Microsoft Teams Tools To Improve Collaboration
Microsoft Team tools can help a fully remote team connect and communicate effectively. Collaboration tools, like Microsoft Teams, Slack, or any other, help us to connect with each other from anywhere in the world.
Lately, one of the main tools our team uses for communication is MS Teams. This tool allows us to chat or send messages to anyone on our project team, either in public or private channels.
While we used to love and use Slack constantly, we are happy with the transition to MS Teams. Every collaboration tool has its advantages.
Indeed, our objective is to take full advantage of the opportunities that Microsoft Teams has to offer. The tools built into the app can help to create deeper connections between teammates. Good tools can facilitate stronger communication as a team. This is why we’ve adopted several Microsoft Teams apps that help us do just that! Here are the 5 that we use as a team and the 8 others that we haven’t used yet but are thinking about.
Microsoft Teams Tools We Use To Improve Collaboration
Here are the MS Teams bots and apps we currently use on the Vacation Tracker team:
What would communication be without gifs? This is the perfect way for teammates to express how they’re feeling since we can’t high five or hug each other much, these days.
Giphy lets you search from the world’s largest library of animated GIFs, making it easy to find and share them on MS Teams.
We often use gifs in all of our discussions at Vacation Tracker. We even have some employees who almost exclusively communicate with gifs. It’s a skill.
HeyTaco has the potential of becoming your new favorite tool. Especially, if your team tends to be on the silly side like ours does. HeyTaco lets you recognize a teammate by giving them tacos when they accomplish something great! Then, that teammate can redeem their tacos for custom rewards.
HeyTaco is wonderful for helping our team spread recognition and excitement plus making sure that achievements don’t go unnoticed. Often times when one person gives another a taco, it’ll become a “taco train” with others jumping on board to add to the celebration.
To send someone a taco all you have to do is @-mention their name in an MS Teams channel and add in the :taco: emoji. Each person is allowed to give out five tacos per day. Any questions?
Possibly the most used app across the world right now is Zoom. This is because we have a lot of video calls to replace in-person meetings. From any channel in Slack, you can start an instant meeting by entering the /zoom command.
To give an idea of how often this one is used, in 2019 we spent a total of 1,234,433 minutes on Zoom. This number has surely gone up in 2020!
Obviously, we are users of our own application. In case you didn’t know, our bot was initially created to answer a business need that we had! Since we enjoyed using it, we figured others might appreciate it too.
Vacation Tracker is really ideal for teams working remotely. In fact, it was made with remote work in mind.
In our Vacation Tracker app for Microsoft Office, we’ve used customized notifications to inform our team regularly on the different holidays or days off taken by team members. Everyone finds it helpful to know who is available or unavailable at any time. With teams that no longer interact in person, this seems especially important.
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TINYPulse is a feedback-based tool that encourages the whole team to provide input. This is a relatively new tool in the Microsoft app store. Our team has enjoyed having a space where anyone on the team can share thoughts on a specific question, or offer anonymous suggestions to others. As a bonus, it helps to flatten hierarchy in bigger teams.
8 Microsoft Teams Tools We Are Looking Forward To Using
There are so many great apps out there to help facilitate team bonding and collaboration. In addition to the bots and apps that we’re currently using, here are a few others that we admire. We look forward to adding these to our roster soon.
A picture’s worth a thousand words. And a diagram can communicate even more to your team.
Cacoo is a collaborative diagramming app for modern teams and is especially useful for creating wireframes, flowcharts, mind maps, SWOT diagrams, network diagrams, UML diagrams, project timelines, and any other visual your team needs to bring their ideas to life.
We can’t wait to try this one out.
We’re really chart-obsessed. However, this app is particularly useful if you’re working with designs, organizational charts, wireframes, and more.
The Lucidchart Microsoft Teams integration by Lucid Software inc helps you to improve collaboration and productivity in an aesthetically-driven team.
Anyone in your channel can edit or comment on a document using Lucidchart, without having to leave their Teams app.
Disco helps your team recognize one another’s contributions, big and small, and quantifies that feedback to keep your culture on track. It’s the virtual version of a high five or a micro-celebration. (In fact, it is rather similar to HeyTaco in its functionality.) However, we believe in trying out different solutions, even if they are similar. This way, we can determine what solution works best for our team!
If you are looking for random introductions for Microsoft Teams, you can use CoffeePals. In fact, CoffeePals can be set to pair new teammates together every one to four weeks for quick virtual get-togethers or chats. The way we see it, the CoffeePals app for Microsoft Teams is the perfect virtual coffee break!
Office chitchat helps to build morale and engagement. With remote work, we lose that connection we are used to having with our colleagues. Icebreakers help your teams build strong relationships by answering randomized questions. It’s a wonderful and quirky way for remote teams to continue to interact and to build rapport.
Kona is an AI-powered bot for remote teams. It helps you understand your team’s communication and working styles. It analyzes the way your team communicates and gives you insights into how to best interact with coworkers.
Polly the parrot bot shares surveys and polls with your team right in any collaboration tool when you have something to ask them. It’s been a favorite of ours on Slack. Therefore, we were thrilled that it was also available for MS Teams.
Polls work great on our team when we try to build consensus over a date for a meeting, or when we are trialing improvements to our website!
Tettra is a knowledge management tool for teams, they make it easy for anyone to contribute knowledge that the whole team has access to. It’s the ultimate indexing tool for all of your corporate documents.
Knowledge management has never looked so good!
We could have made this list even longer. As the number of apps in the Microsoft Teams store grows, we are considering trying new tools every day. However, we want to pick tools that work for our team, and also meet our budget. Not all software is built with start-ups in mind!