Using Teams

You're likely to be using Microsoft Teams for joining online meetings/seminars and also possibly for group collaboration. Teams has a wide range of useful features that can help save you time or help you get organised. Learn more in our top tips below.

Top tips

1. Get notified

When you open Teams, the first place to check is the Activity area which shows you a snapshot of your recent notifications from things relevant to you, such as posts and meeting chat you've been tagged in. Don't let notifications take over, though - you can choose when to receive email or banner notifications in your settings area to make sure you stay as connected as you want to be.

2. Meet up…

You can access online meetings in various way. Some might be set up and accessed via Moodle for your course, or via an email from LibCal if it's an appointment or another event, or if you're invited directly to an online meeting you can view and join via the Calendar tab in Teams. Find out more about joining online meetings, webinars and other events.

3. …and use good etiquette

Remember appropriate etiquette during meetings. Some sessions may explain what they expect from you, such as keeping your cameras on or muting microphones when someone else is speaking. You can set a virtual background for your camera. There are various tools available to make online meetings more engaging, such as the ability to share screens or content, raise a virtual hand to ask questions, reactions, meeting chat and ability to view everyone's webcams at the same time in large gallery or together mode.

4. Personalise your space

You can reorganise the order of the teams in your Teams tab using drag and drop - it is handy to put the Teams you use most often to the top. You can also personalise the look and feel of Teams itself within the settings area, for example switching to the Dark theme or selecting a high contrast view.

5. Collaborate

When doing group work, Teams is a great place to store and work with your files as you are able to collaborate on documents in real time at the same time as other team members. If you want to embed things like websites or other apps within your team, consider adding them as a tab at the top of a channel for quick access. You can click the Conversations button at the top right of any tab/document to have an ongoing instant messaging thread specifically attached to the particular document in question - much better than back and forth emails.

6. Accessibility and inclusivity

You might want to make use of tools in Teams for greater accessibility and inclusivity of messaging. For example, if you receive a message in a different language, this can be instantly translated using Translate from the more options menu. Or consider having your messages read out loud, for example while you're working on something else, or if needed for accessibility purposes - just hover over a message and choose Immersive reader from more options.

7. Use shortcuts

You can power up your Teams usage by using shortcuts in the search bar. All you need to do is type the / symbol into the search bar at the top of Teams and this will give you a number of quick options, such as a quick way to update your status, call someone or see your recent files.

8. Get trained

For a more detailed overview of all of the features of Teams, see the communication and collaboration with Microsoft Teams online course.