Category: Document Collaboration

Make your Office templates available to all users

Most companies and organizations have a good ambition that everyone should use the company’s standardized Office templates. The templates must follow the correct graphic profile and have the correct outline. Unfortunately, few companies and organizations succeed in this.

Wrong file types

A common misunderstanding is that an Office template is a “Reusable Office file” with the file extension .docx .xlsx or .pptx that you copy and change. Nothing could be more wrong.

“Real” Office templates have the following file extensions:

  • Word = .dotx
  • Excel = .xltx
  • PowerPoint = .potx

Stored in the wrong place

Sometimes the templates are on a file server, hopefully, the templates are at least stored somewhere on the company’s Microsoft 365 tenant (sometimes in a document library in SharePoint, sometimes they are even in a Team or spread across several Teams and channels.)

Sometimes you might even have your Office templates stored in an external solution that users have to log into and download the templates from. This often means that you miss when a new version has arrived and you continue, blissfully unaware, to work with your locally stored downloaded outdated templates.

Wrong Access rights

An interesting detail is that when you store these “Reusable Office files” (that are not valid template formats), in an area where most users have editor rights, it is guaranteed that sooner or later someone has been inside and changed one or more of these files.

A good way to avoid these problems is to create “real” Office templates and store them in an area where only a few people have editor rights while all employees have read rights.

But is there an easy way to make these templates available to all users directly from Word, Excel and PowerPoint? The answer is a resounding YES! Keep reading to find out how.

Continue reading “Make your Office templates available to all users”

Microsoft Loop is here but what is it?

Yesterday, March 22, 2023, Microsoft announced that the Loop app is available in public preview. Launches are always fun and spark a lot of curiosity, but what exactly is the Microsoft Loop? Well in short it is as follows:

Microsoft Loop is a new productivity tool designed to help users organize their work and collaborate with others more effectively. One can say that it is a “cloud-based platform” that allows users to create, share, and collaborate on various types of content, including documents, notes, tasks, and more. It offers an intuitive and flexible workspace where users can organize their content into different sections, such as meetings, projects, and teams.

There are three key parts of Microsoft Loop:

  • Components
  • Workspaces
  • Pages

One of the key features of Microsoft Loop is its integration with other Microsoft applications, such as Teams, Outlook, and OneNote. This integration allows users to easily access and share their content across different platforms, making it easier to collaborate with colleagues and work more efficiently.

In addition, Loop also offers a range of customizable templates that can be used to create various types of content, such as agendas, meeting notes, and project plans. These templates can be customized to fit specific needs and workflows, making it easier for users to get started and stay organized.

Short summary

Microsoft Loop is a powerful productivity tool that offers a range of features designed to help users work more efficiently and collaborate more effectively with others. Whether you’re working on a project with a team or managing your own workload, Loop can help you stay organized, focused, and productive, and I guess that’s something that we all aspire to be. Therefore, this may be of interest to most of us.

As usual, the internet is flooded when news like this launches, so below I’ve compiled some useful and overview articles that can give you the information you need to get started:

Microsoft Loop – Think, plan, and create together like never before

New Microsoft Loop app is built for modern co-creation

The SharePoint storage platform supports the Loop app – Components, pages, and workspaces

Learn how to enable the Microsoft Loop app, now in Public Preview

Make yourself seen and heard in Microsoft Teams

You may wonder why it takes so long to hear back from your colleagues. Sometimes it is perhaps so bad that you don’t get an answer at all?

It is a fact that Some people are better at following along, listening and being interested and following what is happening, while others do not react until you tap them on the shoulder. Sometimes the reason may be that it is you yourself who does not work in a way that makes you sufficiently visible. In this case I’m thinking of what it’s like when you communicate in Microsoft Teams.

Continue reading “Make yourself seen and heard in Microsoft Teams”

Information structure in Microsoft Teams – Where should I save (and later also find) the documents?

In my daily work, I meet far too many companies and organizations that take the information structure too lightly. Sometimes due to lack of time, but sometimes due to carelessness. Either reason will sooner or later lead to chaos and irritated users. In the best case scenario, one has in any case gotten away from storing files on file servers and instead got over to Microsoft 365 with Teams, SharePoint and OneDrive as storage areas.
BUT
Unfortunately, it is far too common to just dump the files where you see that it is possible.

Here are some examples of Basic misuse (which many actually do).

  • Put all files on OneDrive
  • Put all files in one Document Library on a SharePoint Site
  • Put all files in the General channel in a Team

The reason for this blog post

On the first of September 2022, I will participate in Kai Stenberg’s PodCast “Teams Cast away“. There we will talk about information structure in Microsoft Teams. This blog post is written with the aim of sharing some tips with others who might wonder how to build a smart and logical structure in the simplest possible way so that you know where documents belong and can easily find them again when working in Microsoft Teams.

“Create and store documents in their logical/intuitive context. Then you and your colleagues don’t need to waste time searching for them later”

A golden rule in the handling of documents in Microsoft Teams is that the documents must always be created and stored in their relevant context. In my world, there should always be a relevant channel where a document fits. If you have relevant channels, you store documents and conversations in a relevant/logical context, and thus you don’t have to look for them. They simply have a natural place where they belong and your other team members should know (and practice) that too.


Below I will give you some simple and basic tips on what to keep in mind when you have a document that you are wondering where it belongs.

Continue reading “Information structure in Microsoft Teams – Where should I save (and later also find) the documents?”

Attending Microsoft Ignite (Sep 22-24) this year?

While Ignite is going virtual this year, Microsoft are still conducting research sessions, virtually of course, and they want to hear from you! If your organization uses SharePoint and/ or OneDrive and you’re interested talking to the product team we have several sessions lined up, so please take the survey linked above to tell them about your preferences.

Link to survey

Join TeamsFest and learn more about securing your information in Microsoft Teams

 

One thing is for sure. There is not just one golden solution for securing the information you have in Microsoft Teams. If you want to be as secure as possible, you need to have a holistic perspective and secure various parts of your collaboration platform.

sebastiaan-stam-RChZT-JlI9g-unsplash
Photo by sebastiaan stam on Unsplash

It’s about the devices you use, it’s about the rules you have, it’s about the use of the various tools that your platform offers. Not least, it is about the attitude and knowledge of your employees.

Want to know more about the opportunities you have to secure your information in Microsoft Teams? I have the great honor and pleasure of being a speaker at TeamsFest for the third time now. TeamsFest is organized by The European Teams User Group and it is a great online event (just view the schedule here) that is also free so there is no reason to miss it.

Sign up for TeamsFest here and come and view/listen to my session “Here’s how to secure the information in Microsoft Teams“.

Here You can follow the European Teams User Group on Twitter to stay informed on future events and activities.

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.

1

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”…

david-klein--94oJK3PDQw-unsplash
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 !!!”