Microsoft Teams is the Workstream Collaboration app from Microsoft that is very popular with organizations around the globe. Its popularity stems from the way it makes it very easy for teams to hold remote meetings and collaborate on files. It offers many wonderful features, all while being extremely user friendly.
Even the people just recently making the transition to the app will find it rather uncomplicated to figure out. Organizations can not just hold meetings and collaborate on stuff, they can also create a separate space for each team or project they have. A separate space for teams makes it quite facile for the employees to continue working productively even when away from the office.
Microsoft Teams might be easy to use once figured out, but at first glance, it can seem daunting to many users. Read this quick guide to get acquainted with the essential features of the app and become proficient in using it.
- How to Join a Microsoft Teams Meeting
- How to Create a Microsoft Teams Video Meeting
- How to Schedule a Microsoft Teams Meeting
- How to Change Background in Teams Meeting
- How to Use Meeting Notes
- How to Share Screen in Microsoft Teams Meeting
- How to Run Multiple Microsoft Teams Meetings
How to Join a Microsoft Teams Meeting
You can join a Microsoft Teams meeting from the channel where the meeting is going on, or from the invite link if someone sends you one.
Join a Teams Meeting from Desktop
To join the meeting from your computer, open the Microsoft Teams desktop client or the web app. Then, click on ‘Teams’ on the navigation bar on the left. It will open the list of all your teams and the channels in the teams. Now, the channel where the meeting is going on will have a ‘video camera’ icon on its right. Open that channel, and you will find a ‘Meeting started’ post in it. Click on the ‘Join’ button to enter the meeting.
Join a Teams Meeting from Mobile App
You can also join the meeting from your mobile phone. Open the Microsoft Teams app on your Android or iOS device. Then tap on ‘Teams’ at the bottom of the screen. All your teams will appear on the screen. The channel that has the meeting going on will have a video camera icon next to it to indicate the meeting status.
Open that channel, and tap the ‘Join now’ option underneath the ‘Meeting started’ post in the channel.
Join a Teams Meeting as a Guest
You can also join a Microsoft Teams meeting as a guest, whether or not you are a part of that organization. Better yet, if you don’t even have a Microsoft Teams account, you can be a part of a Teams meeting without having to create one.
But you can only join a Microsoft Teams meeting as a guest on being invited, whether or not you have an account. Click on the ‘Join Microsoft Teams meeting’ link in the invitation email or message received.
When opening the link on desktop, you can join the meeting from either the desktop app or the web app. But on the mobile, the meeting can only be joined by the mobile app. After choosing how to join the meeting, click on the ‘Join as a Guest’ option.
Then, enter your name to let the people in the meeting know it’s you. You will be entered into the meeting when someone from the meeting lets you in.
For first-timers, we have a detailed guide on using on joining a Microsoft Teams meeting from the web, app, as a guest, and more. Be sure to check it out.
How to Create a Microsoft Teams Video Meeting
In Microsoft Teams, you can easily have an ad-hoc meeting with your team members. Impromptu meetings occur in a team channel. Open the Microsoft Teams desktop client or the web app by going to teams.microsoft.com and log in to your account. Then, click on Teams on the navigation bar on the left. It will list all the teams you are a part of. Select the team with whom you want to have the meeting, and go to the meeting channel.
Note: All the members that are part of the channel will be able to join the meeting, so make sure you host the meeting in the appropriate channel.
In the channel, go to the ‘New Post’ creation space at the bottom, and click on the ‘Meet now’ button (the video camera icon). Configure your audio and video settings, and click on ‘Meet now’ and the meeting will start on the channel. All members of the channel can join once a meeting has started.
How to Schedule a Microsoft Teams Meeting
You can also schedule a meeting in Microsoft Teams so all members can have a heads-up and attend. Scheduling a meeting in Teams is only available with the Office 365 Business subscription. Users of Microsoft Teams free don’t have access to this feature.
To schedule a meeting in Microsoft Teams, click on the ‘Calendar’ option from the navigation bar on the left.
Then, go to the ‘New meeting’ option and click on it.
