Top Twelve Teams Tips

Using Teams more effectively/efficiently

1. Notifications for channels

You can get notifications by banner, in the alert feed within Teams and by email. Using Notifications from Teams will ensure you know when updates are happening. You can set an overall notification preference and also customize notifications for different channels and teams. More info.

2. Hide, show or pin a channel to the top of your view

When you join or are added to a team, it will show up in your listing but when you start getting a number of teams, it can be hard to navigate. Use the hide /show feature to focus on active teams and the pin function to keep your frequently accessed channels at the top of your list. More info.

3. Filter your Teams list or switch between List view and Grid view

Use the filter function or switch between list and grid view to organize your Teams to best fit your needs and preference. More info.

Become a Teams Power User

4. Use the search bar at the top – search or use commands

The search bar at the top of the Teams application is a powerhouse! You can search for people, teams, keywords, files and also use commands for even more power. To use a command, start by typing in a forward slash (/) and then the command. Here are a few commands for starters:

/whatsnew takes you to the What’s New area in the Help section.

/goto – If you have a lot of teams or channels or spend a lot of time, as I do, in the Chat part of teams then this is good way to hop straight to your destination.

/files – Shows your recent files and allows you to search and go to the file you want rather than having to click around your teams.

@Wikipedia – Allows you to do a Wikipedia search. Returns a summary that you can click on to go to the full Wikipedia page.

More about the search bar and commands

5. Keyboard Shortcuts and Navigation Buttons (< >)

As with most software, using keyboard shortcuts can really improve your efficiency in moving around the application. Here is a list of keyboard shortcuts. Also, to the left of the search bar are the navigation buttons. These are easy to overlook but can really make it easy to move back and forth to recently accessed files and channels – especially when in a Teams video meeting!

Of all of the keyboard shortcuts listed above, this one might be the most useful. The Teams app supports using your keyboard control and plus/minus keys to enlarge or reduce the font size. Press ‘CTRL+’ and ‘CTRL-‘ to zoom in and zoom out.

6. Save Messages or Bookmarks

For faster access, you might just need to save a particular message – which is really just a certain position in a conversation/chat. To do this, hover your mouse over the “More actions” (three dots …) and chose the “Save this message” option. A small bookmark icon will appear in that message.

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To see all of your saved messages, click your profile picture in the top right and selecting ‘Saved’ (or, use the search bar and type in the command “/saved”)  This gives you a list of all your saved items and on clicking on them takes you back to that part of the conversation.

7. Use the @mention

To get attention, type the @ symbol and then either a specific person or channl or team name. You can also use this when starting a conversation or asking a specific question. The relevant people then get alerted to this new reply or conversation.

8. Explore the icons under the chat entry box.

Use the message edit icon to add formatting or change your teams message from a chat to an announcement or conversation. Change the level from standard to important to urgent if you need to get people’s attention. You can also attach files, schedule meetings and add animated GIFs, and stickers (if the team owner has allowed that function within the team).

And, you can use the RETURN key to start a new paragraph rather than sending the message!! You can also format text using bold, italic and changing the color highlight, if you like.

Make your Teams meetings more effective and safe

9. End the meeting for everybody if you are the organizer

A fairly new feature added under the “More Actions” (three dots) in the Meetings control bar allows you to end the meeting for everybody. This is useful so the recording can be completed as well as can keep meeting participants remaining behind after the meeting organizer leaves.

10. Manage your meeting options

When you create a meeting, you are the organizer. Although default participant settings are have been set for the college, a meeting organizer may want to change them for a specific meeting. To see and change these settings,  go to the Meeting Options using the link included in the meeting invitation information provided when you created the meeting. The options include determining who can bypass the lobby and who can present within a meeting. More info.

11. Use Roles in Teams meetings

As mentioned above, the person who creates the Teams meeting is the organizer. There are other roles with a Teams meeting that allow attendees to have (or not have) appropriate permissions. Consider your meeting and its needs and assign roles as appropriate. More info.

12. Change your Teams background

You can blur or change your background in a scheduled Teams meeting by using the Show background effects under the More actions (the three dots) control. Here’s more info