Hidden Time-Saving Tools in Microsoft Teams That You NEED to Know About

Our specialty is helping businesses in all industries implement and optimize Cloud solutions like Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams. We also pride ourselves on helping our clients make the very most out of every feature these solutions have to offer, including the variety of hidden gems that are built into the Microsoft Teams platform.

18 Ways To Be More Productive, Creative & Efficient with Microsoft Teams

The IT professionals at TLC Tech are big fans of Microsoft. When it comes to dynamic, reliable, and user-friendly Cloud solutions, there really is no comparison to Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams. For businesses of any size and in any industry, Microsoft offers a variety of Cloud-based tools to streamline productivity and enhance operations.

The past year has seen a huge surge of business teams migrate their operations to virtual, Cloud-based environments. Business teams are increasingly looking for the best tools and solutions available to help them collaborate and stay productive in a virtual business environment. When it comes to productive, real-time team collaboration, Microsoft Teams is the number one suggestion we make for business teams of all shapes and sizes.

The great thing about Microsoft Teams is that it makes teamwork easy by centralizing communication, scheduling, and collaboration tools in one accessible virtual platform. In fact, we help organizations in all industries implement and optimize Microsoft Teams every day. However, we’ve come to realize that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to using Microsoft Teams – every organization will use the application differently based on their unique operational needs.

Because of this, we’re on a mission to help business teams understand all the hidden tools that are built into the Microsoft Teams infrastructure. By coming to understand and make use of all the features available, Microsoft Teams users can customize their virtual platforms to support the unique operational needs and the specific goals of their organization.

Today, we’re talking about some of our favorite Microsoft Teams tools that most business teams don’t even know about. We’re describing each of these productivity-and-creativity-boosting tips below and including easy-to-follow instructions on how to use each one of them. Our goal? To help Microsoft Teams users like you get the very most out of their virtual collaboration platforms.

18 of Our Favourite Microsoft Teams Tools & Easy Instructions For Using Them

As we mentioned, our primary commitment as IT Service Providers is all about helping business teams embrace the modern workplace with strategic Cloud solutions. As more and more businesses make the move to remote and virtual operations, our goal is to help them make the transition smoothly and strategically. Microsoft Teams is one of the best options for virtual operations because it’s designed with the user-friendly flair that Microsoft is known for.

However, one of the best parts of our job is helping new Microsoft Teams users uncover all the hidden features their virtual platform has to offer. These built-in tools are designed to streamline processes and boost productivity with every click. Check out some of our favorite hidden gems in Microsoft Teams below.

Slash Commands 

Many professionals don’t know that the basic processes they deploy in Microsoft Teams can be streamlined and automated using Slash Commands. Slash Commands make it easy to find what or who you’re looking for within the Teams interface by using the search bar as a streamlined command tool.

To use Slash Commands, go to the search bar on your Teams main page. Then, simply type in a forward slash to see the variety of Slash Commands you can use to streamline and automate your Teams navigation. For instance, you can use /files to view your recent files, /unread to see new activity, or /call to make a call directly from the Teams interface. These are just some of the built-in Slash Commands in Microsoft Teams. You can find a full list of available slash commands here.

Do Not Disturb 

When you’re trying to focus and get work done in Microsoft Teams, the constant updates and notifications can be disruptive and distracting. That’s why it’s great for professionals to know about the Do Not Disturb feature in Microsoft Teams which allows you to turn off unwanted distractions.

To enable Do Not Disturb mode, simply click on your Profile icon in Teams and set your status to Do Not Disturb. You also have the ability to enable Do Not Disturb by using the /dnd Slash Command. However, if you want to make sure you don’t miss any important messages while you’re working in Do Not Disturb mode, you can set priority access for any individuals whose messages you don’t want to miss. You’ll be able to receive messages from users with priority access even when notifications are paused. You can assign priority access for individual users in your Microsoft Teams Privacy Settings.


Wondering how you can streamline your collaboration and communication with colleagues on Microsoft Teams? Start using @Mentions. Let’s say you want to send a quick message to a colleague while actively working on something in Teams. You don’t have to leave what you’re doing to find your last Teams conversation with them.

Instead, simply type the @ sign directly into the search bar and find their name to send them a message from wherever you might be working in the Teams app. You can also use @Mentions to filter recent activity and prioritize messages that are sent to you. From the Activity Feed, click the Filter button and choose @Mentions from the dropdown menu.

Mark Messages as Unread 

Wondering what to do with those important messages that you don’t have time for now but want to circle back to later? Microsoft Teams makes it possible for you to mark messages as unread so you always remember to go back and address them when you have the time.

To mark a message as unread, simply click the three dots next to a message in a conversation or in the Activity Feed, and then select Mark as Unread. This way, when you return to the message later, it will appear as if you haven’t read it yet and you’ll never forget to circle back.

Bookmark Content 

Another easy way to ensure you remember to address important content or communications is to use the Bookmark Content feature. Whenever you want to highlight something important to circle back to, simply click the Bookmark icon to make sure you can find it easily whenever you need it later. You can also review and edit existing bookmarks by typing the /saved Slash Command into the search bar.

Favorite Teams & Channels 

Looking for an easy way to keep your most frequently used Teams and Channels visible on your Teams main page? You can easily keep them at the top of your main Teams pane by marking them as Favorites.

To mark a Channel or Team as a Favorite, click the three dots next to the Team or Channel name and select Favorite. Once you do this, your most frequently used Teams and Channels will remain front and center on your Teams main page as you work in the app from day-to-day.

