Microsoft have been adding lots of new features and applications to Office 365, such as Planner,Shifts and Microsoft Teams.

Free pdf download Microsoft Teams For Dummies Discover the power of Microsoft teams Millions of people reach out to Microsoft teams every day to help them work together. That number continues to grow thanks to the myriad communication tools for working with colleagues inside and outside your organization that you can find at Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams For Dummies. Author: Rosemarie Withee. Print, 304 pages, April 2020. ISBN: 978-1-119-66055-2. Discover the power of Microsoft Teams. Millions of people access Microsoft Teams every day to assist with the collaboration it takes to get work done. That number continues to grow thanks to the countless communication.

Taking on the likes of Slack, Microsoft describe Teams as a ‘chat-based workspace in Office 365’ allowing teams (internal only at this stage) to work together within one window to enhance teamwork. It's important to note that Microsoft Teams will be replacing Skype for Business (which will be retired 31st July 2021).

If you need any support adopting Microsoft Teams, please see our Microsoft Teams Services. You can also download this Quick Start PDF guide to give end users all the basics.

Need Teams governance guidance? Watch our on-demand recording of 'Managing Microsoft Teams' to see how to administer and govern Microsoft Teams.

What does Teams do?

Within one window, users can call upon a variety of key Office 365 apps and tools to help them work more effectively, such as:

  • Calendars and meetings (Outlook)
  • Create, share, edit and find content (SharePoint, OneDrive and OneNote)
  • Call and meet team members (Skype)
  • Chat and instant messaging (Skype)

Key benefits of Teams

  • One centralised hub
  • Office 365 integration
  • Customise Teams through APIs and bot frameworks
  • Enterprise security & compliance
  • Azure Active Directory integration
  • No extra cost to Office 365 users

Using Teams

Before getting started it’s important to understand how Teams fits into the larger Office 365 picture, as creating Teams has some wider implications. Every Team created will automatically create a matching Plan (find out more on this in our Guide to Planner here), SharePoint Team Site, Office 365 Group and shared OneNote. While this brings a number of great benefits, such as shared documents and centralised team information, it can cause some governance and admin headaches. Luckily, the admin side of Teams allows this to be managed as we'll cover below.


Once your organisation has access to Teams, you can: download the desktop application, access Teams through your browser or download the mobile app.

Teams and Channels

To start your teamwork collaboration, you need a team. Setting up Teams is easy and done in a few clicks, requiring a Team name and a description; this then allows team members to be added. As mentioned above, a new Team will create a matching Office 365 Group, OneNote, SharePoint site and Plan—so this does need to be done with some caution.

Each Team has subsections, which are called Channels, and a General Channel will automatically be created. You can have multiple Channels within a Team; for example, you could have a 'Marketing' Team and then Channels such as 'Social Media', 'Product Launch', 'Blogs' etc. Or a Company could be a Team and Channels can relate to departments - you can choose whatever suits your organisation's way of working. Whenever there is a new notification or activity, the Channel will become bold.

Channel Tabs

Each Channel all have their own tabs along the top. Conversation (group chat), Files (shared documents) and Notes (shared OneNote) are automatically created and you can then add your own tabs.

Microsoft Teams For Dummies Pdf


Conversations are one of the key features of Teams, allowing each Team to have a centralised discussion that is saved and easily searchable. Conversations are the central component where all teamwork is recorded—from file sharing to video calls.

The use of @mentions allows you to tag participants or even whole teams to notify others. Users that look at Conversations will easily see where they have been mentioned through the red @ symbol to highlight areas of importance to them. On top of this, your desktop app will notify you through an alert. As well as tagging, users can 'like' content and share emoticons or GIFs.


In your Teams window, you can perform a variety of tasks directly within that window or browser, so that you avoid flicking between different applications. These tasks include the ability to delete, download, move files, open, copy, edit or get a link to share with others – giving you all the key features you would get in the native apps.

You can also start a Group chat alongside the file, to allow team discussions while all working on the files - and this conversation will appear in your Conversation thread.

View team files, edit, upload and create


Notes takes you to the Team shared OneNote. Within Teams you can view and edit your OneNotes (directly within the Teams window) or you can click to edit in the OneNote app.

Edit within Teams

Edit in OneNote

Adding Tabs

As mentioned, as well as these three automatic tabs you can also add your own, which currently include Planner, Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, Power BI dashboards and more.

Microsoft products can easily be added now, but there are also many future integrations coming to Teams, such as Asana integration. With integration between systems being so vital to teamwork, we can expect to see many more partnerships and out-of-the-box integrations!

