Productivity Tips Series

If you are in a journey to be more productive, these Productivity Tips Series will help you on your way.

With this VNEXT iQ initiative, we will support your journey to digital transformation by providing shortcuts and useful tips to help you best leverage the use of your Office 365 Apps, to make your daily tasks easier and more productive.

During this series, we will provide best practices, weekly tips, and will answer some of the most trivial productivity questions from Microsoft users about how to make the most out of their work applications.

Upcoming Productivity Tips Topics

As part of this series, we’ll get to hear key tips from the following topics and applications every month.

  1. August, 2021: Microsoft Teams
  2. September, 2021: OneNote
  3. October, 2021: Outlook
  4. November, 2021: Intune
  5. February, 2022: Microsoft Defender for Cloud App

Digital overload is real and going up

Communication tools have transformed the way we work, and have made life easier in many different ways for everyone. However, with the shift to remote work that was accelerated with COVID pandemic, work-from-home employee days seem to be longer, with more meetings and emails than ever before. Here are some interesting stats:

  • Time spent in Microsoft Teams meetings has more than doubled (2.5X) globally and, aside from a holiday dip in December, continues to climb.
  • The average meeting is 10 minutes longer, increasing from 35 to 45 minutes.
  • The average Teams user is sending 45 percent more chats per week and 42 percent more chats per person after hours, with chats per week still on the rise.
  • And we’ve seen a 66 percent increase in the number of people working on documents.

4 Tips to make the most out of your Microsoft Teams experience

1. Enable 1:1 Call Recording in Microsoft Teams

Recording a call, an event or a meeting can help you go back to check details and key information shared during that specific work session, anytime.

To improve the user experience with Teams, Microsoft has been enhancing the meeting and calling features, and has enabled a new policy parameter for controlling the 1:1 call recording independently from Teams Meeting Recording, so that you can record calls you have with just one person.

How to enable “recording 1:1 sessions”:

  1. Install and import PowerShell Teams Module: Install-Module -Name MicrosoftTeams -Force –AllowClobber.
  2. Connect through PowerShell to Manage Microsoft Teams: Connect-Microsoft Teams.
  3. Change CsTeamCallPolicy to allow Record 1:1 session: Set-CsTeamsCallingPolicy -Identity Global AllowCloudRecordingForCalls $True.
  4. Wait 15 min to replicate the changes.
  5. Close your Teams Client and Test.

The recording will be available on the 1:1 chat and stored in you OneDrive as well. Click here for more details.

2. Create approval flows on Microsoft Teams

Approvals on Microsoft teams help you create, share and manage a complete flow directly from the platform, that can include notifications, custom messages, approvals cards, approvals from chat , send attachments, power automate integration and more.

Once you submit an approval flow after filling out all the details, the approver or approvers will be notified, and will get your requests and review it from Teams. You can also extend these capabilities with Power Automate.

How to create approval flows on Teams?

  1. Open the chat or a channel conversation to submit the approval
  2. Name of the request,
  3. Select who needs to approve it,
  4. Add additional information,
  5. Add an attachment if needed.
  6. Track your Request

For more detailed information, click here.

3. Track projects and share news in Teams with Power Apps

Milestone its a Power Platform app designed to help users manage, track, and collaborate on projects, without leaving Teams. The principals benefits and use cases are:

  • Managers can easily set up projects, and work items.
  • Assign work items to employees.
  • Classify work items by milestones.
  • Configure work item categories, priorities, and status options.

How to get started?

  • Select the Teams channel to be tracked
  • Add a tab and search milestone app
  • Create and track your teams goals

Once you install Milestones in Teams, then set it up and launch it, you’ll be thrown into a quick and easy to understand interface. Create can a new project then, you’ll see project lists. If you’re hoping to customize Milestones more, and discover things like work with category, priority, and status. See more here.

4. Safelink for Microsoft Teams

Hackers have become more sophisticated in the way they attempt to breach organizations, and they are used to send benign links that once delivered will redirect to malicious sites.

Even though end users may be trained to identify and flag a malicious URL link based on visible properties, the redirect process makes scanning the URL on time a critical task.

How to enable Safelink policy for Microsoft Teams:

  • Go to
  • Then click in Policies & rules > Threat Policies > Safe links
  • Create a new Policy > Next
  • Under “policy Settings” turn on protection for URLs and URLs in Teams

Note that this security feature applies to Microsoft Defender for Office 365 plan 1 and plan 2. Click here to learn more.

After you have enabled the Safe Links policy, the URLs shared on Teams conversations, group chats, or in team channels will be protected. Also, when a link is identified as malicious, users will have the two following experiences:

  • If the link was clicked in a Teams conversation, group chat, or from channels, a warning page as shown in the figure 1 screenshot above will appear in the default web browser.
  • If the link was clicked from a pinned tab, the warning page will appear in the Teams interface within that tab. The option to open the link in a web browser is disabled for security reasons.

Hope you enjoyed our first set of tips. Stay tuned for the next month topic!


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