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Manage and Collaborate using SharePoint Online

Josh Logozar
Josh Logozar
August 5, 2021

When you need to collaborate with other people, it can be an intimidating process. Let’s look at using SharePoint Online to collaborate, organize, and save you your sanity.

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Collaboration of any type requires multiple people and has multiple moving parts. This used to be a total nightmare, having to collaborate using emails, phone calls, following up with people to make sure they are completing their work. With SharePoint Online, you can build a site that will allow you to put all of your work, calendars, and even use the Microsoft Lists that we have spoken about, to organize and collaborate efficiently. Lets build out a SharePoint Teams site that will house your documents. Please note, you may need to go through your IT department, or your management to be able to get the ability to create a site.

Creating Your Site

Once you have received the permissions to create your site, the start is quite easy. Navigate to your SharePoint home site, and once you are there, click on the top left corner on the “Create site” button.

Image of the 'Create Site' button in Microsoft SharePoint.

You will have a few options that you are going to have to configure before the site even gets created. The first thing is deciding if there is a Microsoft 365 group and if you are going to have it associated with Teams. For this example, we are going to create a Team site. Once you have selected your site type, you will have a few choices to make, the first one being the design. You have two options:

  • Team Site: Use to collaborate, share documents, track events in a calendar, and manage project tasks. This is the site that you would use if you want to collaborate. It will create a SharePoint Online site collection, and Microsoft 365 group  to make your communications easier.
  • Communication Site: Used to Share news, reports, status, and other information in a nice, clean format. Communications sites are responsive and can be viewed from anywhere with an internet connection, with any device.

We are going to select Team site. We now need to come up with a name. I am simply going to name this “Blog project”. When you have named it, it will give you a group email address, a site address, allow you to give a site description, and select a language. You can edit the email and site address if you choose, but it is usually better to keep it the same name as your site, so there is no confusion. After the name, then we just need to look at Privacy. There are two options:

  • Private: Only members of the group can access the site and Group assets
  • Public: Anyone in the organization can access the site and Group assets

Now that we have made our decisions, our layout is going to look like this:

Image of the 'Team Site' options for a new site in Microsoft SharePoint.

We now click “Next” and we have the last bit that we have to decide, who is going to be an additional owner and the members that you want to be involved. Now that we have associated who needs to be involved, we now have our site!

Creating a List For Your SharePoint Site

Let’s add a list to our SharePoint site. To be able to do this, you simply need to click on the “New” button in the top left and you will get a drop-down of actions that you can do.

Image of the 'New' button in Microsoft SharePoint.

For this example, we are going to build out a list of what needs to be done for the project, so it can be seen on the front page. You can also include a planner, with a simple click of add Plan, but it then doesn’t show on the front page, but the sidebar. To add our list, simply click list from the drop-down, and just like we have done before, select where you want your list to come from. We are going to use a blank list for this example. Now that the list is created, you are actually going to see it in your sidebar. Now go ahead and populate it with the data you need.

Adding a List Webpart to Your Main Site Page

Once we have created our list and populated it with our data, it's time to add it to our site page. Adding to your main site page is quite easy. All it takes is clicking on your edit in the top right of your page.

Image of the 'Edit' button in Microsoft SharePoint.

You are now editing your main page, and this is going to be your main hub that you will be making all of the changes. To add your list, find where you would like to place it, and click on the “+” button that shows up between the boxes. I would suggest putting it at the top, just below where your news communications will go, so that people will see it quickly when they go into the main site.

Image of the web arts list in Microsoft SharePoint.

From here, we will select "list", and then simply select the list that we want from the selection box. For this one, we are lucky enough that we only have one list.

Image of the 'List' webpart settings in Microsoft SharePoint.

You will now see that your list has been fully populated and that you can make changes and add whatever is new to your list! Once we have added this, we will simply click the republish in the top right to make sure that it looks how we would like. If at any point you are working on your SharePoint site, and either don’t have time or don’t like some of the changes, you can use “Save as draft” or ”Discard changes” buttons on the top left. So, for right now, your site should look like:

Image of a page in Microsoft SharePoint.

Adding Your Files to Your Site

Now, we want to be able to add files that are related to the project, and that we can work on together. There are a few options for organizing. If you are wanting to put things in files, which isn’t required, it is as easy as going to the document section that you will see on the left of your site by default, selecting the “New” drop-down, and then select “folder”.

Image of adding a new folder into a SharePoint site in Microsoft SharePoint.

We now have folders that we can use to organize our projects, and it's time to add to it. It is amazingly easy to add the files, and it gives you a few options. You can just click and drag your files into your document side, or you can also click on the ”…”, then scroll over “Upload” and select either files or folder, depending on what you want to be importing.

Image of uploading a file into a Document Library in Microsoft SharePoint.

There you have it, you have completed your first SharePoint Online site, in which you can create a list, and you can upload files. This is only a very small fraction of things that you can do with SharePoint Online and all of the interactions that it has with Microsoft 365. Blueshift can help you with everything SharePoint and Teams related, including helping you create your own site, or migrating from your current file storage system, whether it be on-prem, or another cloud-based solution. Feel free to contact us at any time and we can get things rolling for you!

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