I thought it might be time to share with you some of my favourite Teams tips. Out of all my blogs and tips learned through customer workshops, here are my top 5:
- Use Search to send a chat or start a call
The search function in Teams is great for searching through files and messages, but it can also be used to run commands. Type in the / in the search bar and you will see a list of commands that you can ask Teams to run. For example change your status or (my favourite) start a chat or call.
Type in /call in the search bar and hit enter on your keyboard. Then enter the name (or number if you have Teams Phone System), hit enter and it will start a call without needing to leave the Teams page you are on. If you are looking at a file, you can make a call without having to move to the Calls tab.
You can do the same thing with chat. Type /chat in the search bar, type in the name of the person you want to chat with and send the message directly from the search bar without needing to go to the Chat tab:
2. Add a Poll to a Teams Meeting
If you want to run a poll or quiz during a Teams meeting, then open the meeting invite in Teams and choose + to add a Tab:
The search for Forms and select it to add it to your meeting. It should appear as a Tab called Polls to your meeting.
From there, click Create New Poll and input your desired question and voting options:
You can also choose to make responses anonymous (no other voters or you will be able to see who has responded) and allow multiple answers.
To launch your poll, simply click launch and it will activate it in the Teams meeting. If you are already in a Teams meeting, it will pop up like this:
Now my attendees can vote on their desired meeting time even if we are already in the Teams meeting. If someone has left the meeting before you launch the poll, they will receive a chat message from the meeting with the option to vote.
3. Hide chat history in group chats
Group chats are incredibly useful in Teams. If you need to collaborate with a group of people on a one-off task and don’t need a whole Team, you can create group chats instead.
To add participants to a group chat, click on the participant button on the top right of the chat. When you choose to add someone new, you have the option to hide the chat history so when they join the chat, it will be blank:
You can choose to allow chat history from a certain number of days, or remove completely. This is useful if you were chatting about something confidential or not relevant to the new participant.
4. Hide Teams that are not used daily
As you use Microsoft Teams you may find you are part of quite a few Teams and as time goes on, it can be more difficult to keep track of Teams you use on a daily basis. You have the option to hide Teams to clean up your Team list, so you can focus on the Teams you use more regularly.
To hide a Team, click on the 3 dots next to it and select Hide:
The Team will move to your Hidden Teams which is a view you can open or minimize to make it easier to focus on the Teams you use most often:
This won’t mute notifications, and if you want to bring it back to your top list, just click on the 3 dots again, then click show:
5. Create Tags in Teams
Tags in Microsoft Teams allows you to quickly and easily notify a group of people within a Team without notifying everyone in the Team using @mentions. A good example of this is if you had a Project Team, and within that Project Team you had 5 Project Managers, 6 consultants and a few managers and you wanted to send an update that was relevant to the Project Managers only, without notifying everyone.
To start, you need to be the owner of the Team. Click on the 3 dots next to the team, then manage tags.
If your team doesn’t have any tags already, you can select create tag to start. From here you can give your tag a name and add people. Anyone you add will be notified when you @mention this tag. You can have up to 100 team members assigned to a tag if required.
When you click create, you can see a list of tags that have been created in the Team.
Now, when I post a message in any channel of the Team, I can use the @mention @projectmanagers and only notify those in the tag.