Asana Integration


Along the left-hand side you can navigate to different areas within Teams, such as Chats, Meetings, Files and Activity. Most of these are fairly self-explanatory:

Activities: Shows you the last activities of the Teams that you are part of.

Chat: This holds your Skype for Business conversations, providing a complete chat history. However, for a chat within a Team you should use the Teams menu and hold the group chat in 'Conversation'.

Teams: An overview of all your Teams that you are part of and allows you to drill-down into each Channel within the Teams. This is also where you can create Teams.

Meetings: The Meetings tab pulls your meetings in from Outlook and also allows you schedule meetings within the Meetings tab that are sent to a Team. If you want to schedule other meetings with external users or individuals, you will still need to use Outlook, as the Teams Meeting tab is only to schedule a meeting with a Team. (Remember the aim is team collaboration, not calendar management).

Files: Within Files you can quickly find and view files across OneNote, OneDrive and within Teams (stored in their own SharePoint sites). There’s also a very helpful ‘Recent’ tab so you can quickly access the latest documents you were working on, as well as a shortcut to your Downloads.


Microsoft teams for dummies pdf

Microsoft Teams is a great product already as it allows great flexibility and gives you many possibilities. However, as mentioned earlier, getting started with Teams can also bring some knock-on effects, which can cause admin headaches. Luckily, within the Office 365 Admin, you can control Teams settings within the Groups control panel. Within Admin settings, you can control who can create teams, what features are or are not allowed, such as video meetings, screen sharing or animated images or if extensions can be used. This gives the control required to allow governance in line with your organisation's policy and ensures you can keep control over the app. Find out more here.

End User Adoption Guides

To find out how you can use Microsoft Teams Live Events to easily stream live events such as webinars, product demos or corporate presentations to external and internal audiences, read our 'How to use Microsoft Teams Live Events' guide.

For organisations with employees working on shift patterns, Shifts in Microsoft Teams provides shift scheduling and management capabilities. Find out more with our 'How to use Shifts in Microsoft Teams' guide.

There are also some great end-user adoption guides available online from Microsoft.

To learn how to use the meetings and calls functionality of Teams, you can take a look at these Meeting and Calling How-Tos.

A Microsoft Teams End User Quick Start Guide is also available to download and share with users.


Is Teams available now? Yes - Teams is generally available.

Which Office 365 Plans include Teams? Teams is available to Business Essentials, Business Premium, F1, E1, E3, E4 (retired) and E5 customers. It's also available for Education and Non-profit plans but not yet Government.

What is on the Teams roadmap? You can view the full Teams roadmap here.

What about Skype for Business? Teams will be replacing Skype for Business! Find out more here.

Does Teams work with those outside your organisation? Yes - this feature was added and can be turned on or off. Guest access is included with all Office 365 Business Premium, Office 365 Enterprise, and Office 365 Education subscriptions. No additional Office 365 license is necessary. Guest access is a tenant-level setting in Microsoft Teams and is turned off by default. Find out more here.


Microsoft Teams is already a robust offering and is benefiting from lots of new features and integrations. Even better, since Microsoft’s new direction under Satya Nadella, feedback and reviews on products have been well received with Microsoft actively acting upon public feedback. Microsoft Teams has a simple feedback program and you can go and view most popular suggestions, as well as see which ones are planned based on the number of up-votes. These requests and other features can then be seen on the public Office 365 Roadmap. This really shows a commitment to making a product aimed at user needs, so we have a great feeling about Microsoft Teams. What's more, seeing as Teams will be replacing Skype for Business we are sure that it will become well used!

Media coverage and reception has also been very positive with many Slack comparisons. Within these comparisons, Microsoft Teams is often faring very well in terms of features, usability and offering—but what makes it even more appealing is the fact that is it included with Office 365. For Office 365 users, this means that those who are already using other paid teamwork software can remove the licence expense, and those that aren't can gain access to a useful new application that competitors might be using - at no extra cost.

Next steps

If you are using Office 365, then we recommend trying Teams and providing your feedback to help shape the product. You can download a Quick Start PDF guide to get users started here.

If you are not using Office 365, then you can sign up for an Office 365 E3 trial (which includes Teams).

You can also find out how we can help with our Microsoft Teams Services or Contact Us and we can give an Office 365 demo or answer any questions.

Updated on March 28th 2020 to clarify that this relates to the “teams” part of Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is not a new product, but there’s still quite a bit of confusion about what it is, and how it can improve workplace productivity. Some people think that it is just a chat app. Some think that it’s just an upgraded version of Skype for Business. The truth is that Microsoft Teams is an extremely powerful application that can be used to enhance teamwork through enriched collaboration and communication. Unlike other Office productivity applications that have a legacy to preserve and millions of users to consider, Microsoft Teams is built from scratch with the modern workplace in mind. This also means that Microsoft Teams introduces a new work behavior, that many people – especially those that are used to email – might find difficult.

