My three wishes for Microsoft Teams

If I could ask three wishes for Microsoft Teams

I think Microsoft Teams is great, I prefer it over it’s competitors for a few reasons:

  • Fan of the UI, the focus on replying to threads vs an uncontrolled conversation feed
  • Integration across O365 and beyond
  • Stickers! Not GIFs, but the customizable stickers (it’s the small things in life)

There’s more to love about it, but that’s not my wish. Microsoft Teams recently celebrated its 1 year anniversary, which is fantastic, it has come a long way over the last year! Teams still has a lot to learn and grow, though.

Here are my 3 wishes for Teams:

Wish #1: Multi-tasking

This is a royal pain! Teams is very single task oriented, I can only do one thing at a time, and jumping around is slow and clunky.

For example:

I’m in a channel, editing a Word Doc in Teams. Making some great progress, thankfully auto-save is occurring because someone mentions me in another channel. I click to go view what was being said there, I reply, come back to the channel I was in, and now I have to find that doc, and edit it again.

Okay, maybe not that bad, try this:

I’m in a channel, in a OneNote file that’s embedded in a tab. I’m not on the default note, I’m deeper in. Taking some notes, and then I jump over to Chat and send a quick note to a colleague. How do I get back to that same OneNote page? Click to get back to it. It doesn’t cache or remember what page I was on, even if I use the back button in Teams. It’s incredibly frustrating.

My wish is that Teams would support an idea of multi-tasking, multi-threading, whatever you want to call it. Let me jump to a conversation without leaving what I’m doing. Remember how Skype had separate conversation windows, can we do that here?

Check out the UserVoice and vote it up!

Wish #2: Switching Tabs

Pairing closely with the above wish, this one is slightly different, but I think feeds into #1. As we work from tab to tab in a channel, each tab resets, which is incredibly annoying and blocks my productivity.

For example, I have 5 tabs in my channel: Files, OneNote, Planner, an Excel file, and a Website. I can be in the OneNote tab, adding some notes to a workflow we’re thinking of, then jump to Planner to add a couple of tasks in relation, jump back to OneNote and I’m back to the default OneNote page. I can jump over to the website tab, navigate to a specific page, then want to add a couple of notes back in that OneNote, so I jump over to that tab, have to navigate to the page I was on, add some notes, jump back to the Website tab and be back at the home page. Grrr…

Teams is being sold as the single pane of glass for your team, and it can be. It’s just not entirely there yet. The workaround here is to open all of these in separate browsers and apps. Open the OneNote in my native app, open the website in Chrome, and I can keep Planner open in Teams. Now I can effectively work. This feels a lot like wish #1, but if these tabs would keep their place, I could jump back and forth quickly.

There are many posts on UserVoice about this one, not sure which one is the best to all circle around and vote on. If you think there is a good one, please mention it below and I’ll add it here!

Wish #3: Private Channels

This should go without saying, but having private channels would be fantastic. You can create a secure team, limit it to a certain number of people, even include guests. But you cannot secure a channel.

What if the team’s leadership wants a place to collaborate without the entire team of 40 people hearing everything? Right now, we’d do a Chat instead, but that chat isn’t specific to the channel, it’s a generic (but useful) chat among the few of us. What if the development team wants to chat and collaborate without the pesky leadership seeing every little bit?

Private channels! Vote it up at user voice here:

This next UserVoice post is closely related too, allowing guest access at the channel level. I would assume the above one would cover this scenario, but you can never really know how Microsoft will want to build something:

Your wish is my command

Genie applauce
Credit: Again, Disney

Thankfully Microsoft tends to pay attention to UserVoice greatly. As you visit the above links, you’ll see their involvement, and the status of some as “Working on it” or “Backlog”. This is good news, they’re aware and are working on them! Yay! Now if only we could get a date…

What are your wishes for Teams? Share below, I will also share any links to UserVoice here and across the @Bos365 feeds to help get that word out!


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