Tips for Productivity
From saving time to improving focus, use these hacks to be more productive while using Microsoft Teams.
Learn frequent commands
Did you know that the search bar in Teams doubles as a command line? Type in one of the recognized commands to take a shortcut to some of the most frequent tasks: /files to view your recent files, /unread to see new activity, and /call to make a call, to name a few. View the current list of accepted commands on Microsoft’s website.
Turn on do not disturb
Constant pings from incoming messages can be a productivity killer when you’re trying to focus. Turn off those unwanted distractions by enabling do not disturb mode. Just click your profile icon in Teams to set your status to do not disturb (or enter the command /dnd into the search bar.)
Want to make sure you don’t miss any important messages from your boss while you’re hidden? Set up priority access for any individuals whose messages you want to receive even while notifications are paused. Users can be granted priority access in your privacy settings.
Use @mention to send and filter messages
Shooting off a quick message to a colleague doesn’t mean you need to leave what you’re doing and find their conversation in Teams. Just type the @ sign directly into the search bar to find their name and send a message from wherever you are in the application.
@mentions are also useful to filter recent activity and prioritize messages directed at you. While in the Activity feed, click the filter button and choose @mentions from the dropdown menu.
Mark messages as unread
Have you ever read a message that you don’t have time to address right away but forgotten to circle back later? Microsoft Teams gives you the ability to mark messages as unread by clicking the three dots next to a message while in a conversation or the Activity feed.
Want to save an important message for later? Click the bookmark icon to make sure you won’t have trouble finding it. Review your bookmarks by typing the command /saved into the search bar.
Tips for Organization
There’s a lot of content in Teams. These tips will help you keep it all organized.
Favourite teams and channels
Are there specific teams and channels you access most frequently throughout the day? Keep them at the top of the list by marking them as favourites. Click the three dots next to the team or channel name and select Favorite.
Reorder teams with drag and drop
Favouriting a team places it in a separate category at the top of the pane, but you can also control where the rest of your teams fall on the general list. Just click and drag a team in the direction you want it to go. When the list turns gray, you can place it in the correct position.
Group users into tags
Sometimes it’s useful to create subgroups within teams based on role, project, or location. Tags can help you do just this, making it easy to @mention or start a chat with everyone included under the tag. Include and manage tags efficiently in your Microsoft Teams options.
Add custom tabs
Every new channel is preconfigured with two tabs: Conversations and Files. But users can add custom tabs for other Microsoft 365 tools, websites, and third-party apps, allowing them to perform tasks without switching to a new window.
Tips for Engagement
Make communication more dynamic with these ideas for engagement.
Add subject lines
Grab attention and break up conversations by adding subject lines to your messages. Subject lines are among the rich text formatting options found in the expanded view pane that appears when you click the Format button under the message box. Rich text formatting also lets you change text size, weight, and colour, add links, and even incorporate numbered and bulleted lists.
Send stickers and GIFs
A picture is worth a thousand words. Incorporate stickers and GIFs to convey thoughts and emotions that words don’t do justice by selecting either option from below the message box.
Survey the group with polls
Instead of typing a question into a channel, why not use a poll to gather feedback more efficiently? Click the Forms icon below the message box to create and send a poll in Teams.
Send urgent notifications
Need an immediate reply? Click the exclamation point below the message box before you press send to mark a message as important. The recipient will get notifications every two minutes for the next 20 minutes or until it’s read.
Tips for Better Meetings
Use these Microsoft Teams meeting tips to bring your virtual gatherings to the next level.
Start calls directly within a chat
It’s easy for a text chat to turn into a conversation that needs more in-depth discussion. Start a quick call directly within a chat by clicking the video or audio call button.
Blur your background
As many of us continue to work from home, there may be a few things in the background that you don’t want everyone at work to see. Remove distractions like the kids playing superheroes or last week’s dirty laundry by blurring your background. This feature can be found by clicking the three dots at the bottom of your video call.
Record and transcribe your meeting
Keeping a recording of virtual meetings can be incredibly helpful for review later. Once you start recording from the meeting control panel, a copy of the meeting will be saved to Microsoft Stream for everyone to access securely. You can also generate a meeting transcript using the native features in Stream.
Take meeting notes
Taking meeting notes will help keep you, and other team members recap important points before, during, and after a Teams meeting. The Meeting Notes button will create a panel on the side for jotting down meeting notes, similar to a chat. Once you’re in the meeting, go to More options and select start taking meeting notes.
Use Together Mode
One of the newest Microsoft Teams features, Together Mode, places all your meeting participants on a shared background to make it appear that they are all sitting in the same room (like an auditorium or cafe.) Together Mode is located in your in-call background options.
Tips for Better Management
Even if you successfully navigated a remote Teams adoption, you may have started to realize that managing Teams internally is a labour-intensive project. This is where many companies come to appreciate the value of a third-party enhancement platform that takes the legwork out of Teams governance.
Powell Teams is an all-inclusive solution created by Powell Software, an award-winning workplace productivity software provider and member of the Microsoft Partner Network. The platform upgrades your entire organization’s Teams experience with customizable dashboards, no-code templates, and more. Powell Teams is available for download directly from the Microsoft Teams store.
Curious to see what other Microsoft Teams tips and tricks we have up our sleeve? Start your free trial of Powell Teams today in just a few clicks.