Experience-based tips and ideas for enhancing digital workplaces
Author: Nate Chamberlain
Nate helps people communicate and collaborate better. He shares solutions and ideas on his blog at http://www.NateChamberlain.com and was awarded Microsoft MVP for Office Apps and Services in recognition of community contributions.
Last month I participated in my very first Minnesota Microsoft 365 User Group Workshop Day and had a wonderful time. Thank you to the organizers for all their hard work, and to everyone who attended and engaged during my session. And for those who missed it, you can now find the description and recording below. 🥳
How to build automated approval processes utilizing Power Automate with Microsoft Teams
We’ve all seen approval processes in a single organization built and implemented in a variety of ways. Sometimes, it’s a signature on a paper form. Other times it’s an email, a thumbs-up on a message, a column change in SharePoint, etc. So how can we standardize these approval processes using Microsoft Teams?
In this session, we’ll do a deep exploration of Approvals powered by Power Automate and used with Forms, SharePoint, Outlook, and Microsoft Teams. You’ll see how to create custom, shared approval request forms your whole team can use, as well as email-only approval processes for those simpler needs. We’ll also cover some best practices for rolling out new processes, training users, and understanding approval history and management.
Last year, fellow MVP and MCT Peter Rising and I collaborated on the first edition of an MS-700 exam guide. I’m pleased to share that soon (June 2022), our second edition will be released. It will have over 400 pages and 168 practice questions, and will follow the structure of the most up-to-date exam objectives, making it easy to study and focus on what’s most important when you need it.
Successfully passing the MS-700 exam earns you the Microsoft 365 Certified: Teams Administrator Associate certification. This is an excellent way to prove skills and proficiency to employers (current and prospective) and also challenge yourself with keeping up-to-date on administering one of Microsoft 365’s core collaboration and communication apps.
The process used when sharing your screen in Teams depends on whether you’re using the Teams desktop app or web app. I’ll cover both methods in this post, and provide a video demonstration for each.
Share your screen using the Microsoft Teams desktop app
Using the desktop app (installed on your machine), you can share your screen during a meeting in just a few clicks:
Once inside the meeting, select the Share icon (rectangle with an arrow) in the upper right corner next to the Leave button.
Choose which content you’d like to share with the other participants:
Screen (one of your monitors and everything you see on it, even if you change windows/apps)
Window (one specific window or app – prevents accidentally sharing things like your email)
If you’ll be sharing video audio or music, toggle the button to include computer sound
When finished sharing, use the same Share button to stop sharing.
If you’ll be sharing a PowerPoint presentation, consider using PowerPoint Live as opposed to just screen sharing the full-screen presentation. This enables your attendees to benefit from individual features that won’t affect others including:
Moving forwards and backwards through slides for a refresher or more time to consume the content
Changing slides to high contrast for better visibility
Translating slides to a language of choice
Click on links directly on slides (such as social media, references, survey, or company hyperlinks)
Share your screen using the Microsoft Teams web app
The web app is entirely browser-based, meaning you don’t need to have anything installed on your device to use it. You can access it anytime from any device with web access by navigating to https://teams.microsoft.com in your browser of choice.
In the web app, you can share your screen during a meeting by following these steps:
Once inside the meeting, select the Share icon (rectangle with an arrow) from the lower central area menu. If the menu has disappeared, simply move your cursor around the meeting space to make it reappear.
Choose which content you’d like to share with the other participants:
Desktop/Window (either a whole monitor or a specific app or tab). After you select this, you can then choose between:
Entire screen: A whole monitor/screen and everything that becomes visible on it.
Window: A single app or window (prevents accidentally sharing things like your email)
Microsoft Edge tab: A single browser tab (similar to the app/window option, this prevents accidentally switching to a sensitive app or tab)
If you’ll be sharing video audio or music, check the box to Share system audio
PowerPoint (PowerPoint Live): Select a recent presentation, or click Browse to find a presentation and utilize this feature.
