the basics to microsoft teams

Teams is a great application that allows you to message, voice call and video call. In this blog, we go through the basics of Teams and how you can use it effectively.


Microsoft Teams is divided into three different parts. In the first section (bar on the left) you will find the 6 main features of Teams.


This is where you will be notified of any mentions in the team or by another colleague. Any messages sent in different channels will show up in the activity tab, so you can see your colleagues activity throughout all the channels.


The chat feature allows you to send messages to another colleague or any external users. Within here, you can see all your conversations and also start a voice or video call.


This is the main section of Microsoft Teams where you can access all of your channels and files. You can select one of your teams and head into the channels. If you have any files synced with Teams, you can find them in the tab at the top.


The calendar section links with your Outlook calendar, allowing you to see any events without having to switch tabs to check. You can also create a new meeting within here, where you can set the time and date, and Teams will add the new meeting to your calendar.




Calls is used to communicate with colleagues that are in your team either by voice chat or video call. You can also make external calls with the right Microsoft 365 licensing.



In here, you will find all your files that are accessible in Teams, including your downloads and also your OneDrive. You are able to move, edit and share these files within Teams but you also get the option to open and edit within the Office application such as Word, PowerPoint or Excel.



If you press your initials in the top right of the screen, you can press settings from the drop down. In here, you can change multiple settings such as changing the overall theme of Teams, changing which microphone/headset you are using for meetings and also manage your notifications for each channel/team. 

Creating and starting a meeting


Creating the Meeting

To create a meeting, go to calendar on the left of Teams. When in your calendar, you can either double click on an empty space or press new meeting in the top right. This will bring up the new meeting details where you can put in information such as your subject, who is required to attend and the date and time of the meeting. You can also add optional attendees if required. There’s other options such as making the meeting a recurring event and adding a whole channel to the meeting if there’s a group of people who need to attend.



Scheduling Assistant

Whilst creating the meeting details, there’s a tab at the top called the scheduling assistant. Once you’ve added your attendees to the meeting details, you can head into the scheduling assistant which shows the calendars of the attendees and when they are available. This is very handy when you need to plan a date for the meeting and there’s multiple attendees that could be busy at a certain time. 



Starting/Joining the Meeting

Now that a meeting has been created, it should appear in your calendar. There are multiple ways to join a meeting. One way is to press the join button on the event in your calendar, or you can press the link that gets set in Outlook. 

When you join a meeting, you’ll be greeted by a screen where you can select your audio devices. You can also choose whether you want your video to be on and select any background filters.

Features Within a Meeting

There are loads of cool features within a meeting that you need to know about. We’ve created a quick video walking through these features and why they are useful. you can watch the video here:

Searching Functionality

The search bar can be found at the top of Teams. This search feature is really overlooked because you can search for a piece of text within a document or image, and without that text in the file name, Teams will still find it for you. Here’s an example.



Here we search the word “screwdriver”. When we press enter, one image shows up in the files section but it doesn’t have the term “screwdriver” anywhere in the file name. However, when we come to open the file, we see that the image is of a screwdriver and Microsoft Teams has detected the word within the image, on the side of the box. 

This feature is really simple to use, but very powerful and can save a lot of time, when used correctly.


Editing and Sharing Documents






Any documents created within Teams will end up in a SharePoint site in Microsoft 365.

Opening and Sharing Files (Internally)

With any file, you can press the three dots to the right of it, which will bring out a drop down with many options. You can open it, which gives you the option to edit within Teams, open the document within the application e.g. Word or PowerPoint, or open it in your browser (which loads the online version of the application). Just below the open option is a copy link button, When clicked, another box opens containing the link to the item, which you can send to a colleague. These links will only work internally.

Creating New Files

To create a new file, click the “new” drop down menu thats near the top of the screen. Here you can create new folders or documents. 

You can also use the “upload” drop down to transfer files or folders into the channel. You can also drag and drop files from your computer into the main section of the channel, which will also upload them.

Sharing Files (Externally)

To share a file externally, click the “open in SharePoint” option. This will then open a web version showing your files. In here you can tick a document and press share or if you press share without ticking any documents, it will share the whole folder.

You can then click the drop down and select the specific people you want to share with. After this, you can then enter the name or email address of the specific people you want to share with and also add a message and send the email directly from the browser or copy the link and add that to the email.


For any more help, tips and tricks about Microsoft Teams, you can check out our YouTube channel, where we have a playlist that features helpful Teams guides.

Get in touch.

Still got some questions about Microsoft Teams? Feel free to contact our team by calling 01158 244 824 or email us via this button.