Eight Hidden Features You Should Be Using in Microsoft Teams

With the pandemic causing many employers to finally commit to using a company-wide collaboration tool, Microsoft Teams usage is through the roof. Many employees are still working remotely, and may be for the foreseeable future, and this may have limited the amount of training that was provided on how to best utilize the platform, apart from the basics. Here are eight features of Teams that you may not be aware of and can help you work more efficiently and effectively.

Label your chats

This one may seem pretty simple but many Teams users don’t think to do this within their conversations. Labeling your chats will help you to search for those keywords in the future and be easily directed to those conversations. To do this, all you need to do is click the pencil icon next to a team member’s name and input your label.

Using a Teams email address to post conversation in Teams

Teams can be used to help streamline those tedious back-and-forth email conversations between team members. When you create a Team, an email address is assigned to you for your specific Team. If you include this in the email address in the send field, it will be posted as a conversation within your Team group and you can respond directly in Teams

Utilizing Microsoft Planner to keep everyone on track

Teams is able to easily integrate with any Microsoft App from the moment your account is created. If you’re looking for a tool that can streamline your team’s to-do list, Microsoft Planner can be used to track tasks and team members can easily reference them directly in Teams. The planner is able to be pinned to any channel and tasks can easily be added by clicking on the plus sign.

Using slashcommands

Slash commands are something that can immediately help you to become more productive and navigate Teams more efficiently. The various commands can be viewed by typing ‘/’ into the search bar and a list will appear for you to use. These commands can help communicate to your team your status (away, busy, available, etc.) or can help you start a new message or call.

Mark a message as urgent

Need an immediate response for an urgent concern or issue? When drafting a message, you will be able to mark the message as urgent and Teams will notify the user every 2 minutes for 20 minutes to respond. This is probably something you only want to use for truly urgent matters, as it could become extremely annoying to other team members if you use it in cases that are not truly urgent.

Work on documents directly in Teams

Most people using Teams may not realize the extent you can edit and work on documents directly within the Teams interface. With Teams having the ability to connect directly with SharePoint, you can view all of your files in the files tab and can choose to edit any document directly in Teams while still having the option to open it in a browser or another desktop app.

Microsoft Immersive Reader

We’re all guilty of multitasking. If this is often the case for you, using a tool like Microsoft Immersive Reader can help capture information while your eyes may be somewhere else. This tool allows for any text within a channel to be read aloud when you click on the 3 dots and select ‘reader’ in the drop-down menu. This also helps writers when you’re stuck on a piece of text and need it read aloud simultaneously while editing and working on it.

Meeting Whiteboards

Physical whiteboards may have become a thing of the past but Teams has brought this effective brainstorming tool digital. When conducting a meeting in Teams, you access a digital Whiteboard where team members can use different pen colors to visually collaborate. The Whiteboard can be accessed through teams or directly through the Whiteboard app. Within Whiteboard, participants can sketch, erase, and share content directly in real-time. If any participants don’t have a pen or touchscreen, they can still contribute typed text to the collaborative session. 

 

 

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