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Microsoft SharePoint Tips

Microsoft SharePoint is a versatile platform used by businesses for collaboration, document management, team communication, and much more. Maximizing your use of SharePoint depends on understanding its features and capabilities. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of it:

  1. Understand SharePoint Structure: Learn about Sites, Lists, Libraries, and how they interact. Understanding these elements' roles can help you organize content effectively.

    • Sites: Think of these as individual workspaces for different projects or teams.

    • Lists: These are collections of data that you can share with team members (like custom tables in a database).

    • Libraries: These are places where you store and share files (like a shared drive).

  1. Use Metadata: Go beyond just storing files in folders; use metadata to tag documents with custom information (e.g., project names, statuses). This practice enhances search capabilities and content discoverability.

  2. Version Control: Make use of SharePoint's version control capabilities in document libraries. This feature allows you to track changes, maintain version history, and even restore previous versions of a document if necessary.

  3. Implement Governance: Especially in larger organizations, set rules and policies for how SharePoint should be used. Guidelines might include storage limits, permissible content, naming conventions, and archiving policies.

  4. Custom Views: Create custom views in libraries and lists to filter, sort, and display content based on specific criteria. This feature can help users find the information they need more quickly.

  5. Workflows and Automation: Use SharePoint's built-in workflows for common tasks like approval processes or document reviews. Consider Power Automate (formerly known as Microsoft Flow) for more complex custom workflows.

  6. Integration with Other Microsoft Products: Maximize productivity by integrating with other Microsoft services. Utilize the seamless integration with Microsoft Teams, Power BI, Outlook, and OneDrive for enhanced collaboration, communication, and analytics.

  7. Security and Permissions: Manage who has access to what information with SharePoint’s robust security features. Set permissions at the file, folder, or site level, and use groups to manage access for multiple users efficiently.

  8. Utilize Search Effectively: Use advanced search features to quickly find the documents or data you're looking for. Remember that proper use of metadata enhances search effectiveness.

  9. Mobile Access: Leverage SharePoint Mobile Apps to stay connected and productive while on the go. Ensure your sites and content are mobile-friendly.

  10. Regularly Update and Maintain: Keep your SharePoint sites up to date and declutter regularly. Archive old documents, delete unnecessary drafts, and update project statuses.

  11. Training and Adoption: Provide adequate training for staff to ensure they know how to use SharePoint effectively. Consider creating quick reference guides or cheat sheets for common tasks within your organization's SharePoint environment.

  12. Customization and Branding: Customize sites to reflect your organization’s branding and culture, improving user experience and adoption. However, keep customizations minimal to avoid complications during future upgrades or migrations.

  13. Monitoring and Analytics: Use SharePoint analytics or integrate with tools like Power BI to track user activity, document status, and other KPIs important to your organization.

  14. Community and Support: Engage with the broader SharePoint community through forums, user groups, and conferences. Don’t hesitate to seek support or consultancy for more complex needs or projects.

By diving deep into these areas, you can significantly enhance your team or organization's collaborative efforts, improve information management, and boost overall productivity.

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