Microsoft Teams Tutorials – The Microsoft lists app

An important development of Microsoft 365 in 2020 has been the launch of the new Microsoft lists app. Until now the ‘Lists’ feature has only been accessible through SharePoint, but now finally the ‘Lists’ feature has been made available through its own standalone platform. There is also an app you can launch through Microsoft teams.


What is a list

A ‘List’ was an item that could be set up within a SharePoint site for storing information that relates to the contents of the site. The information you choose to store is completely up to you, which is made possible due to the highly customizable nature of a ‘List’. This allows you to store information in a variety of different formats. The most common uses are an employee’s data, the storing of contact details, weblinks and the management of complaints or support tickets.

There have been some substantial changes made to ‘Lists’. One of which is the ability to attach ‘Lists’ to a Teams channel to bring conversation and data together in one place. This wasn’t previously possible and now is due to Teams compatibility.

Read on for in-depth detail on the Lists app within Teams.


Microsoft lists and Teams

To make lists functional, you will have to add channels where you want them. The best way to do this is through the add a tab button at the top of the window indicated by a ‘+’. You can do this once you have found the channel of choice to add the list too.

You can now search for ‘Lists’ using the search box provided.

You will then see a prompt to save lists to your channel by clicking save.

Once you’ve added ‘Lists’ to the channel, you can create a new list or add one that already exists.

If you choose the first option, to create a new list you will be redirected to a page which sets out different options. You can base a list off an excel file, format your list from an existing one or build one from the scratch.

Below said options will be a brand-new template feature. These offer pre-made list skeletons, designed to make your list building process faster and ensures consistency. These are customisable templates; you can remove columns or add them to suit your own needs. There are currently 11 templates to help you start your list.

Once you have picked a template, you will be given an example to see whether it’s what you wanted it to be. If it is what you wanted to select ‘Use template’.

You can then name your list and give it a description. Choose a colour and icon to make it easy to find, then select create once you’re done.

The list now exists in the channel and is displayed in the channels tab for you to view with its given name.

You are now ready to input data onto your list. Select ‘New item’. You will see a form representing a row of your list. This could be referred to as an ‘entry’ a ‘row’ or an ‘item’. Add your information and then click ‘save’ and it will be added to your list.

As I mentioned earlier, you can cater a list to adhere to the specific data you want to be recorded. To the right of the column heading is the ‘Add column’ option. Choose the format of the new column from the drop-down list, name your column, add a description and more details in the ‘create a column’ form that appears.

We’ve had a look at creating a new list, so here how to pin a list that already exists to channel.

Go to the channel where you want to add a list, click ‘add a tab’ and then select the ‘Lists’ app. But this time select ‘add an existing file’ when the option appears.

You have two choices: You can then either add a list that is already available in the Team site you are in or you can add a list using a weblink.

The SharePoint link also works with links to the lists browser app. To use a link, go to the ‘Lists’ app or the SharePoint site where the link is stored, once you have opened the list you can then copy and paste the lists web address into the ‘enter link here box’. The Lists app allows you to display all the lists you have created across different Teams sites on a single screen making it a great way to manage your lists.

The other option allows you to add lists that are already available within the team, the lists which aren’t available in the same team will have to be added using the link option. Once selecting a list, it will appear as a tab within your channel.


Important points to remember

Trying to use a OneDrive URL to add a list that already exists will bring up a ‘file not found’ error message, lists stored in your OneDrive can’t be synced to Teams.

If the list that you want to attach to a channel comes from a different Team site, problems may arise. Only the individuals who have access to the original site will be able to view the list and its data.



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