Get the most out of Microsoft Teams with these tips and tricks

Arif Bacchus

Microsoft Teams 2

If your organization or company has just switched to (or come on board with) Microsoft Teams, there’s plenty you can do with it to help you improve your workflow. We here at OnMFST have been using Teams in our day-to-day operations for roughly two years, and we’ve picked up quite the number of tricks and tips. From keyboard shortcuts, SharePoint integration, GIFs, or Planner, here’s a look at our advice on how you can get the most out of Microsoft’s collaboration tool.

Try keyboard shortcuts to save time during your busy day

Let’s face it, not everyone has time to click and drag a mouse to a button to accomplish a task within Teams. Luckily, there are several keyboard shortcuts that you can speed up your workflow in Teams. We have several favorites here at OnMSFT.

For instance, you can press the “R” key on your keyboard to reply to a thread from within Teams. You also can press the “Alt” key and the “A” key together at once to attach a file to a thread or message. Pressing the “C” key also will bring you to the compose a message box, and pressing “CTRL” and “E” will help you search.

You can find the full list of Teams commands by pressing the “Alt” key together with the “/” key on your keyboard. Or, if you’re on a Mac the “Option” key and “/” key.

Keyboard Shortcuts in Teams

Spice up your conversations and channels with GIFS

Teams might be thought of for use in more “professional” situations, but that’s not a reason for ignoring the GIF integration. It’s something we really appreciate, as unlike with Slack, sharing and adding GIFS throughout the Teams experience is simple and easy.

To get started, all you need to do is press on the “GIF” button from within Microsoft Teams and search for or select your desired GIF. There’s no need to go in and add the Giphy app or use a complicated command. Microsoft built GIF support right into Teams and sharing GIFS with your coworkers might just increase their motivation, as it often does here with our writers.

Using GIFS selector in Teams

Increase your productivity with Microsoft Planner integration

When compared to Slack, Teams offers up some easy to set up integrations with other Microsoft products and services. One of those happens to be Microsoft Planner, which as we’ve explained, can help manage your tasks within your organization. We use it here at OnMSFT to keep track of stories and the flow of news articles, but it also can be used in many other ways to visually organize your teamwork.

To get started with setting up Planner with Teams, you’ll need to Add it to a Tab within a team channel. Just like with setting up OneNote, you can do this by clicking the “+” alongside the top bar. Then, in the dialogue box that opens up, choose Planner. You can create a new plan, or choose an existing plan. All members of that channel and team will then have access to the plan from the top bar within the team channel. Microsoft dives deeper with that you can get with Planner in Microsoft Teams here.

Adding a plan within Microsoft Teams

Use SharePoint for sharing files

SharePoint is already in use by many organizations across the world as a way to store and secure files. We use it here at OnMSFT to share photos and videos and it has been very helpful for our writers when we seek out fresh photos during press events and briefings.

That said, you can also integrate with SharePoint in any of your Teams channels, and share files directly with team members. SharePoint Teams sites are automatically created when you set up a Team in Microsoft Teams. To find SharePoint in Teams, the process is the same as it is with setting up Microsoft Planner or OneNote. Just head to the Files tab on the channel, to see your list of files shared from all users within that channel.

SharePoint files within Teams

Forward emails and items into Teams, add guests to Teams

Another Teams tip that we recently discovered here at OnMSFT is the ability to forward emails within a Teams Channel. This is useful if you happen to be away from Teams, or don’t want to open the app to share an important item with your colleagues. You can do this by clicking the ellipses (…) next to one of your general channels and pressing on “get email address.” You can then use this email address to send anything you want to the channel, be it emails, documents, or more.

Speaking of email, if you’ve just set up Microsoft Teams and didn’t have the time to add all of your users, that’s not a problem. You can easily provide guest access to people from within your company or organization (and even from the outside.) Your guests in Teams don’t need a special email address either, as any type of consumer email account can work — be it Outlook or Gmail. Keep in mind, though, that guest access is only included with Office 365 Business Premium, Office 365 Enterprise, and Office 365 Education.

You’ll also need to ensure you have the correct permissions via Team Owner Settings for a guest set up before you proceed, but once you do, things are easy.  Microsoft explains how you can add guests in the video below.

How will you use Teams?

Microsoft Teams is already in use by half a million organizations across the world, and the collaboration software is becoming ever so more popular. So, how do you use Teams for your daily workflow? Do you have any tips or tricks you have to share with us? We might be Microsoft experts, but everyone is always learning! Let us know in the comments below, and keep tuned for more as we continue to dive deeper into Office 365 and Microsoft Teams.