that a badge has also appeared on the Teams shortcut. This is because the Activity is a mention in a Team.
You will always be able to catch up on things you missed on the Activity tab.
Next up we have the Chat area. This is for private or small group chats. Chat with other members of the Team or organisation on a one-to-one basis. You can also create small group chats here too. Use this when you need to discuss something that does not relate to the whole Team or Channel.
You can also turn your text-based chats into a Video or Audio meeting and even share your screen to help make your message clear.
This is where you find a list of all the Teams you are a member of. You will only see those Teams that you are a member of. Each team is made up of Channels and you will see those listed under the Team.
Inside the Channels you will find an area to post publicly – this is for discussion about work in progress or updates etc. The File section is where to find Team/Channel related documentation be they Word documents, PowerPoint presentations Excel worksheets or PDFs. You can upload images here too. Files can be arranged in Folders in any way that you are used to.
This is your personal calendar here in Teams and is a copy of your Calendar in Outlook. Any appointments in Outlook show up here and any meetings here show up in Outlook. You can create meeting appointments from the Calendar here or in Outlook.
Schedule meetings in the future and invite lots of people and then interact in those meetings in different ways.
Webinars – you can also schedule a webinar in Microsoft Teams. A webinar is a different type of meeting, here you create a landing page and a registration form that you send out. Attendees register and attend with the camera and microphone switched off. You can present anything in a Webinar that you can present in a meeting.
If you have one of the Enterprise licenses you can also schedule Live Events which are much larger events and may use other production software to produce them inside Teams.
You can call other people in your organisation from the Calls section of Teams, and you can even call external people so long as they are also using Microsoft Teams. Calls can be turned into Video meetings too.
If your organisation has a calling plan, then you will also have a phone number as a direct line and you will be able to use Microsoft Teams instead of a telephone. Others will be able to call you on your direct telephone line and you will be able to use Microsoft Teams on your mobile phone for calls and a headset with your computer.
This is your OneDrive experience and is just like OneDrive on the Web with shortcuts to all your files and even to any SharePoint Sites that you have set links to.
You can access all your work from here. No need to leave Microsoft Teams to find anything as you can get to all your documents here.
The three dots in Microsoft Applications are a symbol that means there is more here. Click the three dots to access other apps that you or your IT team have added – the app will then appear as a shortcut on the list which you can then pin to the list for easy access if this is an app that you use frequently.
As mentioned Microsoft Teams is not just about meetings, you can share files as we have seen here and get to your OneDrive. You can also use other Microsoft 365 applications and many third-party applications that integrate fully with Microsoft Teams. Go to the Apps section to see a comprehensive list of all the apps that your IT Team have authorised for use within your organisation.
Microsoft Teams is more than just a meeting tool. It is a hub for collaboration where you can work together with your colleagues and even with external collaborators. Run your projects with Microsoft Teams, have department-specific Teams and chat privately or in groups.
Look out for more posts about Microsoft Teams.
Who is Shelley Fishel?
Known as The MS Office Maestro – Shelley is the founder of Tomorrow’s VA and the MS Office Maestro site. Specialising in the delivery of Microsoft Applications training Shelley is in demand to provide Virtual Live Training or to speak at online events.
You can also find her self-paced courses at www.msofficemaestro.com and in particular her Essential Office for The Savvy Assistant package which is a comprehensive online learning package for all things Microsoft.