- The Microsoft Teams icon bar is located on the left side of the dashboard and includes important icons for different features.
- The Activity icon displays recent interactions within your Teams environment, including notifications and reactions to your messages.
- The Chat icon opens your chat conversations, allowing you to send and receive instant messages, files, and GIFs.
- The Meetings section includes icons for joining a meeting with an ID, starting an impromptu meeting, and scheduling a meeting for the future.
- When in a Chat conversation or Team Channel, you can use icons for formatting text, attaching files, adding emojis and GIFs, and creating polls.
If you’re new to the platform, it may take some time to familiarize yourself with the Microsoft Teams icons. However, with a bit of guidance and practice, you’ll quickly become proficient in navigating this collaborative tool.
In this article, we’ll walk you through all of the features, explaining what the symbols and icons mean in detail.
Teams Icon Bar
The Teams icon bar is located on the left side of the dashboard. It includes the most important Microsoft Teams icons.
The Activity icon looks like a bell.
Clicking on this icon will display your recent interactions within your Teams environment. This includes notifications, mentions, and reactions to your messages.
The Community icon looks like three people standing together.
With this relatively new feature, you can join a community and connect with others over shared interests.
If you are a member of a professional organization, this icon may say Teams instead of Community. Nonetheless, the features in this section remain the same.
The Chat icon looks like a speech bubble.
Clicking this will open your chat conversations, enabling you to send and receive instant messages, including text, files, and GIFs, within both individual and group chats.
The Calendar icon will open up your schedule.
With this time management tool, you can view, schedule, and manage meetings and appointments.
Meetings refer to either scheduled or unscheduled gatherings where team members virtually connect via video conference.
You will see the following Microsoft Teams icons for this section in the upper right-hand corner of your dashboard.
Join with an ID
This button features a # symbol.
It allows participants to join a meeting by entering a code, ensuring that participants can access a meeting even if they don’t have an invitation. It is meant to simplify the process of joining meetings.
The Meet Now button looks like a video camera icon.
If you click this, you can start an impromptu meeting without scheduling in advance. After you start the meeting, you can invite participants.
The New Meeting button features a + symbol.
By clicking this button, you can schedule a meeting for a future time. It ensures that you can plan and organize meetings efficiently. Once you invite participants to a scheduled meeting, it will show up on their Teams calendar.
Chat Conversation/Team Channel
When you’re inside a Chat conversation or Team Channel, you’ll encounter the following additional icons and symbols.
The Format icon looks like a pen beside the letter “A.”
This icon allows you to change the format of your text. You have options like resizing, bolding, italicizing, or underlining text.
The Attach Files icon looks like a paperclip.
Clicking on it allows you to upload and share files, documents, and other resources with your chat or channel participants.
The Emoji icon looks like a smiley face.
Clicking it brings you to the emoji library. This feature allows you to add expressiveness to your conversations.
The GIF icon allows users to express themselves through looped, moving images.
Clicking this icon will open up the Giphy library where choose GIFs to represent reactions and emotions. These are typically humorous in nature.
The polls icon looks like three vertical bars.
This feature gives you the option to create a multiple-choice poll.
Next to user profiles, you’ll also notice the following Microsoft Teams icons.
If you see a green dot next to a user’s profile picture, it means that they are currently online.
A yellow dot next to a user’s profile picture indicates that the user has either set their status to Do Not Disturb or has been inactive for a short period of time.
A red dot signifies that a user is in a meeting or has set their status to Busy.
The following Microsoft Teams icons are applicable to your Settings, where you can configure your platform preferences.
The general icon looks like a gear.
Within the General section, you can configure your display language, theme, and default settings that apply across the application.
The accounts icon looks like an identity card.
In the Accounts section, you can manage your profile information, sign-in options, and account security settings.
Plans and Upgrades
The Plans and Upgrades icon looks like a diamond.
This section may provide information about your current subscription plan, as well as options for upgrading or changing your plan.
The Privacy icon looks like a lock.
In the Privacy section, you can control who can contact you, see your status, or access your profile information. This is important for managing your online presence.
The Notifications icon looks like a bell.
The Notifications section allows you to customize how you receive notifications from Microsoft Teams. You can specify which events trigger notifications and how they are delivered, such as a sound, banner, or email.
The Accessibility icon looks like a person.
The Accessibility section ensures that Microsoft Teams is usable by individuals with disabilities. Here, you can configure accessibility options such as screen reader support and keyboard shortcuts.
About Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams has become particularly important in the context of remote work and digital collaboration, providing a central hub for team members to work together seamlessly, regardless of their physical location.
It offers file-sharing capabilities, scheduling, video conferencing, and instant messaging. The platform can help you and your team stay organized so that projects are completed efficiently and on schedule.
Best Practices on Microsoft Teams
To be more effective on Microsoft Teams, users should follow these best practices.
Organize Your Workspace with Channels
Channels allow you to segment resources into focused areas. You should think of these as virtual rooms for specific topics. Best practices for organizing your channels include:
- Create Channels for Significant Topics: To help you access Teams resources quickly, create a channel for significant topics.
- Use Descriptive Names: Give your channels clear and descriptive names that make it easy for team members to understand their purpose.
- Avoid Overcrowding: Resist the temptation to create too many channels by limiting it to a manageable list.
One of the main purposes of Teams is to facilitate efficient communication. To streamline your communication:
- Use @ Mentions: To ensure the right people see your messages, use the @mention feature.
- Utilize Chat Conversations: Do not clutter group messages with messages meant for individuals unless it’s important to keep the whole team in the loop. Instead, send a private message to the individual.
- Use Emojis and GIFs Sparingly: While emojis and GIFs can add some humor to conversations, use them judiciously in professional circles.
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