15 Tips For Saving Time In Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a great tool for anyone looking to better connect with other members of their organization. This program has tons of features that make communication and collaboration easy and streamlined. In this video, we discuss fifteen of the best tips for using Microsoft Teams.


Microsoft Teams is one of the best collaboration apps available today. Below you will find fifteen ways to make your experience with it even better.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts make using Teams much faster. Manual input is eliminated by utilizing keyboard shortcuts and replacing tasks with shortened key combinations. To view all accessible keyboard shortcuts, use Ctrl + . to find the shortcut menu. Another way to view the menu is by using the command box and typing /keys. Users may notice some variations between the Teams desktop app and web app, including different shortcuts. Both offerings are fairly similar, they just may be labeled differently.

Quick Navigation Shortcuts

Below are the quick navigation shortcuts available to you. You can use them for navigating through your sidebar faster.

  • Ctrl + 1 displays activity.
  • Ctrl + 2 takes you to your chat.
  • Ctrl + 3 moves you to your teams.
  • Ctrl + 4 shows you your calendar.
  • Ctrl + 5 shows you your calls.
  • Ctrl + 6 takes you to your files.

The number associated with each shortcut is based on the ordering of your app’s interface. For example, if your chat were the fourth tab in your sidebar, you would use Ctrl + 4 to go to it. Keep in mind that in the Teams web app, you must press shift in addition to the rest of the shortcut, such as Ctrl + shift + 2.

Changing Your Status

Being able to share your status will eliminate interference during important tasks by communicating to others in your team that you are occupied. Below are the six different statuses you can select. 

  • Available – able to be met with and can take on tasks, also can receive notifications.
  • Busy – focused on a specific task but able to receive notifications.
  • Do not disturb – focused on a specific task and not receiving notifications.
  • Be right back – away temporarily but will be back soon.
  • Appear away – working on something and an immediate response cannot be expected.
  • Offline – not signed into Teams or has been set manually.

If your absence requires an explanation, include a message in your status update. Your status is automatically changed depending on the events on your Teams calendar. To view another team member’s status, select “more options” (three dots) next to a team’s name and select “members and guests”. This will show you all of your team members’ statuses.

The Command Box

The command box is located at the top of the page, so you can use it without distracting from the task at hand.The command box allows you to give commands to the system and reduces time spent in Teams. An example of a command would be setting your status as available by using /available.

To open the command box, type Ctrl + E or Ctrl + /. Either one will bring up the command box. After this, all the commands that you have access to and a description for each one will appear. From there, choose which action you are trying to complete, and type the command into the command box. The command should be carried out then.


Mentions establish a greater level of connectivity between you and your team. This action directs attention to specific messages and allows the receiver or receivers to be notified of your post. To access mentions, type @. This will reveal all the people, channels, and teams that you are able to tag. Next, select the person or team you wish to tag and then post your message. The person that you tagged will be notified and the message will appear in their activities. Within the chat, an indicator will be present where the tag is located in the conversation.The chat the tag is located in will also be bolded and have a notification next to it on the tagged person’s sidebar. This feature is great for improving quick and effective communication.

Managing A Team

Managers of teams have numerous time-saving options at their disposal. This is important because of the role managers fill. An example of these options are being able to select “more options” (three dots) to edit your team, allowing you to change the name, description, or privacy of the team. Additionally, by selecting “more options” the manager can alter team member capabilities, team member status, requests to join the team, channels within the team, analytics, settings, and apps.

If you need to change the team’s picture, go to the settings tab. To do this, click “add a team picture”, then “change picture”, “upload picture”, and pick your image. Always make sure to save. You can also change who uses mentions, guest permissions, member permissions, the team code, fun stuff, and tags. “Fun Stuff” allows for the use of emojis, memes, and gifs within the team. This can add some lightness to your conversations. With the team code, users can directly join the team without having to have a pending request, speeding up their entry to the team.

