As we have spoken about a few times, Microsoft 365 is not a collection of singular tools, but more an ecosystem where multiple apps can interact with each other. We have shown numerous ways that we can use Teams as more than just a chat and video calls, but now we are going to show you how you can access files directly from Teams. This means that if you want to be able to collaborate right there, at that moment, you can, and all of it starts in Teams.
From The Files Tab Within A Chat Or Channel
The most direct and easy way to open your files up is just with the "Files" tab located in your channel or chat. You will then have access to all the files that have been shared in that conversation, channel, or SharePoint site that was created when the Team was made.
Open In SharePoint Button
When you create a Team, you are actually also creating a group, with its own SharePoint site. This site will actually create a document library that will hold the specific documents shared in that Team. This means that If you need to have full access to the files in a channel’s library, such as a file that is residing in the library, but outside of the channels, you can simply use the "Open in SharePoint" button within the channel.
This will take you right to the channel’s SharePoint Online site, where you can have your full control of the documentation, only if you have the rights to do so, of course! It also works vice versa, so if you are in the SharePoint sites of one of your Teams, you can easily click on "Go to channel" to bring you right there.
Note: if this is on a private channel, it will open on the private site. Check out private channels here.
Adding A Tab
We spoke about adding tabs to your Teams channels last week, so this is an incredibly relevant place to add this. If you are using document libraries that are outside of the Team, you can easily link them to your Team using a tab. A great example of this would be to add your company policies document library to your General team chat.
To start this, go back to your "+" button at the top of the channel, and then select "Document Library".
You will now be asked to either select a relevant site or use a SharePoint link. You can copy and paste the link to the document library that you want to add.
Then you will select the document library that you would like to add.
Finally, simply change the tab name to what you believe is the most relevant and will drive your users there when you need them to be there. It does default to simply "Document library", so make sure that you are coming up with something that provides the best descriptor to your users.
There you have it, you now have added another document library to your channel!
The Files Tab
If you only need to access the recent documents that you have worked on from within Teams, you can very easily click on the "Files" tab on the left. Once you have clicked in, you will get all of the files that you have recently accessed on Teams, or that have been shared on Teams. You can also access your OneDrive from here, making it easy to find the files you have saved, instead of going to your OneDrive folder.
The Search Bar
The last place that we are going to go to find our documents is our Search bar. This is a tool that is not often talked about but can be a game-changer if you know how to use it well. We have spoken about how you can supercharge your efficiency in Teams with the command bar, and this is just a quick refresher of that. You can enter '/files' to get a list of your recently opened files, no matter where they were stored. You can also search up the file name to narrow down the list even faster!
That’s it! That is 5 different ways that you can access your files, or files in a document library in Teams. There are a few more ways that you can do it, but for the sake of ease, and to not go deeper down a rabbit hole of things that we have not discussed, such as metadata, we will hang on to those for future blogs.
The best takeaway from all of this is remembering that Microsoft 365 is a beautiful ecosystem where everything is working together, and we can access quite a bit of information from places you would not expect. If you have any questions, please reach out to us, and we can sit down and have a chat about what we can do to solve your problems.