Hands-On Microsoft Teams by João Ferreira (Review)

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

Conclusion

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.

How to change Windows 11 task bar alignment to left instead of center

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

  1. Right-click blank space on your taskbar and choose Taskbar settings -OR- navigate via your start menu to Settings > Personalization > Taskbar.
  2. Expand the Taskbar behaviors section near the bottom and find the setting for Taskbar alignment.
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3. Use the dropdown to change Center to Left. Your change is made immediately and you can close Settings.

Curious what else is new in Windows 11? Check out this page of Windows 11 tips, tricks, and features.

Next generation OneNote: Two become one at Kansas City M365 user group (Recording)

I presented the following session for the Kansas City M365 User Group on Valentine’s Day (2/14), 2022.

Description

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!).

Recording

How to add apps to Microsoft Teams (Video)

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 also watch the entire course as a YouTube playlist as well (just without the course discussions, quizzes, exam, and certificate). Be sure to subscribe to support my channel and for easy access to future content.

Notes

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.

Additional resources

How to search and use commands in Microsoft Teams (Video)

You can use the Microsoft Teams search bar to find content, conversations and chats, people, channels, and more. But you can also use it to execute commands. Learn about both in this lesson.

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 also watch the entire course as a YouTube playlist as well (just without the course discussions, quizzes, exam, and certificate). Be sure to subscribe to support my channel and for easy access to future content.

Notes

Your search bar does more than just search. You can find files, messages, people, teams, channels, and more using the search bar and the filters available in results. You can also execute commands by beginning with a forward slash (/) and typing or selecting an available command such as /pop to pop a chat out into a separate window.

Be sure to check out the shortcut and command PDF handout linked below.

Additional resources

Personal settings, preferences, and status in Microsoft Teams (Video)

Learn how to manage your personal settings, app preferences, and your availability status in Microsoft Teams.

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 also watch the entire course as a YouTube playlist as well (just without the course discussions, quizzes, exam, and certificate). Be sure to subscribe to support my channel and for easy access to future content.

Notes

In addition to managing your chat and channel notification settings, you’re also able to configure your status/availability, out of office settings, display preferences, and much more by taking advantage of all that’s available in your settings dialog (ellipsis next to your profile photo > Settings).

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Additional resources

How to remove the Recycle Bin from a SharePoint team site’s navigation menu

I recently had someone ask me how you could remove the Recycle Bin from a modern SharePoint team site’s left-hand navigation menu. Even if you click Edit on the navigation menu, Recycle Bin disappears as an option you can change. So how can it be done?

While it’s not the most straightforward process, it is possible to remove Recycle bin from a site’s navigation menu but it will require activating the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure site collection feature.

Before you proceed, please read about this feature and its impacts in its entirety and check out Gregory Zelfond’s excellent write-up on the advantages and disadvantages here.

If you’d still like to proceed, and you’re the site’s owner, follow these steps to remove Recycle bin from your menu (video at bottom).

  1. Go to the site for which you wish to remove Recycle bin’s link
  2. Go to Site contents > Site settings
  3. Select Site collection features from the Site Collection Administration section
  4. Activate the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure feature (this may take a minute or two)

Your Recycle bin has now been removed from your navigation menu, but you can still access it via Site contents > Recycle bin.

How to send an email when a Planner task is completed using Power Automate

Microsoft Planner has built-in notifications for assigned tasks, reminders, and overdue tasks, but sometimes you’ll want to be kept in the loop when important tasks are completed as well, even when the task isn’t assigned to you specifically.

We can create a Power Automate flow to accomplish this. You can either use a template to get started quickly, or build a flow from scratch. I’ll cover both methods in this post.

Use a Power Automate template to send an email when a Planner task is completed

First, you’ll need to sign in to Power Automate using your work or school (not personal) Microsoft account. Then follow these steps:

  1. Select Templates and search for “send email Planner completed” (or click this link)
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  1. Click Continue
  2. Select the Group and Plan for which you’d like emails to be sent when tasks are completed.
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  1. Enter the email address(es) to which notifications should be sent when tasks are completed in the selected plan. You can also customize the message body simply by clicking in the body field and entering your own text and/or dynamic content.
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  1. Click Save (at the bottom or upper right)
  2. Go to the specific plan for which you’ve created the flow (Hint: you’ll find it at https://tasks.office.com) and complete a task to test it. You may want to create a fake task for your test.
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  1. Check the email inbox for the address(es) you entered in step 4. You should have received your custom email. Note: It may take a few minutes for it to appear.

Note: Your email will come through with the “Completed by” individual’s ID instead of their display name. Follow the steps in this post to change the ID to display name.

Video demonstration using a template (see bottom of post for non-template):

Create a Power Automate flow to send an email when a Planner task is completed (without using a template)

To accomplish the same without starting from a template, follow these steps:

  1. Select Create from the left-hand navigation of Power Automate
  2. Choose Automated cloud flow
  3. Title your flow (perhaps something like Send email when Planner task completed)
  4. Choose your flow’s trigger (Planner: When a task is completed)
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  1. Select the Group and Plan for which you’re creating the flow
  2. Click New step
  3. Find and select Send an email (V2)
  4. Enter the recipient’s email (or multiple, separated by semicolons)
  5. Enter a subject (perhaps using dynamic content such as the task title in the subject – see video at bottom of post for demonstration)
  6. Enter a message body (again, using dynamic content to insert details such as title and completed time)
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  1. Click Save and test your flow by completing a task in the plan you selected in step 5

Here’s a video demonstration that adds the task description and a link to the full plan in the email as well:

How to join and participate in Microsoft Teams meetings (Video)

Learn how to attend a Microsoft Teams meeting and what your options and features are when meeting online.

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 also watch the entire course as a YouTube playlist as well (just without the course discussions, quizzes, exam, and certificate). Be sure to subscribe to support my channel and for easy access to future content.

Notes

Attending a meeting is usually as simple as clicking a join link and turning your devices (camera and microphone) on or off as desired. There are several features available to attendees throughout a meeting including chat and reactions, live captions, device settings, and more. Meeting organizers may also have attendees participate in polls, breakout rooms, and more.

Additional resources

How to get Planner task Completed By dynamic content in Power Automate

You can use a template in Power Automate to send an email when a Planner task is completed. However, this template returns the Completed by field as a user ID, and not as a display name. And the dynamic content available for a completed task does not include Completed by. We can, however, get this data using an expression. Here’s how to do it (video at bottom of post):

  1. After your trigger (When a task is completed), insert the Get user profile (V2) step.
  2. Click inside the User (UPN) field, then select Expression from the dynamic content panel
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  1. Paste the following expression in the box and click OK
triggerOutputs()?['body/completedBy/user/id']
  1. Now, in your next step (email, Teams post, etc. – however you’re sharing the completion message), use the dynamic content from the Get user profile (V2) step to insert Display Name.
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  1. Save and test your flow.