Reorder Teams with Drag & Drop

While you can use the Favorite tool to keep frequently used Teams and Channels in a separate category at the top of your main Teams pane, you can also change up the order and position of where all your Teams and Channels sit on the general list.

To organize your Teams and Channels list in your preferred order, simply drag Teams and Channels in the desired direction. When the list turns grey, you can then place the Teams or Channels in the preferred position.

Tagged User Groups 

Organizing teamwork on Microsoft Teams is easy as it is, but organizing users into tagged user groups can make collaboration even more efficient. For instance, sometimes it’s worthwhile to create subgroups within a specific Team based on specific responsibilities, tasks, or locations. You can do this easily by using Tags to group users strategically.

By organizing user groups using Tags, you can easily use @Mentions to start a chat or send a message to everyone included under a specific Tag. You can easily add and manage Tags by accessing your Microsoft Teams Options.

Custom Tabs 

Wondering how you can customize your Channels to keep the things you need most front and center? Use the Custom Tabs feature. Every new Channel has two default tabs: Conversations and Files. However, you can add Custom Tabs for other commonly used resources like Microsoft 365 tools, external websites, and third-party apps making it easy for you to get work done without switching between windows. You can find everything you need to know about creating Custom Tabs here.

Subject Lines 

Looking for ways to break-up everyday communications and make your messages stand out? Add Subject Lines to your conversation messages. Subject Lines are just one of the many rich text formatting options available to you in the expanded view pane that populates when you select the Format button in the Message Box. You can also use these rich text formatting options to change the size, weight, and color of your message font, add links, and even create lists using numbers or bullets.

Send Stickers & GIFS 

Wondering other ways you might make your messages stand out and grab attention? Make use of Stickers & GIFS. You can select from a huge variety of stickers, GIFS, and even emojis to help you get your point across and emphasize the emotion in your message. You can access and choose Stickers and GIFS by selecting either option from just under the Message Box.


Trying to get feedback or responses from multiple Teams users on an important topic? You don’t have to ask everyone individually. Instead, create and send a survey or poll using the Microsoft Forms app that is built into the Microsoft Teams interface. This makes it easy for you to pose your question and collect feedback efficiently.

To create a survey, select the Forms icon from below the Message Box and then customize your survey or poll however you wish. If you don’t see the Forms icon under the Message Box, simply click Messaging Extensions, then select More Options, and select Forms from there.

Urgent Notifications 

Want to make sure that people pay attention to important messages? You can easily mark messages you send as important or urgent so recipients know it requires their immediate attention.

If you’re sending a message that needs a swift response, simply click the exclamation point below the Message Box to mark it as urgent before you send it. Once you do this, recipients will get notifications every two minutes until the message is read.

Start Calls Directly Within a Chat

Want to make it easier to streamline communication and have conversations whenever they’re required? You can easily turn a text chat into a call using the features built into the Microsoft Teams Chat function. If you want to start talking with someone directly over audio or video call, simply click the Video or Audio Call button from directly within a Chat window.

Blur Your Background 

As more and more business teams are working from home, it’s becoming more important to find ways to keep the separation between home and office. That’s why it’s great that Microsoft Teams makes it possible to blur your home background or replace it entirely with any image you choose.

If you’re on a video call with colleagues and want to remove distractions like your kids playing or dishes and laundry piling up in the background, simply blur or customize your background. You can access this feature by clicking the three dots at the bottom of your video call.

Record & Transcribe Your Meeting 

Want to make sure you don’t forget anything from an important meeting? Microsoft Teams makes it possible for you to keep a recording of Teams meetings for review at a later time. This way, you can always return back to specific topics or conversations and recall exactly what was discussed.

You can record important meetings from the Meeting Control Panel. Once you do, a copy of the meeting recording will be saved to Microsoft Stream for everyone to access securely whenever they need it. You also have the option to generate a meeting transcript using the native features in Microsoft Stream.

Take Meeting Notes 

Another way to make sure important meeting topics are never overlooked or forgotten is to use Microsoft Teams to take detailed notes during a meeting. Taking meeting notes is a great way to keep you and other team members on the same page about important agenda items and things to follow-up on.

The Meeting Notes button will create a panel on the side of the meeting window that can be used to jot down meeting notes, similar to the Chat function. To start taking meeting notes, simply go to More Options once you’re in the meeting, and then select Start Taking Meeting Notes.

Use Together Mode 

Finally, we wanted to highlight one of the newest Microsoft Teams features that we love recommending to our clients. Together Mode makes it easy to feel like you and your colleagues are having a meeting in person by placing all meeting participants on a shared background.

This might seem like a small or unimportant feature, however, this small gesture can go a long way in terms of making everyone feel like they’re sitting in the same room. This can have a great impact on team morale and can really boost camaraderie among team members. You can access the Together Mode feature located in the in-call Background Options in Microsoft Teams.

Looking For Strategic Microsoft Teams Support? We’re a Click or Call Away!

When it comes to taking advantage of hidden tools in Microsoft Teams, we hope this guide has encouraged you to start streamlining and optimizing your use of Teams at every step. To be honest, Microsoft Teams is jam-packed with these built-in tools and we’ve really only scratched the surface here.

If your organization wants to learn more about getting the most out of Microsoft Teams, we encourage you to reach out to our team of Cloud Experts. We speak Microsoft and we have the experience and expertise necessary to help you uncover everything that Microsoft Teams has to offer. Looking for Microsoft Teams support? Our team of professionals is a click away.

Give us a call anytime or visit our website at https://www.tlctech.com/ chat with a live agent and book a Microsoft Teams consultation