What is the Difference between Microsoft Teams and SharePoint? & How to Use Them to Help Locate Exactly What You Need

Teams Tips and Tricks

Microsoft Teams and SharePoint

Here at Crestwood we’ve been using Microsoft Teams for approximately a year now and we’ve become very familiar with its features. Saying that, doesn’t mean we know it all, because we don’t, or at least I don’t. I can honestly tell you we learn something new just about every other week.  What I’ve recently learned utilizes both Teams and SharePoint together to help you with managing files in Teams. But first, I must ask, do you know the difference between Microsoft’s two collaboration tools?

It’s been a decade since Microsoft released SharePoint, a web-based collaborative tool that many businesses use as a document management system and storage.  SharePoint integrated with Office made managing and sharing content much easier for the workplace.  At that time, businesses also used Skype for instant communication and Outlook for messaging and planning until Teams came around. Teams was designed to consolidate every aspect of collaboration, not just document management, storing, and sharing.  With Teams employees are now able to track their instant messages, email, plan, and collaborate with their workforce and much more through one platform.

Microsoft Teams did not replace SharePoint, but it did provide a much more advanced set of features to allow your workforce to collaborate more efficiently.  Which brings us to what I’ve learned about the two collaboration platforms.

Finding Things in Teams

With the hustle and bustle of the workplace, sometimes it can be difficult to locate exactly what you need to complete a project. Defining who is working on what and how they’re involved in the project isn’t always an easy task. SharePoint, I consider to be the backbone to Teams, without SharePoint and its capabilities how do you navigate and search for files in Teams without knowing what is contained in those files?

About a month ago my Manager came to me with a request for a PowerPoint with specific product information.  So, I sent her to a Teams Channel with a folder that contained all PowerPoints I had worked on. The issue we had was not knowing exactly what each of those PowerPoints contained and for what product specific they were for.  Viewing each PowerPoint resulted in being too time consuming. We needed a solution to make it easier for our team to locate exactly what they need. It was suggested that we categorize files by product, date, and description. Hmmm how could we do that?

After searching through Teams and having no luck in categorizing our files, we turned to SharePoint.  While searching through SharePoint, we found that for each file you upload you can add fields to the properties and enter description details to file.

Here’s How:

First, I will walk you through how to Add Columns to display pertinent information of your document. Then I will walk you through several ways to add information to those fields so that the viewer can see more details of each document on that site or channel.

Open SharePoint in your web browser, then locate the site or channel you would like to display details to.Difference between SharePoint and Teams

I went ahead and clicked on Marketing Collateral site which contains a folder named Crestwood PowerPoints.  I then selected our Crestwood PowerPoint folder.  Once you select your folder or locate the section where you want to add details, click on See All, this will bring you to a screen where you can see all your files in a list instead of in grid format.Difference between SharePoint and Teams

Once you click See All, you may have to relocate your file folder again to display the documents you wish to have details added to.Difference between SharePoint and Teams

In the screen shot above, we already have created columns and entered details in those columns but we will show you how to add additional columns with specific fields to obtain more info on a document.

Next, click Add Column.Difference between SharePoint and Teams

After you click Add Column, a number of choices are displayed. You can select predefined fields or create your own.

First, we will use a predefined field. I went ahead and selected Person as a field. I want to be able to see who created the document that way, whom ever needs more info in the future can reach out to that person for more information.

Next, edit the details to that column you would like to create. Type in the display name, add a description if any, and fill out the rest of the attributes you deem necessary. Once you have filled out the field options for your new column click Save.Difference between SharePoint and Teams

After you have clicked Save, your column will appear and may automatically enter details to that specific document should they be predetermined already. In my case below, because I created those files, Microsoft Office placed my name next to each document I created. Depending on the type of field (column) you have created you will need to enter those details manually.Difference between SharePoint and Teams

To add details to column fields, click on the ellipsis (3 dots). Select More, then Properties.Difference between SharePoint and Teams

Another dialog box will pop-up on the righthand side where you can click either Edit All or Edit Form.Difference between SharePoint and Teams

When you click to Edit All, you can now edit the details of that specific file. Make sure you click Save at the bottom when all details of that document are entered.

Difference between SharePoint and Teams

In this view you can also Edit Forms by adding or removing the fields you want displayed.Difference between SharePoint and Teams

Select or deselect the columns you want displayed.

Difference between SharePoint and Teams

To add more details to your document, click on the ellipsis (3 dots) again, but this time select the Details tab. This will bring up another screen to the right of the page with even more information about that document. Here you can even manage who sees that specific document by clicking Manage Access. In the properties section below Manage Access, you can click Edit All and add any information you see fit about your document. This section also displays more information about the doc such as where is the original saved.Difference between SharePoint and Teams

Once you have entered all pertinent information about your documents, you can now easily view those files and their properties in Teams. Go to the designated Teams site and select the Channel you want information displayed. Click on Files and Viola… all details for specific files is now displayed.Difference between SharePoint and Teams

It can be a little time consuming, entering details to documents in SharePoint, but in the end, it will help your team with locating documents for their projects.  We hope this tip can help ease your pain in searching for files in Teams. For more Office Productivity Tips & Tricks, subscribe to our blog.

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