When finished sharing, use the same Share button to stop sharing or one of the Stop sharing dialogs you may see.
I had the honor of presenting one of my favorite Microsoft 365 features for the Baltimore SharePoint User Group’s regular meeting last week. You may have seen this particular feature on your lists (individual or in SharePoint): the ability to visualize a list or library’s data using the Power BI service.
This newer feature of convenient Power BI integration for lists gives you an automatic report based on your list’s data. We explored how to create a report, customize it, and save it back to the list for future one-click access.
Even if you haven’t used Power BI (yet), this presentation was made for all experience levels and will provide a proper introduction. In this one-hour session, I specifically covered:
How to create an automatic report/dashboard from your list in just a few clicks
How to edit and publish the auto-generated report for others to use
Looking for a new podcast to listen to in the Microsoft 365 space? I asked my connections on Twitter and LinkedIn for their favorites and am sharing the full list here in no particular order. Thanks to all who contributed!
Head in the Cloud, Heart in the Community is a series of community tech talks hosted by Holly Lehman (@Lehman_Holly) and Isidora Katanic (@IsidoraKatanic). Together they virtually “travel” to speak with people around the world to shine a light on the fantastic work their guests are doing. They highlight the good in the world while creating a platform to discuss diversity & inclusion, career, life, love, tech, hobbies, dreams, ambitions, family and much more.
Whether you’re an overwhelmed administrator looking for answers, or simply a user who needs help implementing and adapting to SharePoint and Microsoft 365, this weekly podcast from Gregory Zelfond (@gregoryzelfond) is a quick, approachable, free resource designed to build your confidence in your SharePoint abilities.
Steve Goodman (@stevegoodman) and Paul Robichaux (@paulrobichaux) deliberate the top tech headlines each week and report on any updates that may impact your daily roles. In true Practical spirit, both MVPs will be commenting on real-world examples gained from their on-the-ground experience within different areas of Microsoft 365.
The Intrazone is a bi-weekly conversation and interview podcast hosted by the SharePoint team (specifically Mark Kashman @mkashman and Chris McNulty @cmcnulty2000). The show highlights usage, adoption, and how SharePoint works for you. You’ll hear from guest experts behind the scenes and out in the field. It’s all about how SharePoint fits into your everyday work life – the goal being to more easily share and manage content, knowledge and applications, and to empower teamwork throughout your organization with the technology you already have.
The Presentation Podcast is conversations from inside design studios about presentation design, tools, tips, and running a presentation agency. Led by Troy Chollar, Nolan Haims (@NolanHaims), and Sandy Johnson (@PPTWiz).
The Matt & Sean (MS) 365 Refresh Show is your weekly deep dive into what’s new, changed, or removed from the Microsoft cloud world, plus some insights, opinion, and a joke here and there. Led by Matt Wade (@thatmattwade) and Sean Bugler (@sbglr).
Marijn Somers (@marijnsomers) and Steve Dalby (@seisteve) are two experienced Office 365 and SharePoint consultants. They talk about Office 365 and then introduce you to what they hope is a new Whiskey.
Ragnar Heil (@ragnarh) shares short news and personal insights about modern workplaces built on Microsoft 365. Specifically, topics include Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Outlook, OneDrive, Yammer, Stream, ToDo, Power Platform, and beyond.
Microsoft MVP João Ferreira released the second edition of a new Microsoft Teams guide in late December 2021, making his one of the most up-to-date Teams books currently available. Other books available, such as my MS-700 exam guide, are geared exclusively towards certification and administrator responsibilities. João’s book reaches a broader audience, sharing important information every Teams user should know.
What I feel really adds value in this book is João provides more than just how-to. You’ll find scenarios and examples throughout the book in which João describes how particular features and tools are used in realistic business scenarios. You’ll also find more than theoretical information because of João’s step-by-step guidance through specific tasks, such as how to create a new team from a template.
