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Getting Started With Microsoft Teams

Are you new to Microsoft Teams or considering using it for your organization? Teams is a helpful app that allows communication and collaboration in Microsoft 365. In this video, we discuss how to get started in Teams, so that you can make the most of it, saving you time and effort.

Teams is designed to help those who are collaborating, doing small projects, or connecting with a workgroup. Using Teams allows you to chat with others, set up meetings, manage a calendar, share files, use apps, and have audio or video calls. Having these features available is beneficial to any organization looking to foster better communication.

In Teams, you will use a navigation bar. This navigation bar can be found on the lefthand side of the screen, and it has tabs for activity, chat, teams, calendar, calls, files, and apps. Each area will pop up with a number to represent notifications as you and other members use Teams.

A team is a collection of people, content, and tools that help you complete projects. Teams have different channels within them, and each team at the minimum will have a general channel. The general channel should be used to share information that is pertinent to all members. More specific channels are used for separate projects that not everyone will be working on. Channels are where the actual work happens.

Most organizations will have a team for the whole business, but also teams for each department or project that is being worked on. Not all members of the organization team will be in the sub-teams.

Notifications can be found in many areas of Teams. For example, a channel that has had activity since the last time you were in it will be bold. Also, the activity tab on the navigation bar will show your notifications across all teams and channels. You can filter through the activity area by searching for keywords.

The chat tab holds one-on-one, private conversations that are held between you and other members. This is also where you will make video and audio calls. The calendar will show you your schedule for the day, workweek, or week. Calls, if enabled, can be used to call individuals or capture voicemails. Files holds all the files shared through Teams. Apps allows you to access additional features to use in Teams.

The profile section, which is located where your profile picture is, lets you change settings, set your status, or use other areas of Teams related to yourself.

Most everyone can create a team in this program. To do so, select “join or create team”, then “create team”, “build a team from scratch” or “create from an existing team”, and pick the type of team you would like to create. After this, you will add the name and description, hit “create”, add the team members, and select “add”. Please note that teams can be either private or public.

When using the chat function in Teams, it is important to know that you can change the format of your message, add an attachment, emoji, sticker, GIF, praise, stream, and more. Once your message is sent, you can also edit it if need be. When reading other people’s messages, you can use reactions. This is a lighthearted way to show your response. Another option when chatting is to use the compose box. The compose box is opened through formatting and can change the text of a message or make a message into an announcement.

The use of mentions in chat can be a helpful way to draw attention to specific messages. With mentions, you can tag people, whole channels, or whole teams. Simply type @ and then the person or group you would like to add. Once you have done this, an indicator for the tag will pop up on the side of the chat.

The possible roles in a team are owner, member, and guest. Roles can be changed under the “manage teams” section. If you are the owner of a team, at some point you may need to manage it. To manage a team, hover over the team’s name, select “more options” (three dots), and hit “manage team”. Owners can change members or delete the team. A person must be an owner to invite a guest to the team. It is good practice to have more than one owner in a team so that multiple people can handle the administrative duties.

Any member of a team can create a channel, you do not have to be an owner. Channels can be public or private. At the top of each channel, there are three tabs. These tabs are posts, files, and wiki. Posts are where information is shared between members. Files is where files are stored, and they can be worked on here as well. Wiki lets you collaborate on drafts in real-time with others. You can add more tools or options to the tabs by pressing the +.

Another thing to note is that you can save messages. This is helpful when people share really useful information through the chat feature. To start a new chat, you can use the shortcuts Ctrl + N. In the chat area, you can audio call, video call, or screen share. If you are outside of messages but someone responds to you, a notification will pop up regardless of where you are in Teams. If there is someone you talk to frequently, you can pin their chat to the top of the page.

When using the calendar, you can schedule meetings. You can even do this with people outside of your organization or non-Teams users. If you are scheduling a meeting and want to know when everyone else is free, use the scheduling assistant to pull up other member’s calenders to find availability. You also have the “meet now” option available to you once a meeting is set up.

Lastly, use the command box to make navigation through Teams easier. You can either search for keywords or use commands by typing / and then what you would like to do. You can also do this by using the shortcut Ctrl + /.

Do You Feel Like A Microsoft Teams Pro Now?

If you have any additional questions about Teams, or if you would just like more information, reach out to us. At In The Cloud Technologies, we have IT professionals who are equipped to handle all your Microsoft Teams concerns. We want to make sure that you are getting the most out of Microsoft Teams.