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.

Activity

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.

A screen shot of a google calendar with a Microsoft 365 icon.

You will always be able to catch up on things you missed on the Activity tab.

Chat

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.

Teams

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.

Calendar

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.

Meetings

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.

Calls

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.

OneDrive

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.

Three Dots

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.

Apps

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.

Wrapping up

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?

Shelley Fishel - The MS Office Maestro

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.

I find Shelley’s training easy to follow and the very best thing is that you can do it all at your own pace and revisit modules if it doesn’t quite sink in the first time round! I have learned so much from her training and continue to do so! She is responsive to my questions and I learn something new with each module. I find Iam hardly ever having to Google or YouTube information now, so it really is saving me time in my work day. Time that can be better used by learning more about the business I operate in!
Thanks Shelley!

Tracey Whitehouse – Executive Assistant

I have been following Shelley on Linkedin for several years, and always loved her hints and tips. In May of this year, I had the opportunity to recommend Shelley as one of our workshop speakers at the annual HMC Heads’ PA Conference in Sheffield.

On receiving the brief Shelley quickly produced content for two IT Microsoft Skills Workshops covering nuggets from Outlook, Word and Excel. Shelley then delivered (virtually) these two fantastic workshops to over 60 PAs at our conference.

From initial enquiry to delivery Shelley is the consummate professional and it was my pleasure to have had the opportunity to engage with her.

I would have no hesitation in recommending Shelley to any individual or group.

Michaela Fletcher – Heads PA

Shelley is THE guru on all things Microsoft.

I love Outlook, use it every day, and think I have a pretty good understanding of it. But every time I attend one of her sessions I learn a lot more. Her knowledge is remarkable. And she delivers her knowledge in a really clear, engaging way.

Thanks Shelley

Kathy Soulsby

I have just spent less than an hour at one of Shelley’s presentations and my mind is truly blown! I thought I was fairly proficient in Outlook, but I had no idea it could do so much more! So many time saving tips and shortcuts to help me – I can’t wait to get stuck in and implement them all! Thank you Shelley – I would highly recommend!

Hayley Rose – Executive Assistant -Dalcour Maclaren

Shelley joined us for the annual HMC Heads’ PAs conference in May 2023, where she delivered two hands-on practical IT skills workshops for over 60 PAs in attendance. Both sessions were warmly received by all participants, and from a personal perspective it was an absolute pleasure for me to work with Shelley both offline in the extensive prep phase ahead of the sessions, and online during the day itself – sharp in subject knowledge, flexible in content delivery and everything executed with a really affable manner and “can-do” approach throughout. I would recommend her services wholeheartedly.

Gareth Johnson – Leader GRE Education

Heads PA Conference

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