Five Microsoft 365 Tools to Change the Way You Work (Part 2)

As a lawyer, Microsoft 365 makes your life easier in many ways. But what if there were idle tools and tricks to keep using the Microsoft suite?

Rohit Parekh, practicing attorney and vice president of customer success at Matter365, recently hosted a free webinar titled “Collaborating in Microsoft 365 Tips and Tricks” with the American Bar Association to address this issue.

In our last post, we rounded up five Microsoft tips and tricks from Rohit to make your law firm more collaborative and efficient. We covered: sharing folders and documents with OneDrive, using OneDrive’s automatic override, chatting on documents, and using Planner to manage tasks and assign tasks.

Here we take a look at the last five tips from Rohit to take your law firm’s collaboration to the next level, with a focus on Microsoft teams:

Tip 6: organize through Microsoft Teams

Those who already use teams may not be able to imagine life without them. However, only 45% of Rohit’s target audience for webinars have experience with Microsoft’s instant chat and video conferencing capabilities. Some refer to Teams as Microsoft’s answer to Slack – an instant messaging app that can be used on computers, phones, and other devices. However, Teams offers even more robust collaboration benefits.

Teams can host audio or video calls for internal communication. It integrates your Outlook calendar so that you can take part in team calls directly from the app. When you’re on a busy day, Teams lets you toggle your availability on and off, as well as manage notifications when you need to focus without being distracted by message notifications

You can easily switch between Microsoft accounts in the Settings tab as you juggle responsibilities.

Tip 7: chat in teams

While Teams offers more than just instant messaging, this remains one of its most useful features. You’ll be amazed at how many routine, lengthy email chains can be eliminated through short, impactful conversations about teams. Set up your team groups strategically or put together an ad hoc group as needed.

Sharing files through Teams is easy too – just hang your document in the message window and send it off. Click the Files tab to see the files shared with you through Teams. You don’t have to scroll through the message chains to recover documents.

Tip 8: Form teams for subject-specific collaboration

It can be difficult to focus on all the things your team has on their plate. By forming teams, you can bring the right people together to get the job done without the distraction of other coworkers who are not involved. Organize your teams by exercise group, customer, or issue to create a line of communication. Link other Microsoft apps – Outlook, Planner, OneNote, and more – to share contextual information directly with your team.

If you need to bring someone from outside of your company – a customer, an important witness, etc. – create a new team and add that person as a guest. It is recommended that you create a custom chat whenever you add people from outside your company to ensure they don’t get access to previously shared files that may be sensitive.

You can have multiple channels within each team. Think of these channels as side conversations where you can go into details with other users when the entire team doesn’t have to be involved.

Tip 9: Internal video meetings with teams

Many lawyers became familiar with video conferencing through teams during the COVID-19 pandemic. The teams’ secure, encrypted video conferencing offers live subtitles and a recording facility when you need to return to your meeting. You can easily invite a colleague to a team video or audio call directly in the chat function or in Outlook to simplify integration.

Tip 10: get out of your inbox!

Outlook is a fantastic tool for communicating via email and managing your schedule. However, real collaboration – especially within your company – does not take place with 200 e-mails per day. Most of the time, 75% of these communications could have taken place elsewhere – like OneDrive, Planner, or Teams.

Important details get lost in a crowded inbox. Get your team out of the inbox using some of the Microsoft tools that Rohit has enhanced. If you do this, your team will likely be more engaged and focused, and your customers will be impressed with your innovation.

As you can see, there are so many ways the Microsoft 365 tool suite can help your business. If you like to work efficiently at Microsoft, you must consider Matter365, the only legal practices management solution that is fully integrated with Microsoft 365. Activate your free trial of Matter365 today.

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