15 Tips For Saving Time In Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is one of the best tools available for connecting with other members of your organization in a way that is fast and efficient. In this video, we discuss the benefits of using Microsoft Teams, with a focus on how you can save time through 15 different features available in the program.

Microsoft Teams makes collaboration easy in its user-friendly, effective design. Below are 15 tips and features that can save you time while using this program. Keep reading to see how you can make Microsoft Teams even better.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts eliminate manual input by replacing tasks with shortened key combinations. To view all accessible keyboard shortcuts, use Ctrl + . to find the shortcut menu. The menu can also be seen by using the command box and typing /keys. There are some variations between the Teams desktop app and web app, including different shortcuts, but you will be able to see this while looking at the menu. Both options are very similar, the functions just appear under different names.

Quick Navigation Shortcuts

To navigate through the sidebar more effectively, use quick navigation shortcuts. Below you can find the quick navigation shortcuts available to you:

  • 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.

Each shortcut’s number is based on the order of features on the app’s interface. For example, if the calendar was the fourth tab in your sidebar, you would use Ctrl + 4 to go to it. The order of these tabs can be changed to suit your needs, thus changing the number associated with them. 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, to use this feature.

Changing Your Status

Sharing your status keeps everyone informed of what you are doing. This is helpful because it prevents people from interrupting you during important tasks. 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 you need to explain your status further, include a message in your update. Please note that 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, giving you an idea of if they are available or not.

The Command Box

The command box is located at the top of the page in Teams and can be used at any time. This feature allows you to give commands to the system and reduces your time spent in Teams. An example of a command would be setting your status as available by using /available. Once you did this, your status would be updated without having to do it manually.

To open the command box, type Ctrl + E or Ctrl + /. Either combination will bring up the command box. This will show you all the commands that you have access to and a description for each one will. From there, choose the action you want to complete, and type the command into the command box. The command should be carried out without any additional steps.


Mentions make communication between you and your team easier. They attract attention to specific messages and allow the receiver or receivers to be notified of your post. To access mentions, type @. You will then see all the people, channels, and teams that you are able to tag. From here, select the person or team you wish to tag and then post your message. This will create a notification for the individual(s) and the message will appear in their activities. An indicator will also be present where the tag is located in the conversation. The chat room the tag is located in will also be bolded and have a notification next to it on the sidebar.

Managing A Team

Managers of teams have many different options they can use. This is important because of the role a manager has in a team. One of the things they can do is select “more options” (three dots) to edit the team, allowing them 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.

To change the team’s picture, the manager can use the settings tab. To do this, click “add a team picture”, then “change picture”, “upload picture”, and pick the image. Make sure to save, otherwise, the changes will be lost. Who uses mentions, guest permissions, member permissions, the team code, fun stuff, and tags can all be changed here as well. “Fun Stuff” allows for the use of emojis, memes, and gifs within the team. These items make good additions to less serious conversations. By using the team code, users can directly join the team without having to have a pending request, speeding up their entry to the team.

If a team is not actively being used, it can be hidden. Hiding a team removes it from the sidebar, but keeps the member in the team. No one will be notified that this has occurred. To recover the team, select “hidden teams” at the bottom of the sidebar and click “show”. The order of the teams in the sidebar can also be customized to meet your preference.

Searching In Teams

Specific people or topics in a team can be searched for through the command bar. There is also a filter that 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 make sure you are only seeing what you are looking for.

Editing A Message

Messages can be altered after they have been sent. This allows you to make edits or add additional information. To do this, hover over the message, hit “more options” (three dots), and select “edit”. The message can be changed in any way you like. While you are only allowed to change your own messages, you are not limited to the amount of times this can be done.

Private Channels

Private channels should be used to deal with specific matters pertaining only to certain individuals in the organization. Both chats and files can be stored in these. You should not use private channels 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 or certain clients.

You do not need a separate team to create a private channel, but all 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 shown 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

Files are easier to find once they are converted to a tab. 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”. The document itself won’t be altered, you will just have more ways to access it. If you need to remove the tab, use the drop-down arrow to select “remove”. The file will not be deleted when you do this.

Adding A Poll

Polls improve collective decision making without the need for lengthy 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. Once everyone has voted, the results of the poll will be revealed below. This is one of the quickest ways to gather information from fellow members on Teams.

Switching To Dark Mode

Dark mode alleviates eye strain and offers a more comfortable viewing experience when using Teams. This feature specifically helps those spending large amounts of time on Teams or in front of a screen. Some members also prefer dark mode for aesthetic reasons. To activate dark mode, select your profile picture, then “settings”, and select “dark mode” listed under “theme”.

Saving Messages

Saving messages helps you access information more easily. In order to save a message you must hover over the message, click “more information” (three dots) and select “save this message”. No one will know you have done this. To view saved messages, select your profile picture and click on “saved”. You can also use /saved in the command box. To unsave a message, click the red bookmark beside the message. Your saved messages will appear in chronological order and cannot be changed.

Pinning Conversations

Pinning conversations lets you find specific chats and channels within Teams more quickly. To pin a conversation, select chat, then click “more options” (three dots), and select “pin”. Repeat the process to unpin a conversation. Channels can also be pinned the same way. Pinned conversations will appear at the top of your chats, and the order can be customized in any way you need. Up to fifteen conversations can be pinned at once.

Formatting & Fun

For more casual conversations, include some “fun”. The “fun” options are located in the command box. To open it, click “format options”. In this area, you can change the font of the text or make announcements. Announcements draw attention to specific messages, similarly to mentions. Emojis, GIFs, stickers, or praise can also be added to 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?

Microsoft Teams can elevate any workplace on its own, but with these 15 tips, it will become even more useful. If you have questions about what we discussed today, or Microsoft Teams in general, reach out to us. At DeVeera, we want your business to have the IT solutions it needs. Contact us online or by phone today.