The scheduler screen will open. Enter all the details about the meeting like the date, time, guests, etc. and click the ‘Send’ button to schedule the meeting as well as send the meeting invites.
When scheduling a meeting, you have two options about how to host the meeting.
- Private meeting: If you want to keep the meeting private so only members with invites can attend, refrain from having it in a channel.
- Channel Meeting: If you choose to have the meeting in a channel, any members who are part of it can attend the meeting. A scheduled meeting can also be held in more than one channel – something that is not possible while having an impromptu meeting.
Check out our full step-by-step guide to scheduling a meeting in Microsoft Teams. You can schedule a meeting from the Teams app as well as Outlook.
How to Change Background in Teams Meeting
When we’re working from home, even the thought of an inappropriate or a messy working environment turns into the stuff of nightmares. Thankfully, our favorite collaboration app offers its users the feature to change their background into something else completely, that too without any additional equipment or requirements.
You can change your background in a Microsoft Teams meeting with the Background Effects feature. While in an ongoing meeting, click on ‘More’ (three dots) on the meeting toolbar. Then, select the ‘Show Background effects’ feature.
Then, from the Background settings panel, select a background, preview it, and Apply.
Microsoft Teams Desktop app doesn’t officially support custom images in Background Effects yet, but there’s a way you can manually add your own custom images to use as background video meetings.
How to Use Meeting Notes
When you are attending a Microsoft Teams meeting, you can use the app’s inbuilt Notes feature to record meeting agendas and other important stuff without having to leave the app. Meeting notes are accessible to users before (for a scheduled meeting), during, and even after the meeting.
Note: Meeting Notes aren’t available in meetings with more than 20 people. Also, only organization members can access notes, not guests.
To use meeting notes in a Teams meeting, click on the ‘More options’ icon (the ellipses) on the meeting toolbar and select the ‘Show meeting notes’ option. The meeting notes will open on the right side of the meeting screen. Go ahead, and click the ‘Take notes’ option to start taking notes.
For a scheduled meeting, you can start creating notes even before the meeting has begun. Go to the Calendar, and click on the scheduled meeting to open the meeting details. There you will see a ‘Meeting notes’ tab, click on it to access them. Meeting notes are only available before a meeting for privately scheduled meetings, i.e. meetings that don’t take place in a channel. Meeting notes are available after meetings in the channel where the meeting occurred, or in Chats for private meetings.
Meeting Notes in Microsoft Teams can be used in many ways. Be sure to read our detailed tutorial on using Meeting Notes in Teams to truly master the feature.
In a Microsoft Teams meeting, you can also share your screen with other participants. So, whether it is a training session or just some work that needs collaboration, you can do it all quite easily with Teams. You can share your entire screen or just an application window during a sharing session.
During an ongoing meeting, click on the ‘Share screen’ icon from the call toolbar.
The sharing menu will appear below the toolbar with options like ‘Desktop’, ‘Window’, ‘Powerpoint’, ‘Whiteboard’ etc. Select the option appropriately and the sharing session will begin as soon as you select a screen. The screen you are sharing will have a red boundary highlighting it.
Choosing ‘Desktop’ will share the contents of your entire screen. Choose ‘Window’ to share a single application or a browser tab.
Learn everything about screen sharing in Teams in our comprehensive guide to use screen sharing features in Microsoft Teams.
How to Run Multiple Microsoft Teams Meetings
Microsoft hasn’t added support for running multiple accounts on the desktop client for Microsoft Teams yet. But sometimes we need to run multiple accounts, such as when different clients create a new account for you in their organization instead of adding your existing account.
Whatever the situation, the bottom line is that you need to run multiple accounts and logging in and out of your accounts is just too much of a headache. But, don’t lose heart just yet. You can create as many instances of Microsoft Teams apps as you want using a simple hack. You can log in to as many accounts as you want or attend multiple meetings from different accounts by running various instances of the Microsoft Teams desktop client.
The most definitive guide to getting multiple instances of Microsoft Teams app running on your Windows PC. Pretty useful if you need multiple accounts support in Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Teams might appear a little intimidating at first, but trust us, once you figure out your way around it, all you will see is how its many features are present just to make your remote-work life easy and productive.