Specific teams can be hidden if they are not actively being used, making your program more organized. Hiding a team removes it from your sidebar without removing you from the team. The owner of the team will not be notified. To undo this action or recover the team, select “hidden teams” at the bottom of your sidebar and click “show”. You can also customize the order of your teams in the sidebar to meet your preferences. This helps with the prioritization of work.

Searching In Teams

The command bar allows you to search for specific people or topics in a team. The filter allows you to make this process even faster by specifying your searches. To use the filter, either click the funnel or use Ctrl + shift + F. This will help you sort through all the things you don’t want to see, to help you find what you need.

Editing A Message

Messages can be altered after they have been sent. To do this, hover over the message, hit “more options” (three dots), and select “edit”. This allows you to change the message in any way you would like. You are only allowed to change your own messages, but you are not limited to the number of times they can be edited. 

Private Channels

Private channels should be used to deal with private matters pertaining only to certain individuals. Private channels store both chats and files. You should not use them often, but they can be helpful in the right situations. An example of a good time to use a private channel would be when talking about financial matters.

Making a private channel does not require a separate team, but members must be part of the already existing team to be included. You just click “more options” (three dots), “add channel”, and then change the setting to “private”. A lock icon will be added next to the channel, and it will not be visible to other members. Members can be owners of the private channel without being owners of the team.

Turning A File Into A Tab

Turning frequently used files into tabs can make finding specific information easier. To do this, go to the channel your file is in, locate the file you are looking for, select “more options” (three dots) and click “make this a tab”. This will not move or change the document itself, it will just create more ways to access it. If you need to remove the tab, use the drop-down arrow to select “remove”. This will only remove the tab, it will not delete the file. Try not to do this with too many files so that you do not end up with too many tabs.

Adding A Poll

Polls improve collective decision-making, while removing the need for email chains. To create a poll, make a new conversation, click “more options” (three dots), click “forms”, add all required information, make all edits necessary, and then send. When all participants have voted, the results of the poll will be revealed below. This is one of the quickest ways to gather information on Teams.

Switching To Dark Mode

The use of dark mode while using Teams will alleviate eye strain and offer a more comfortable viewing experience. This feature is most important when users are spending a lengthy amount of time on Teams or viewing a computer screen. Some members also prefer dark mode just for the aesthetics. To activate dark mode, select your profile picture, then “settings”, and select “dark mode” listed under “theme”.

Saving Messages

By saving messages you can easily access all the information that is delivered through teams by you or others. In order to save a message, you must hover over the message, click “more information” (three dots) and select “save this message”. The sender will not be notified of this action. To view saved messages, select your profile picture and click on “saved”. Another way to access saved messages is by using /saved in the command box. In order to unsave a message, you must click the red bookmark beside the message. Your saved messages will then appear in chronological order. Avoid doing this with too many messages, so that messages don’t get lost.

Pinning Conversations

Pinning conversations lets you find specific chats and channels within Teams in a quick and efficient way. In order to pin a conversation, select chat, then click “more options” (three dots), and select “pin”. To undo this, simply repeat the process. Channels can also be pinned using the same process. Pinned conversations will be available at the top of your chats, and the order can be customized at any time. Up to fifteen conversations can be pinned at once. Be selective when choosing which conversations to pin.

Formatting & Fun

The formatting options available to you in Teams can make conversations more fun and casual. The “fun” options can be found in the command box. To open it, click “format options”. Here you can change the font of the text or make announcements. Announcements are a way to make specific messages more attention-grabbing. Additionally, you can use emojis, GIFs, stickers, or praise on any message you send. These fun items should be used sparingly in the workplace to maintain professionalism, but they still create a lighter environment when the time is right.

Are You Ready To Boost Your Productivity And Save Time?

As you already know, Microsoft Teams is a great way to stay connected within your organization. However, it is not as effective as it could be until you use these tips. If you have any more questions about Microsoft Teams or other programs, please feel free to reach out to us. We are always here to help with all your technology needs. Contact us online or by phone today.