Get more from Microsoft Teams with these top tips: part two
Welcome to part two of our blog on how to leverage the value of Microsoft Teams. If you missed the tips in part one, catch them here.
Here, we list four Microsoft Teams hacks showing you how to:
- Find subject matter experts in your organisation quickly
- Build custom apps for use in Microsoft Teams
- Manage Shifts and First-line Workers
- Get to grips with Teams Wiki (and compare it with OneNote)
Search for people in your organisation by topic as well as name
An app worth checking out is Who, which allows you to search for people in your organisation by topic as well as name. Okay, if you’re in a team of 20, this is unlikely to float your boat. But if you’re one of hundreds or thousands of people in your organisation, Who enables you to find a subject matter expert in, quite literally, seconds.
As with any new app you’d like to understand, select the Apps icon in the menu ribbon running down the left of your screen. You’ll find categories of apps to refine your search, including by genre, discipline and vertical.
Click on the app that makes your eyes gleam to learn more, and ‘Add’ to get it. And that’s it.
You might also like Microsoft Teams a Glossary of Terms.
The Microsoft App Studio
There are, of course, countless apps in the marketplace, from the prosaic to the eclectic, but every organisation’s circumstances and needs are unique. The Microsoft App Studio equips you with the tools to build your own app and integrate it with Teams.
Get off to a flying start with:
- Step-by-step guidance from Microsoft: Quickly develop apps with App Studio for Microsoft Teams.
- Microsoft video: Develop apps using the App Studio for Microsoft Teams
- Blog and video by Microsoft developer and MVP (Most Valued Professional) Tom Morgan: What is App Studio in Microsoft Teams and why do I care?
Manage Shifts and First-line Workers
If you manage the shifts of first-line workers, then you’ll be all too familiar with the vagaries of human nature and could be considering a job herding cats instead.
When you add the typically dynamic and changeable needs of your organisation (not to mention the impact of the pandemic), there may be occasions when you’re required to figure out conundrums worthy of a maths professor.
And you certainly don’t want to be spending your valuable time distributing schedules or communicating changes.
Enter the Shifts app for Microsoft Teams, which enables you to:
- Keep your first-line workers connected and in sync.
- Stay in touch with your shift workers via their mobile devices.
- Seamlessly manage shift schedules and change requests.
- Incorporate value-added apps – like Time Clock – for attendance reporting.
So, don’t hold back. Free yourself from the grind with these hand-picked resources:
- Microsoft Teams – What is Shifts?
- Microsoft guidance – Get started in Shifts
- Microsoft video – Learn how to use Shifts in Microsoft Teams
- Microsoft – Manage the Shifts app for your organisation in Microsoft Teams
You might also like this blog by IT Lab, a Content+Cloud company – How to Use Microsoft Teams More Efficiently.
Microsoft Teams Wiki
Let’s tackle the basics first: what is Teams Wiki? In brief, it’s a place where you can create, share and house long-term information in a more structured way.
In a fast-flowing noisy Teams channel, you don’t want your people burning time wading through conversations to find, say, advice on a stock product or comments about a new process.
Equally, specific files – on strategy or project roles and responsibilities, for example, will be more evergreen than others. It makes sense to put that stuff at people’s fingertips.
So, if your team regularly access the same content, or if you need to get new people quickly up to speed, Wiki could be the logical place.
When you create a new channel, you get a Wiki tab by default. If you use OneNote, you’ll recognise elements of it in Wiki; it’s essentially a digital notebook.
You get the basic skeleton – which is arranged in pages, to begin populating as you please. And you can give order to your content by adding sections to each page.
Handily, Wiki automatically creates a menu of your content.
Add notes using familiar Microsoft Word functionality, such as rich formatting, headings and bullets.
And you can consolidate your important files in Wiki, regardless of what channel they live inside. This is an especially neat touch, saving your people from hopping across different Teams to get what they need. For example, a price list in a sales channel and a template in a finance channel.
Go to the file you want and copy the link.
Then paste the link to your Wiki content as rich text.
You can also start a conversation in Wiki using the chat icon:
For more of the nitty-gritty, check out this Microsoft blog: Add and use a Wiki tab in Teams.
One last thing, though. Opinion on Teams Wiki is divided, with some falling into the OneNote camp instead. Understanding Wiki’s functionality will help you to choose what’s best for your needs. Here’s a quick comparison:
- One Note uses sections that contain pages; Wiki uses pages that contain sections.
- Wiki is great for keeping notes with a long lifespan.
- OneNote has more features; so, it all depends on what sort of information you want to build.
- Wiki can be tricky to search.
If ultimately you decide that OneNote is better for you, you can add it as a tab to your Teams channel. And to keep things tidy, you can delete the Wiki tab if you want to.
What’s next for your organisation’s use of Microsoft Teams?
For more hacks, including how to customise your Teams experience, see part one of our blog here. And for deeper insights across a range of Teams topics, download our free eBook which includes something cool you can do with your Teams meetings.