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Microsoft SharePoint is a powerful tool that can be used for many things including team collaboration.

It is a great place to store documents, keep calendars, and create lists that need to be shared with a certain group of people. If you are just starting out with SharePoint, here are 5 great tips that will make your venture into new territory a little easier.

  1. Choose titles and names carefully. When creating anything new in SharePoint, let’s say a list or a library, if you are not given the opportunity to enter a URL, the name of the list/library becomes the URL. For example, if you put Team Contacts as the name, the URL will become /team%20contacts. Instead, put a short, easy-to-remember name like contacts or teamcontacts while creating the page, and then go back and edit the title after the list is created. You will get a nicer title and it won’t change the URL.

 

  1. Get rid of the folders.We have all been taught to organize our files by using folders. In SharePoint, the document libraries are fully customizable with columns and metadata, so you don’t need folders. Let’s pretend we own farms across the US and below are all our documents.
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    You can see that I’ve created 2 custom columns for produce type and location. Right now, the library is easy to manage, but as we get more farms and those farms get busier, this document library is going to get pretty hairy. We always have the option to sort by a certain column, but what if we only want to work with the documents pertaining to our apple orchards? You can create a custom group view by produce type. You can create custom columns and views from the library settings page.

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    This is a great way to organize your files without creating a bunch of folders. You can easily switch back to all documents whenever you need to by changing the view in the upper right hand corner.

  1. Use Dynamic Filters. Another view customization tool that can be really useful is the Dynamic filter. These filtered views change based on who is logged into SharePoint. For example, our apple farmer is Sally. Sally is the only person that uploads documents about apples. We can create a view that only shows documents that have been created or modified by Sally (or whoever is logged in). When she logs in, her view will only show her the apple files because she doesn’t need the files for oranges or nuts.

 

  1. Note that document links in SharePoint are Permalinks. When you create a link to a document in SharePoint, it is a durable link or a permalink, meaning you can change the name of that document or move it to another location within the site collection and the link will still work.

 

  1. Use the built-in apps. SharePoint has a bunch of apps built right in that are useful for a lot of common tasks. Here is a quick overview of a few:
    • Contacts: Creates a list of contacts that can be synced with Outlook. If you add a contact to your synced list in Outlook, the list will be updated on SharePoint and vice versa.
    • Custom list in Datasheet view: This creates a list in a view that is very similar to Microsoft Excel. You can quickly add and edit the details of all the list items at once.
    • Calendar: Create a calendar that can synced with Outlook. This is great for events, birthdays, and vacations.

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Best of luck on your adventures with Microsoft SharePoint! Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to get more articles like this, right to your inbox.

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