And while it’s important to know how to create a team and channels, João takes it a further step to make sure readers not only understand the steps involved, but also the implications in the background. For example, when readers create a team they’ll discover the other Microsoft 365 group resources that are built to support that team simultaneously.
Contents of Hands-On Microsoft Teams
João uses the first chapter to walk readers through various versions of Teams (including desktop apps for Windows, Linux, and macOS, mobile apps, and web apps) and introduce basic concepts (what is a team, what is a channel, etc.). Readers are also shown how different plans affect limits and abilities within your organization.
After the first chapter, readers of all skill levels and interests are led more in depth into topics of interest including:
Core topics like how chats, meetings, search, and data storage work
Chats and conversation abilities and nuances
Using meetings, webinars, and live events (including newer features like registration and attendance reports)
Channel types (including the newer Shared channel type) and team governance
Teams templates (including administrator setup)
Microsoft Viva (all four current modules including Connections, Insights, Topics, and Learning)
Microsoft Teams use cases including frontline and personal use (arguably one of the most valuable chapters)
Extending Microsoft Teams using apps and understanding personal apps
Enabling and implementing custom apps, including using Power Automate and Power Apps with Teams
And the final few chapters (11-13) cover more advanced topics to take Teams usage and administration to the next level including:
Building apps and bots using the developer portal, QnA maker, and Power Virtual Agents
And lastly, using PowerShell to help administer Teams
João has put together a clear and concise reference guide packed with realistic scenarios and ideas you could refer to regularly. This guide will also be a great gift for co-workers, new hires, and even seasoned administrators since there is truly content for all levels in this book. Personally, I really appreciated that João made sure this new release also included newer features, such as Shared channels, ensuring it’s the most up-to-date Teams reference possible.
And be sure to connect with author João Ferreira on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on his community contributions and any future projects.
Disclaimer: I was provided a digital copy of this book in exchange for consideration of providing a review. Also, as an Amazon affiliate, I earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
Windows 11 is an incredible operating system and I’ve personally enjoyed using it since its launch without any issues. I have found that it hasn’t taken away from any of my important abilities and, in fact, has added several enhancements that can actually help boost my output more (such as Clock’s Focus Sessions).
One of the Windows 11 changes I get asked about a lot is the taskbar alignment. In Windows 10, the taskbar aligned left by default and Windows 11 center aligns it. Some users who are more comfortable with a left alignment have asked how to “put it back.” This post will show you how.
How to left-align Windows 11 taskbar icons
Right-click blank space on your taskbar and choose Taskbar settings -OR- navigate via your start menu to Settings > Personalization > Taskbar.
Expand the Taskbar behaviors section near the bottom and find the setting for Taskbar alignment.
3. Use the dropdown to change Center to Left. Your change is made immediately and you can close Settings.
In today’s world and the current corporate situation numerous enterprises have rolled out OneNote went from a single app to two apps (OneNote and OneNote for Windows 10), but is now returning to a single app once again thanks to advances in Windows and Office. This session will share the latest OneNote news, help prepare you for the shift back to OneNote (formerly OneNote 2016), and highlight some of the best features OneNote has to offer for individuals and teams taking and sharing notes (and more!).
In this final lesson for this course, learn how you can extend Microsoft Teams by adding additional apps to it. Whether from Microsoft or a third-party provider, your apps can be used within the context of Microsoft Teams making your day simpler and keeping more of your work within a single context.
This video is part of my FREE 30+ lesson self-paced online training course called Collaboration in Microsoft 365 (OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams). Enroll today at https://www.NateTheTrainer.com for the full learning experience including lesson discussions, quizzes, exams, and a completion certificate.
You can add or utilize additional apps in Teams in individual chat messages, channel conversation posts, channel or chat tabs, or your left-hand navigation rail. This makes it easier for you and your colleagues to quickly access important resources and tools all within a single context. Teams becomes a one-stop-shop for your communication and collaboration needs because of the flexibility app integrations provide.