How to Use Microsoft Teams & Create a Team

Are you in search of an app to connect with your loved ones and your office? Well, your search ends here. What we are going to do today is show you how to get yourself started on Microsoft Teams. 

So, buckle up!

What is Microsoft Teams?

Well, if you are hearing it for the first time, you are bound to get confused. But, you needn’t be.

Microsoft Teams, launched in 2017, is a chat, video-call application. So, is every other video app out there, so what makes it different? Since its Microsoft’s, every Office365 apps that exists are brought together under one app to enable collaboration between people, especially in remote work modes. Now, lets look at the feature of Teams.

Feature of Teams

  • Skype 
  • Outlook which allows us to manage calendars
  • Create, share and edit content through OneDrive, OneNote and SharePoint
  • Make to-do lists for the entire team through Planner
  • Enables you to post to larger social channels with Yammer

Here each team can create Channel or multiple workstations. For example, if you are a teaching centre, each subject could have its own Team. Within the Team, each subject would have its own Channel. It doesn’t stop there.

Again, within the channels, there is a ‘default functionality that is controlled by Admins, ‘Posts’ which is a newsfeed, ‘Files’ (for sharing docs) and a Wiki for sharing the basics to be covered by the members. This way, Teams, literally brings together a workspace for its members to efficiently work.

Now that we know what a Microsoft Team is, let’s see how to get one started!

How to Set-up Teams

Step 1: Download Teams

Go to the Microsoft Teams webpage and click on Download Teams in the menu tab.

Next, click on the ‘Download for Desktop’ button to get the link suitable to the operating system of your computer. This will lead you to a question that will ask you if you want to download for desktop or mobile and you can choose according to your preference.

You can also download directly from a Google Play Store for Android and the iOs App if you are on your mobile.

Step 2: Create an Account

A newly opened Team will ask you if you are ‘Signing in’ or ‘Signing up’. If you are new, you can go to Sign Up where you will come across a dialog box asking for your email address.

You can follow that up by entering your password and all the necessary details asked of you. And voila! You can begin using your Teams. 

Step 3: Create a Team

When you open the Teams app, you will find ‘Join’ or ‘create a team’ option at the very bottom of the sidebar. 

Click on the ‘Create Team’ button that pops out after that.

When you open the Teams app, you will find ‘Join’ or ‘create a team’ option at the very bottom of the sidebar on the left side.

So now you have two options. You can either build a team from scratch or go with an existing team. If you have a team on any of the Office 365 apps, you can continue with the same by clicking on ‘Create from’ option. But if you are building a new one, you can handpick the members after selecting ‘build a team from scratch’.

You can also choose if you want your Team to be private or public or org-wide. ‘Private’ is ideal if you intend your Team to only have a few members. It would be easier to make it ‘Public’, if you think members are going to frequently change. And if you want to organise your entire company as one and divide the departments into channels, ‘org-wide’ would be the better choice. 

After you decide the type of Team you want, you can name you Team. Click the create button to finalise the creation of Team.

Your Teams will appear on the left side of the Teams app. If you want to add a member to your team all you need to do is click on the three dots next to the name and choose ‘Add Member.’

Step 4: Create Channel

Now Microsoft Teams creates a channel for the members to use, by default. But what do you do when you need additional channels?

Now, next to the new Team, there will appear three dots, select add channel option from them.

A second window will appear where you can select a channel name, description and choose your privacy settings. 

And your channel is set!

How to start a Video Conferencing

When you go to the app, you will have to first choose the Team or Channel you want to hold the video conference with. Under the compose box, you will find a small camera icon that will take you to the call.

You can also add a subject to your video call if you want! 

After choosing the icon, you will see a ‘Meet now’ button, which will click start the call.

You can choose to turn your camera and microphone on/off. You also have the option of sharing your screen to the ones on call with you.

How to Schedule Meetings

In a remote work environment, you may also need to schedule future meetings so that everyone is in sync with the calendar and nobody misses out the important meetings. So, let’s find out how to do one.

  • Step 1: In the same compose box, you will find a calendar icon which indicates ‘Schedule a Meeting’. 
  • Step 2: You can then go to the ‘calendar’ on the left side and click on ‘New Meeting’, located at the top right corner.
  • Step3: You can select the date and time from the calendar, and you can fill in the required details. Or make use of a scheduling assistant.
  • Step 4: After adding a title, inviting participants and other details; you click save to complete the scheduling. An invitation will be sent to participants on their email. 

Since, we have learnt everything from a setting up an account from to scheduling meetings, what stops you from starting your own?

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