This is a paradigm shift in the way that we will think about accessing files. Network shares, file folders, and nested folders are a thing of the past.
When in a Microsoft Teams channel there is a Files tab by default, which can reveal links to items that actually reside in a SharePoint document library. As much as folders can still reside here, instead one should find a bare collection of documents, but only ones that pertain to that particular Team’s channel. So just like the many folders we’ve seen in the past, there can be as many channels within your various Teams to categorize and classify documents associated with relevant Office 365 Group members’ permissions. You can still add a tab as a link to an entire SharePoint site’s document library and you can still browse any document library of any size from a button within the Teams interface, but the better method might be to choose only from a collection of those files that are relevant to the Team’s channel – this is a new way of thinking about how we store and categorize documents.
From Microsoft: “Channels are dedicated sections within a Team to keep conversations organized by specific topics, projects, disciplines—-whatever works for your team!
- Team channels are places where everyone on the team can openly have conversations. Private chats are only visible to those people in the chat.
- Channels are most valuable when extended with Apps that include Tabs, Connectors, and Bots that increase their value to the members of the team.”
For example, you can open a Word doc in Teams by right-clicking on the file within the list under the Files tab to invoke a context menu from which you can choose “Edit in Teams”. (Instead of right-clicking for the menu, you can also left-click on the ellipse […] to the right of the file listing.) That opens the embedded doc in ‘Word Lite’ if you will. At this point, co-authoring is enabled and you’re still within the Teams client. But if that isn’t good enough, there’s an option to ‘Edit in Word’. The document never leaves its original location on the server and a cached or previously synced copy isn’t required for quick access.
So open up Teams on your Mac or PC, your iPad or Android tablet, or your iPhone or Android phone. Create a Team, create a Channel under Teams and add custom Tabs to Channels. While you’re in there, chat with your co-worker by text or start an impromptu call meeting to discuss your task at hand. And find your files in familiar places.