Microsoft Teams Walkthrough: Activities, Search, Chat and Files

Oct 19, 2017 by Russ Telford

Welcome back! In part one, I discussed Microsoft Teams and how they can be used for collaboration, discussion, record keeping, and all kinds of other fun things. If you haven’t read it, go ahead, click that link, read through it. We can wait.

Are you back? Did you read it? Good. Let’s discuss some of the other exciting things within Microsoft Teams. Since it’s usually a good place to start, let’s just start at the top with Activity.

Microsoft Teams Activities

This is where you go to view your activity and the activity of others on your teams. I don’t know about you, but it seems these days I forget more than I remember. It’s one of the reasons I’ve started using Teams to keep track of things. With the Activity feed, I can take a look at what I’ve posted.

For me, more specifically, I can look at e-mails that I’ve sent into Teams:

When I choose the specific Activity, it brings it up in the right pane. Like I said, my memory isn’t what it used to be and it’s super helpful for me to be able to quickly find something I sent to a client.

Microsoft Teams Search

It’s even better that there’s a search function:

And just like that, there’s the demo e-mail I sent back in part 1. Even better, I can also search on files:

There’s the infrastructure review document I created in part 1, along with the conversation I started discussing it! It can not only search what I’ve posted, it also can search for things that other people posted. I was asking Daryl about slide decks from Ignite. He told me he posted it in Microsoft Teams. Easy enough to find:

I don’t know why I find searching through my inbox and filtering through everything to be so difficult and repulsive, but to me, this is infinitely easier. Now when I ask Daryl a question and he says, “I posted about that in Teams in June,” I can do a simple search and find it.

Microsoft Teams Chat

Chat is just what it says. It’s a chat. Anyone in my organization that has Microsoft Teams is available for me to chat with.

Here’s a chat between myself and Jason Turpin at our office. We were obviously playing around and testing it out. You can use gifs, upload files, they even have stickers that you can use in your chat:

Now who doesn’t want to be able to put a healthy dose of Grumpy Cat into their daily communications? Files that are uploaded, such as that one of Vigo the Carpathian, are saved to the chat’s own little repository for future reference:

You can also view that person’s activity feed directly from here:

Now, do you see up there in the top right corner, you’ve got icons for what appears to be a mid-80’s camcorder, a 1970’s telephone receiver, and what appears to be two dudes without necks and a hovering plus sign? Well, if you’ve used Skype for Business, you’ve probably already guessed what those are for. That camcorder will start up a video chat with the person you’re chatting with, the phone will initiate an audio call (only to other users for now, PSTN calling functionality is coming, though), and clicking the neckless dudes will allow you to start a chat with the person you’re currently chatting with and someone else. This doesn’t add the new guy into the existing chat, but creates an entirely new chat with more people.

Microsoft Teams Files

One last thing I’d like to briefly mention today is the files section:

Notice that I’m not restricted here to just what’s on Microsoft Teams. Tying this back to the fact that this is a productivity application, from here I can search for files on my OneDrive for Business, in Microsoft Teams, or just view a list of files that I’ve recently accessed between OneDrive and Teams:

Remember that you worked on a document but can’t for the life of you remember what you did with it? Here you go.

Join me next week for the final chapter in this look at Microsoft Teams. I’ll be discussing Meetings and Planner. Sorry there weren’t any donuts this time, but I’ve been assured that if I want to go pick them up myself, there can be donuts next week!

If you have questions about Teams or Office 365 as a whole and how to adopt it within your organization, we can help. Send us an email or give us a call at 502-240-0404 to get started.

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