Category: Document Collaboration

Easy use of Office Document templates in Microsoft Teams

I think most of us, at some point, have missed the opportunity to add and use document templates in Microsoft Teams. It would have been great if, in “Files”, you could just click “New” and then choose an Office template that you want to start from when creating a new document.

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For those of you who lacked this functionality, I can inform you that there is a solution for this. Continue reading “Easy use of Office Document templates in Microsoft Teams”

Why Microsoft Teams is the key to successful collaboration

Collaboration in the past

I would like to start by telling you how i went from Lotus Notes, via SharePoint to Microsoft Teams.

Since 1997 I have been working on building systems for “collaboration”. The first few years I worked as a Lotus Notes-developer. Lotus Notes was at that time, in my personal opinion, the most effective platform for building good collaboration solutions. With Lotus Notes, i built document management solutions, good process support with automated workflows, ordering and booking systems, intranets and HR solutions. You could basically build most of it.

Best of all was that once you had built a good solution you could save it as a template. This template could then be used to quickly build the same, or similar solution elsewhere.

The replication in Lotus Notes means that you can distribute the load over different servers and you as a user can also replicate the databases so that you can work offline on your local computer when you do not have access to the Internet (this was during the time you did not always have access to fast internet everywhere and all the time).

Files were attached to Notes documents and you could use the email to attach links to the Notes documents which in turn contained those files. That’s how you (or at least i) did it “at that time”…

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Photo by David Klein on Unsplash

SharePoint shows up

Continue reading “Why Microsoft Teams is the key to successful collaboration”

Oh no! What has happened to my files !!!

An accident happens so easily.

What if your files are deleted or overwritten? They may even become corrupt or in the worst case infected with malicious software. It starts to creep in the body and whizzes in the ears. The butterflies begin to flaunt in your stomach and the sweat rushes into your forehead. What in the world should you do now? Continue reading “Oh no! What has happened to my files !!!”

Why do you continue to send (and reply to) email?

The times are changing, we as individuals are changing and so are the technology and the tools we use. I’m still using my email client, but it’s mostly about my calendar.

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Of course, I’m still sending emails, but it’s basically for communication with companies and organizations that don’t yet have access to modern communication tools, or that we haven’t yet invited them to any of our collaboration solutions. I now only have the daily communication with my colleagues and my customers through Microsoft Teams.

“What is it that Microsoft Teams give me who has made me, in such a short time, able to reduce (read stop) the use of email as the primary communication channel?”

I now have one (1) “work surface” to relate to.

  • I have stopped using Skype. Microsoft Teams give me everything I need. I have Group discussions and “file sharing”, with colleagues and customers in the team where we work together. I have private conversations with colleagues and customers through private chat in Microsoft Teams.
  • When it comes to Video meetings and Screen Sharing I can choose to do either in a  conversation in a channel or via private chat. I can also plan-, invite to- and have Team Meetings with much better quality than I could ever do via Skype.
  • All history of conversations and chats are stored, and I can easily retrieve a previous dialogue to update the memory of what was said or agreed. Now I don’t have to look for sent and received emails.
  • I can comment on documents in the place (the Channel) where the document and the comments belong. I no longer need to (but I still can) write comments in the documents or use “track changes”. Best of all, I never need to send email with attached files to get feedback on the contents of the files. I just ask the group members for a comment directly through the chat connected to the document.
  • I can easily call for attention by “mentioning” some people or those who follow a channel or all members of the entire team.
  • In each Team you can have one or more “Planners” where you can handle the tasks related to the work. One can also have one or more notebooks (OneNote) where you write notes from meetings etc.
  • I can follow what is most relevant to me and I can choose to follow or “hide” things that are not directly relevant to the work I am going to do.
  • I can choose what i want to get notified about (and how often), thus reducing the disturbances in everyday life. If I get a notice, I know it’s because it’s of importance for me.

“With more control and less interference, I can focus on what’s important and relevant to me. (As a bonus, I am also less tired when the working day is over.)”

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I have taken control of my priorities. I am no longer disturbed by email notifications that appear all day. I can focus on what is important to me, and I have control over the dialogues I have with customers and colleagues. I know where to find the documents I need.

I will certainly continue to use email for a some more years, but only when I need to. I can’t imagine going back to using email for internal communication or dialogue with customers who are “inside the system”.

What about you?

How many hours, per day, do you use to send and reply to email messages? Maybe you should consider using Microsoft Teams? I guarantee that it is worth testing and I’m pretty sure you won’t regret it.

Great news for those who work with document management solutions in modern libraries in Sharepoint Online

Content types with office templates in modern libraries in SharePoint Online.

Over the years, many of us have used content types to structure and keep track of the documents we work with in document libraries. We have often linked official templates to these content types, sometimes locally in the respective document libraries and sometimes in major centrally managed solutions through Content Type hub.

When modern team sites were launched, some of us found that these opportunities disappeared. Suddenly it became a little bit more difficult to build solutions with content types, document templates, and centrally managed content types and custom metadata, now we would suddenly just use our folders again.

On Saturday (September 1, 2018) Chris McNulty published an article that created great hope for those of us who want to use document library “out of the box” but also want to build structured solutions with custom content types, office templates and custom menus in document libraries. You can read this article here: “Announcing new file template management for document library content types“. You will now be able to tie office templates to your content types in a document library and you can also change the order in the menu that appears when you click “New”. You can actually upload the office templates directly through the “New menu”.

Small, but high value improvements, that start rolling out to “Targeted Release customers” already in early September 2018.

Did these news made you stand up on your desk and jump up and down in pure excitement (wearing your funniest party hat)? I am glad to inform you that there are more good news on my way, so there’s a lot of reason to celebrate further. The final “Frequently asked questions” of the same article also show the following:

“We will soon introduce the ability for a centrally managed content type, along with its custom metadata rules and templates, to be published to all locations, including locally defined templates, with full reporting visibility.”

Yes, you read correctly. We will soon be able to manage the office templates of the content types in one place. For those of you who have worked (and work) with document management solutions in SharePoint online, your excitement should now correspond to a child’s joy on Christmas Eve when Santa Claus is on the way.

Content Type fans, here we go!

(this article is also published on LinkedIn)