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Tips for using Microsoft Teams

1 October 2021

Chezky Shneller

Hereby are several useful tips for working with Teams. Each tip includes the platform on which it is currently available: computer desktop, mobile phone, or both.


a fairly new plugin which allows task management.

  • The most efficient way to use this tool is to add the app to the Team app toolbar (side navigation bar) so that it is always available. When you need to create a new task, just click on the task’s “quick save” icon and you’re all set. The task has been created, and you can return immediately to your current assignment.

  • When another user publishes a post or sends you a message, click on the message menu (three dots in the message itself), then select Tasks. This will open a task window listing all the details extracted from the post/message (which can, of course, be edited). Now, all that is left is to choose a deadline for completing this task, and whether it is intended for us alone or to be shared with other users or even teams. You can create several tasks from the same message, then repeat the process.

2. Answering specific messages (available only via mobile phone) -

Like WhatsApp, Teams also enables its users answer a specific message. Just swipe the message you wish to address to the right, even if it isn’t the last message written. This feature will soon be made available for the desktop app via the message menu.

3.Saving messages for later use (available via both desktop and mobile phone) -

When a message contains important information or a point we wish to return to later, it can be saved for later use by clicking on the message menu (three dots) and selecting ‘save’. Your saved items are personal and accessible from any device. All messages saved are stored in one folder and can be accessed by clicking on “My Profile>Saved. To cancel the saving, simply click again on the message menu, then select ‘cancel saving’.

4.Pinning a message at the top of the page (available only via desktop) -

If you want to pin messages at the top of the page to be seen by all parties, click on the message menu>Pin. This can be applied to only one message at a time. Clicking on the message will immediately jump you the original message. To unpin the message, click on the message menu and select ‘cancel pinning’.

5.A text editor “rich” with messages (fully available via desktop, an abridged version also available via mobile phone) -

The text editor is fairly simple. However, notice the icons at the bottom of the message, the first being Format . Clicking on it opens the complete editor with several additional features such as font selection, paragraph alignment, adding links, etc.

6.Chatting during meetings (available only via computer desktop) -

You can define the chat to be shown to all participants only when a message has been sent. This can be done by clicking on the menu and selecting the chat feature for the bubble at the top of the screen. This feature is especially comfortable during screensharing, when there’s no need to see the chat, during a Teams meeting, using the message menu.

7.Using the various possible emojis (available both via computer desktop and mobile phone) -

When writing a message/answer, you can use emoji. Some emoji have a little dot beside them, which indicates that this emoji has other versions, usually differing in color. A right click (when using a computer) or a long press (when using a phone) will display all possibilities from which we can choose the one most desirable at the moment.

8.Opening a file on your desktop (available only via computer desktop) -

When opening a file on Teams, the file “takes over” the entire screen, not allowing us to work on multiple files. Furthermore, only some of the file editing features are displayed. It’s therefore better to open the file on your desktop by selecting “open in desktop app”, work on the file then close it in Teams.

9.Defining the desktop app as your default setting (available only via computer- depending on your license) -

When receiving a file, we usually click on it directly and open it via Teams, which allows displaying only one file at a time. To change this, click on the file menu and select “open with desktop app” to open it regularly. You can also access the settings, selecting settings>general>scroll down to “files” to alter the desktop app.

10.Browsing through screens -

The upper corner of a Teams screen features two arrows, which allow flipping Teams screen back and forth not unlike browsing through a browser. A long press on one of these arrows opens a list of our recent locations which allows us to access them quickly.

In conclusion, whether you are using the Teams app using a computer or phone, you should be aware that Microsoft adds new, useful features highly frequently. It is therefore vital to constantly ensure that your app is updated and follow the various forums in which the latest updates are published and discussed.


Top 10 NEW features in Microsoft Teams 2021

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