Microsoft Teams is seeing a huge spike in the number of people using it. This is in large part thanks to the coronavirus pandemic that has a lot more people working from home than ever before – people who need to stay in touch with their managers and colleagues.
And because there are a lot of new users, we thought we’d put together an article outlining some of the lesser-known – but incredibly handy – features that new and existing Teams users might not know about. This improved familiarity will help established and new users alike get more out of the software.
If any of these features don’t appear to be available on your Teams, speak to your IT people, as some features must be enabled by admins first before they become available to users.
Here they are.
Automatic transcription of video call meetings
Creating meeting minutes is usually a manual process and assigned to someone to do once video calls are over. Teams has the ability to automatically transcribe what was said into a document, through its “Transcribe” function.
Transcribe must be enabled by an admin, which can be done through the Teams Admin Centre in the Meetings->Meeting Policies section. Under the Global Policy option, simply turn on Transcription.
With Transcription enabled, whenever a Teams meeting ends, a document detailing all interactions is auto-generated. It can be accessed by clicking the … next to the chat for the meeting in Teams, choosing Open in Microsoft Stream, then Edit, then Captions, and finally Download.
Anyone who’s had to do meeting minutes manually will really appreciate how much easier this can make their lives.
Bookmark content so it’s easier to find
Anyone who’s used Teams knows just how much information flows through the platform on a daily basis. To make it easier to find specific messages, attachments, or other content, Teams has a handy “Bookmark” function that lets you add markers to content you may need in the future.
On messages, for example, all you need to do is hover over them and click on the sash icon to save them. When you search for items within Teams, your bookmarked items are shown by default.
You can also easily view all of your saved items by typing /saved in the command bar, or right-clicking on your profile picture and selecting ‘Saved’.
Shortcuts to certain functions are useful in any application, and Teams has a ton of these. The easiest way to access them is to use Slash Commands, commands that are entered in the Search box at the top of the screen preceded by a slash (/).
Teams also helpfully lists all of these; do see them, simply type / in the Search box and all available commands will display.
The /goto command is particularly useful, as it allows you to move between teams and channels quickly. Other handy commands are /keys which displays all keyboard shortcuts and /mentions that shows all channels you’ve been mentioned in.
Wiki tabs in Microsoft Teams
The Wiki tab in Microsoft Teams is where you can take notes about anything, and over time it becomes a handy repository of useful information that can be easily referenced.
To access Wikis, click on the left-hand menu and choose the Wiki option; here, you’ll see your Personal tab where you’ll do all your note-taking. You can also see other Wikis that you’re involved with, by clicking the All tab that provides a summary of these.
Adding notes to your personal Wiki is easily done by typing /wiki into the Teams text box and typing whatever you need to.
First up is Teams’ ability to interface with another popular collaboration software package, Slack. Through Microsoft’s “Slack Connector”, Teams users are able to communicate with people who use Slack and who are outside of their organisation.
It’s a handy function that not many people know about, but it’s a great way to keep in touch with suppliers, partners, and even vendors. Your organisation may not want to integrate the two for business reasons, but it won’t hurt to ask IT.
Your pathway to greater productivity
With knowledge of these Teams features under your belt, you’re well on your way to getting even more out of Microsoft’s excellent collaboration software.
If you’re not yet using Teams but you’d like to, or you’d like advice on any aspect of the software, please get in touch with Tarsus On Demand and we will do our best to help you out.