How to get more out of Microsoft Teams?

11 min read

There are a few ways you can get more out of Microsoft Teams:

  1. Utilise the various collaboration and communication tools available

    Such as instant messaging, video conferencing, and file sharing.

  2. Create and join teams for specific projects or groups

    And use channels within those teams to organise and share information.

  3. Take advantage of the app integrations available in Teams

    Such as Trello, OneNote, and SharePoint, to enhance your productivity.

  4. Use the calendar feature

    To schedule and plan meetings and events.

  5. Customise your notifications

    Stay on top of important conversations and updates.

  6. Take advantage of the Live events feature in Teams

    To host large-scale virtual events, with features like live captions, polls, and Q&A.

  7. Utilise the Teams’ mobile app

    Stay connected and productive on the go.

  8. Use the Teams’ “Together mode”

    Feel like you are in the same room with other team members even if you are working remotely.

  9. Take advantage of the Teams’ “Meet now” feature

    Quickly schedule and start a meeting with a single click.

  10. Take advantage of Teams’ “Record meeting” feature

    Record, transcribe, and save the meeting for later use.

Utilise the various collaboration and communication tools available

  • Instant messaging: To use instant messaging in Microsoft Teams, simply click on the “Chat” button in the left sidebar of the Teams window. You can then search for and select the person or group you want to message. Type your message in the text field and press enter to send. You can also use the “Reply” button to reply to a specific message.
  • Video conferencing: To use video conferencing in Teams, you can either schedule a meeting in advance or start an impromptu meeting. To schedule a meeting, click on the “Calendar” button in the left sidebar, then click on the “New Meeting” button. To start an impromptu meeting, click on the “Meet Now” button in the top right corner of the Teams window. Once you are in the meeting, you can use the video and audio controls to turn your camera and microphone on or off. Also consider new virtual appointments in Microsoft Teams.
  • File sharing: To share a file in Microsoft Teams, you can either drag and drop the file into a chat or channel, or click on the “Files” button in the left sidebar, then click on the “Upload” button. Once a file is uploaded, you can share it with specific individuals or groups by tagging them in the file or by sharing the link to the file. You can also use the OneDrive integration to share files from there directly.
  • Note: File sharing and video conferencing feature might require the user to have the correct permissions and required devices to use the feature.

Take advantage of App integrations

To add apps to Microsoft Teams, you can follow these steps:

  • Click on the “Apps” button in the left sidebar of the Teams window.
  • In the “Apps” tab, you will see a list of recommended apps. Scroll through the list and select the app you want to add.
  • You can also use the search bar to search for specific apps by name.
  • Once you find the app you want to add, click on the “Add” button to install it.
  • Some apps require additional setup or configuration, so you may need to follow additional instructions provided by the app developer.
  • Once the app is installed, it will be added to the left sidebar of the Teams window, and you can access it at any time by clicking on it.
  • You can also add apps by visiting the Teams App store, where you can browse and install a wide variety of apps and integrations.
  • Some apps may also require your admin’s permission to install, so please check with your admin before installing.

Live events

Live events in Microsoft Teams are a feature that allows users to schedule and broadcast real-time video or audio content to a large audience. These events can be used for a variety of purposes, such as company-wide meetings, webinars, and product launches. They support features such as live captions, polls, Q&A, and breakout rooms. They can be scheduled in advance, or started on-demand. Live events can be accessed by anyone with the link, even if they do not have a Teams account.

To set up a live event in Teams, you will need to have the correct permissions in your organisation’s Office 365 tenant. Once you have those permissions, you can follow these steps:

  • In the Teams app, click on the calendar icon in the navigation bar.
  • Click on the “+New meeting” button.
  • Select “Live event” from the meeting options.
  • Fill in the details for the event, such as the title, date and time, and description.
  • Select the attendees you want to invite to the event.
  • Click on “Create.”
  • Once the event is created, you can click on “Start event” to begin the live event.

It’s also worth noting that you can also schedule live events through the Microsoft Stream application if your organisation has that enabled.

Use the Calendar feature

Microsoft Teams has a built-in calendar feature that allows you to schedule and organise meetings, events, and appointments. Here are some steps to help you use the Teams calendar feature:

  • Open Microsoft Teams and click on the “Calendar” tab on the left-hand side of the screen.
  • To schedule a new meeting, click on the “New meeting” button. Fill in the details, including the date and time, the participants, and any notes or attachments.
  • To schedule an event, click on the “New event” button. Fill in the details, including the date, time, and location of the event, as well as any notes or attachments.
  • To view your calendar, click on the “Calendar” tab. You can switch between day, work week, week, and month views.
  • To view other team member’s calendar, you can click on the schedule button on their profile, or you can also set up a calendar group for your team, and view the calendar for the whole team.
  • To accept or decline a meeting or event invitation, click on the invitation in the “Calendar” tab and select “Accept” or “Decline.”
  • To edit or delete a meeting or event, click on the event in the “Calendar” tab and select “Edit” or “Delete.”

Customise your notifications

You can customise notifications in Microsoft Teams by following these steps:

  • Click on your profile picture in the top right corner of the Teams window and select “Settings”
  • In the settings menu, select “Notifications”
  • In the notifications settings, you can customise how you receive notifications for different types of activities, such as mentions, messages, and calls.
  • You can choose to receive notifications via pop-up, banner, or email, or turn them off altogether.
  • You can also customise the notification sounds and also set different notification settings for different teams or channels.
  • You can also set the notification for “Do not disturb” mode, which will mute all notifications for a specific time.
  • If you want to mute notification for specific channel or team, you can right-click on the team or channel and select “Mute”.
  • Finally, you can also turn off all notification for a period of time, by going to the “Do not disturb” option in the notification settings, set the duration and turn it on.

By customising your notifications in this way, you can ensure that you only receive notifications that are relevant to you, and you can control how and when you receive them

Use the Teams’ “Together mode”

  • Open a Teams meeting and click on the “More actions” button (represented by three dots)
  • Select “Turn on Together mode” from the dropdown menu
  • The layout will change to display all participants in a shared virtual background.
  • You can also use the background selection option to choose from a variety of pre-set backgrounds.
  • Also you can mute/unmute your microphone or turn off your camera as needed.
  • You can also use the spotlight feature to focus on one particular person speaking.
  • When you’re done with Together mode, click on “More actions” button and select “Turn off Together mode” to return to the normal view.

Take advantage of Teams’ “Record meeting” feature

  • Start or join a meeting in Teams.
  • Click the “More options” button (represented by three dots) in the meeting controls at the bottom of the screen.
  • Select “Start recording” from the menu.
  • Once you are finished with the meeting, click the “More options” button again and select “Stop recording.”
  • The recording will be automatically saved to the “Meetings” section of the channel associated with the meeting, where it can be played back or downloaded.

Note: Recording feature availability depends on the teams plan and also the region.

You can also use the recording feature to record meetings, even if you’re not the one who scheduled them. Additionally, you can use the recorded meetings as a reference to go back and review content discussed during the meeting, which can be helpful for team members who were not able to attend or those who want to review important information discussed during the meeting.

Do ensure that you seek approval from all attendees before recording.

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