Made the switch from Slack? Or new to Teams? Here’s our getting started guide to Microsoft Teams

Arif Bacchus

Microsoft Teams

If your organization or small business has just come on board with Microsoft Teams, you’re in for a big treat. Not only is Teams included with most Office 365 plans, but it opens up a whole new level of collaboration opportunities for both yourself and your employees. As we’ve covered over the past few months, there’s a lot that Teams can do for you. In our latest Microsoft Teams guide, we’ll take a quick look at how you can get started with Teams.

The user interface

teams main part 2

To get started with Teams, you can either access it from the web or install the dedicated app on Windows, MacOS, or Linux. Once installed, you’ll need to get familiar with the user interface. You’ll be spending a lot of time here in the days to come. The Teams user interface is the same across the dedicated Teams app, as well as the web, so no need to worry.

As a quick look at the user interface for Teams, there’s a search bar on the top of Teams that is home to shortcuts for finding messages and people. You’ll also find Tabs” for Conversations, Files, OneDrive, and any other apps added by an administrator. There is also a dedicated area on the middle-left side for navigating different Teams channels, followed by a navigation bar on the left for the core features of Teams. The channels listed in this middle area will light up black when there are unread messages. These channels are where you’ll be chatting. We explain the user interface in our post here, so give it a read to get up to speed with how to use Teams.

Setting up your Team and Channels

creating a channel

With the user interface of Teams understood, you’re free to set up your first Team now. This option for administrators only, but it will allow you to create a space for your workers to chat and get stuff done. To create a Team, you’ll want to click the link at the bottom of the window which says Join or create a Team.

Then, you’ll want to click the option that says Create a Team. Select to Build a team from scratch and Name the team, and select create.  You’re then free to add people, create channels, groups, and more. We talk more about how you can customize and set up your Team here, so feel free to check it out.

Setting up your Apps and learning about Tabs

Teams Apps

If you’re an administrator, you’ll also need to set up apps for your employees and yourself to use. Apps in Teams work in “Tabs” and you can allow your users to add apps as they please. Our guide has a nice selection of apps that can help boost your productivity.

Currently, there’s a large catalog of apps you can add to Teams. the options range from analytics, collaboration, finance, and productivity. Some examples include Sociable, YouTube, Quizlet, Twitter, Google Analytics, and Facebook Pages. There’s also Microsoft’s own apps and services, like OneNote, and OneDrive integrated right into Teams. Oh, and you also might want to enable the Wiki tab, which can prove to be an effective communication tool.

Getting started with chatting in Teams

Annotation 2020 01 07 094306

Once you’ve got Teams and channels set up, you and your employees will have a space to chat. You can chat privately and start calls from chats in Teams, but it’s encouraged to post in channels. Posting messages in channels are the core experience in Teams and can be seen as a giant group chat. In channels, you can reply to messages in channels to keep a clean and concise experience known as threaded conversations. We previously dived a bit deeper into the chatting experience, so give that a read if you want to learn more about how things work.

How to manage your meetings and calls in Teams

Meetings in Teams

Chats are the core of Teams, but so are meetings and calls. You can set up and schedule meetings from the calendar section of Microsoft Teams. You also can place calls in Teams by clicking the Calls icon in the far left bar. There are many keyboard shortcuts you can use to save time during your meetings, and you even can record the meeting for later reference, if needed. Our guide covers all that, so give it a read for more.

Other tips

As we’ve said before, Teams is very powerful. There’s a lot more that you can do once you’ve set up Microsoft Teams. We’ve previously covered how you can set up read receipts, or share your screen, And, our other guides cover how you can multitask and take Meeting Notes.

Of course, you also can download Teams on iOS and Android, to take your work with you on the go. The Teams experience itself is always evolving with new features, and we’re always writing about Microsoft Teams, and we’re here to help. Do you have a tip or trick for Microsoft Teams? Let us know in the comments below.

‎Microsoft Teams
‎Microsoft Teams
Price: Free
Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams
Price: Free