“Teams” in Microsoft Teams explained

How can you explain the “teams” part of Microsoft Teams in a way that your organization can quickly understand? When I describe teams in Microsoft Teams, I use an illustrative analogy that most people can relate to. For those of you who have Storyals Lite or Storyals Pro, you will see me explain this in the “Enhance teamwork” introduction video. For the rest of you, I’ll share my description in this blog.

1) Think of a “team” as a house

In Microsoft Teams you work in different “teams”. You can think of each team as a house where you work together with others. Everyone who is a member of the house will be included in everything that goes on in the house.

Even if you can “walk between different houses”, it’s a bit confusing and tiring. Similarly, in Microsoft Teams you don’t want to create or be a member of too many teams. For organizations that don’t have any governance in place, or for end-users that haven’t received any guidance, the number of teams created can easily grow out of proportion. This is not good for end-user productivity. When you start using Microsoft Teams you should think through how various groups within your organization collaborate with one another. Think through how to create teams so that the collaboration will be as efficient as possible.

2) Think of a “Channel” as a room

When you first build your house it only has one room. In Microsoft Teams this corresponds to the “General” channel.

In this room, you can hear what everyone says -whether or not you are in the room at the point in time it is said. Everything is noted down. In Microsoft Teams this relates to “Posts”. Conversations, announcements, replies, everything is visible in the “Posts” window. Everyone in the team sees everything in the channel posts.

You are not limited to just talking to each other in the room. You can use facial expressions and body language! In Microsoft Teams you do this using reactions, emoticons, GIFs, memes, stickers and much more. By being able to express yourself more freely in the digital workplace, it’s easier for people to let their personalities shine through. You can create a more fun and inclusive culture, where the ones not physically located in the same place can still feel involved and as part of the team.

As you start working on more projects and more initiatives, different constellations of people in your house will break out and start working in different rooms. In Microsoft Teams a new room corresponds to a new “Channel”. As of November 2019, you can select if a channel should be “Standard” or “Private”. You can think of a Private channel as an invisible room that only selected people in your house can see and have the key to enter.

3) Think of the “Activity Feed” as the hallway

In the middle of the house you have a hallway. You can stand in the hallway, open the doors to the rooms you are most interested in, and hear all the conversations going on in the various rooms – without leaving the hallway!

In Microsoft Teams, the hallway corresponds to the “Activity Feed.” Opening the door to a room corresponds to turning on “Channel notifications”.

You don’t have to worry about missing out on anything that is being said in the rooms with closed doors. At any time, you can walk into the room and get up to speed on everything that has happened in the room. In Microsoft Teams, this corresponds to going to a channel and seeing what’s been posted in the “Posts” window. Also, if someone in a room wants your attention – even if the door is closed, they can just get your attention using a megaphone. In Microsoft Teams, this relates to an @mention. Whenever someone @mentions you, you will see it in your “Activity feed” whether you have turned on channel notifications or not.

4) Think of “Chat” as private conversations by the coffee machine

Microsoft Teams For Dummies Pdf

Sometimes you might want to have a private conversation with one, or a few people in your house. A conversation that is not heard by everyone else. In Teams you do this using “Chat” or “Calls”. Whatever you write or say here is only for the ones present. If you frequently have private conversations with a group of people, you can create a group chat.

Microsoft Teams For Dummies Download

Private conversations are great for social talk or for things that aren’t of interest to the others in the room. Such as, “I’m running late”, or “shall we meet up for lunch?”

Microsoft Teams For Dummies Youtube

But it’s important that you don’t use private chats for business-related discussions that could be of interest to others in the channel. Those discussions should be in the channel posts – where they are visible to others.

5) Think of “Tabs” as posters pinned on the wall

In your various rooms, you can pin things on the walls. This helps the ones in your room focus on what’s most important and it helps them find what they need. In Microsoft Teams this corresponds to “Tabs”. Here you can pin things of importance – such as Excel spreadsheets, shared notes and other apps.

Succeeding with Microsoft Teams

Understanding how Microsoft Teams works is an important step in order to succeed with your Microsoft Teams adoption. But it’s important to acknowledge that Teams drastically changes the way people work, and changing behavior is difficult. I recommend you read our previous blog post or see the video, How to succeed with Microsoft Teams to get more insights, and also check out our other blogs on Teams. Good luck with your adoption and feel free to reach out to us if you need help! Or click on the “Book a demo” button below if you are interested to see Storyals in action!

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