5 Not So Obvious Microsoft Teams Productivity Tricks + 1 That is Just Fun

5 Not So Obvious Microsoft Teams Productivity Tricks + 1 That is Just Fun

For most organizations, right now it isn't business as usual. The unfolding COVID-19 situation has thrust many people into unplanned remote work. Fortunately, leveraging technologies such as Microsoft Teams has helped organizations rapidly shift to remote collaboration. We know it can be stressful for employees to try to be as productive as possible while learning new tools and dealing with antsy children at home. As a leading Microsoft Teams partner since the product's inception, our organization was able to make the transition to working from home easier by leveraging the technology that is already in the fabric of our business. We put together the following Microsoft Teams tips that we thought could be useful for you and your team.

1. Whiteboard During a Microsoft Teams Meeting

As consultants, we love us some whiteboards. For those that are missing your conference room whiteboard right now, you can use the whiteboard feature in Teams. After you join a Teams meeting, you can click on "share" and then in the whiteboard section, select "Microsoft Whiteboard" or you can select "Whiteboard" from the top menu next to chat and files. Here are more instructions on how to use this feature.

You can use your mouse to draw on the whiteboard but it does work best with a touch screen. If you don't have a touch screen, devices such as this can help.

2. Hide and Unhide to Stay Organized

As you use get invited to more teams and participate in more chats, it helps to stay organized and "hide" any items in which you don't need to be active. For either a team or a chat, you can click on More options ... and select "hide."You can always unhide later if needed.

3. Reduce Noise with Channel Notification Settings

For the times when I'm added to a team to help review a document but don't need to keep up with all the conversations, I find it helps to turn off channel notifications, so I don't receive notice of all the updates that are not relevant to me. Of course, if someone @mention's me, I'll still get that alert.

To adjust the notifications you receive from a channel, just select More options ... by the channel name and select "Channel Notification."

4. Mark as Unread & Pin

If you've ever had someone send you a chat message or @mention you to review a document and you aren't able to address it right away, it can be frustrating to go back and try to find it - especially if you already read the message. I find it helpful to mark the message as unread and pin it. For me, that flags it as a "to-do" item that I can go back and easily find later.

Just select More options ... by the chat and select "Mark as Unread" and then "Pin". You can easily "Unpin" the message once you have completed the task.

Bonus Tip: You can also Pin a Teams channel if there is a key initiative or project you want to be able to find quickly.

5. Save for Later

If you want to save a specific message in a tab, channel, or chat for future reference - you can easily bookmark them. Just hover over a message, once again click More options ... , and then click on "Save this message." You can access your saved message by clicking on your picture and selecting "Saved." You can easily unsave an item by clicking on the bookmark next to the message.

6. Have Some Fun with Snap Camera

Last week I met with a Llama. Yep, that's right. With Snap Camera you can add Snap Chat lenses to your video chats. Llama, monkey, wobbly eggplant - there are lots of options you can use when appropriate. We could all use a little levity right now; sometimes it can't hurt to add a little silly to your social distance.

If you have specific questions about best practices, we are introducing Teams Talk Office Hours every Wednesday from 12:00 - 12:30 PM, March 25 through April 22nd. No cost or commitment, we just want to provide helpful information to enable your team to collaborate better quickly. Just register at https://www.eventleaf.com/Intellinet and we'll provide the access link to the Microsoft Teams meeting.

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