Microsoft Teams is a part of Office 365 suite. It is designed to facilitate group communication and collaboration. It offers a variety of features like team conversations, private chats, calls, meetings, and file sharing.
Getting Started with Microsoft Teams:
Download and Installation: If you don't have Teams installed on your device, you can download it from the Microsoft Teams website or your Office 365 portal. Teams are available for desktop (Windows and Mac), web, and mobile (iOS and Android) platforms.
Sign In: Open Microsoft Teams, and sign in with your Office 365 username and password.
Navigating Microsoft Teams:
Once you're signed in, you'll see the Teams interface, with a variety of options on the left-hand side:
Activity: This tab shows a feed of all your notifications and mentions.
Chat: Here, you can conduct private one-on-one or group chats.
Teams: All the teams you're part of are listed here. Each team has channels—think of these as topics or workstreams under a team.
Calendar: This tab integrates with your Outlook calendar and shows all your scheduled meetings. You can also schedule new meetings from this tab.
Calls: In this tab, you can make calls if you have a Microsoft calling plan.
Files: All the files shared across all your teams are available here. You can also connect to OneDrive to access more files.
Apps: You can add more apps to Teams—like Planner, OneNote, or a host of third-party apps—to enhance your productivity.
How to Use Microsoft Teams:
Let's dive into each section with more detail:
Teams and Channels:
Creating a New Team: On the Teams tab at the bottom left, there's an option to Join or create a team. Click it and then select Create Team. You can choose from a class, professional, or personal team. Give it a name and description, then select Create. You can then add people to your team by searching for their names or email addresses.
Creating a Channel: Once your team is created, you can create channels for specific topics. Select the team where you want to add the channel, click More options (the three-dot icon), then Add channel. Provide a name and a description for the channel. Channels can be standard (accessible to all team members) or private (select members only).
Posting in a Channel: Open the channel where you want to post, type your message in the Start a new conversation box, and click the send (arrow) icon to post. You can also format your text, attach files, and include emojis, GIFs, and stickers.
Starting a New Chat: Click on the New Chat icon at the top of the Teams interface. Type the name of the person you want to chat with, write your message in the box below, and press Enter to send.
Starting a Group Chat: Follow the same steps as starting a new chat, but add multiple names in the To: field.
Calling and Video Chat: You can initiate a call or video chat with one or more participants in a chat. Use the video camera or phone icon at the top right of the chat window.
Scheduling a Meeting: Go to the Calendar tab and click " New meeting " at the top right. Fill in the details—title, attendees, date/time, and any details—and then click Save.
Joining a Meeting: If you have a scheduled meeting, you'll see it in your Calendar tab. When it's time, open the meeting entry and click Join.
Sharing Files: You can share files by uploading them to a channel or chat. Click the Attach (paperclip) icon below the chat box, then select a file to upload. You can choose to upload from your computer or from OneDrive.
Accessing Files: To access files shared in a chat or channel, go to the Files tab in that chat or channel. To access all files shared across all channels, go to the Files option in the left navigation bar.
Remember that Microsoft Teams is a powerful tool that can be customized to fit your collaboration needs. Explore its features, use the search bar to find messages, files, and other content quickly, and don't hesitate to customize your settings (like notifications) to make it work best for you.