If you are using SharePoint for your business, you’re in good company. This is the preferred cloud-based productivity tool by over 200,000 companies and businesses globally. Since SharePoint was launched in 2001, it has not stopped innovating and bringing a host of tools and features that make it one of the best web-based platforms out there.
If you’re new to using SharePoint in 2021, you’ve come to the right place as you will learn ways to optimize its use.
How to Use SharePoint Effectively
Are you using SharePoint effectively? Here are a few ways that you can optimize its features to improve team collaboration.
1. Easy document management.
SharePoint is one of the most efficient productivity tools on the web. It is a great tool to use to manage your documents. To maximize this function, give each document the appropriate title. This will make that document easy to search for when you want to access it later. It eliminates the need to add folders and also to track down any changes made to that document over time.
Aside from being able to search for documents using their titles, you can also use tags and metadata for searching. These attributes must be added to your document for a more accurate and faster search result later.
2. Take advantage of SharePoint alerts
SharePoint alerts are one of the least utilized functionalities on this tool. You must set up alerts on specific documents you are working or collaborating on with other members of the team. In case there are changes made to the document, you will be notified via email.
Furthermore, you can receive alerts when new tasks are assigned to you or in relation to any events marked on your calendar.
3. Integrate Excel
If you use Excel a lot in your line of work, you will be relieved to know that you can integrate that into SharePoint. This spreadsheet tool is handy when you are working with a large amount of information. Once the spreadsheet is imported into SharePoint, you can now access that spreadsheet and the data it contains from anywhere on the web.
4. Ease of project management
As a project management tool, SharePoint offers a wide range of features and functionalities you can make use of. You can use SharePoint to create a dashboard wherein you can manage your projects with ease.
The dashboard will contain all of the essential elements involved with your project such as tasks, documents, milestones, calendars, charge orders, and so much more. It serves as a centralized location wherein team members can keep track of tasks and see the progress that you’ve made, or that of your team members.
5. Improve workflow
In addition to making project management easy, SharePoint also helps you to manage workflows with ease. You can automate certain tasks so they can flow easily from one step to another. There are some workflows within SharePoint that are ready to use such as collecting feedback, getting approval for orders, signatures, and so on. By automating these steps, you can save time and improve efficiency of your workflow.
6. Provide training
SharePoint offers a robust lineup of features and functionalities. Anyone new to using SharePoint could be easily overwhelmed by the amount of tools available to them. Therefore, it pays to invest in SharePoint training for the members of your team.
Training is crucial if you rely on SharePoint on a regular basis to perform your tasks and ongoing collaboration. It is also important to conduct ongoing training as SharePoint likes to incorporate new functionalities and features so you have to keep your employees abreast of these changes.
Getting Started with SharePoint in 2021
In 2001, SharePoint was launched and it continues to be relevant 20 years later. The incredible popularity of SharePoint is only going to grow as more companies are seeing the benefits of its use.
If you want to get started on using SharePoint in your organization, it is important to get familiar with the basics. Understand the different elements that make up this tool so you can choose the features to use based on your business needs.
Choose the Best Version
Over the years, SharePoint has seen its fair share of updates and new feature integrations. Currently, there are three versions available to choose from if you wish to implement it within your organization. Find out which version is the best option for your company:
- Free Version – This is the basic version and is available to teams using a Windows server. Since it is free, its features and functionalities are quite limited.
- Cloud SharePoint Solution – If you have Office 365, you can take advantage of this version of SharePoint. This one is a bit more extensive in terms of features and functionalities so it is best to hold training so your team members can be familiar with its use.
- SharePoint Solution with Third-Party Provider – The third party is the one to provide the software package that will extend the functionality of SharePoint. This gives you access to functionalities that are not available in the basic one.
Pillars of SharePoint
There are three pillars to SharePoint that users need to become familiar with: lists, libraries, and columns.
- SharePoint Lists – When new documents are created within SharePoint, it will be added to a list. It is comparable to the Excel spreadsheet in terms of design and function. At SharePoint, you can interact with the data in a more dynamic way. Data stored in the lists can even be synchronized with Microsoft Outlook.
- SharePoint Libraries – The document library serves as available space within each list that users can work with. This is a great project management tool because each document library can be designated for a specific client or project. It adds focus and organization when managing tasks and related documents.
- SharePoint Columns – When you use lists and libraries at SharePoint, you will often find columns. These columns work in the same way as file tags but it has a more complex use to it. You can provide additional information about each document or categorize them. It is one feature that makes this an excellent project management and productivity tool.
Once launched, you can start utilizing the core functionalities available within SharePoint. One of those is Conversations. This serves as a private message board for members of your team. There is also access to OneNote, which is a notebook where all members of the team can contribute ideas or work on certain projects.
In addition, you will be able to share and store documents, while also creating custom web pages for the team. These web pages are only accessible to those with permission.