Microsoft Teams Productivity Tips

I spend an inordinate amount of time in Microsoft Teams. And all those chat messages and meetings and files shared can sometimes get lost. Here are some productivity tips I use in Microsoft Teams, and I’d love to know what are yours.


Have you ever found yourself wondering, hmm Joe and I had a chat, and Joe mentioned blah, but I just can’t remember where. You type

/activity <person name>

And it will filter all the mutual activity between you and the other person — even in channels you aren’t paying attention to.


9/10 times I wish to send someone a quick chat message, just an FYI, I don’t expect a quick reply etc. You could click the “new chat” button

and then type the name of the person, then click in the textbox, then type and enter .. but there is a better way. In the top search box, you type

/chat <person_name> <message>

That’s it — you’ve just sent a quick chat message to the person.

Keyboard shortcuts

Well this is like any other program, it has a lot of keyboard shortcuts and if you master them, it greatly helps. Question is, how do you remember all of them? You don’t have to. In the search box, just type


In fact, you don’t even need to do that. You just type to bring the shortcuts sheet up.

⌘ .

And you’ll see a bunch of Keyboard shortcuts. Here are some of my favorite shortcuts (replace ⌘ with CTRL on Windows)

  1. Obviously ⌘. to see a list of shortcuts.
  2. ⌘ + 1,2,3,4,5 to toggle between the items on the left.
  3. ⌥ and updown arrow keys to toggle between items
  4. ⌘ F to search within the current channel or chat
  5. ⌘_shift_M to mute or unmute
  6. ⌘_shift_O to turn video on or off

.. and many more.

Quick set your status

You are in a meeting trying to pay attention and someone is pinging you constantly. Annoying right? Just type /dnd in the search box. Or to be precise follow this sequence,

⌘ `

Instead of DND you can also do available, busy and offline

Find files

This one is easy, type

/files <partial filename>

Or again, just type

⌘ `
/files <partial filename>

This will easily help you find a file you care for.

Be annoying with alerts

I don’t recommend using this a lot. But sometimes you are in a meeting, and you need an urgent answer. Use that ! button to get extra attention to your message

Nice formatting

Use this button to reveal a formatting toolbar,

I use this a lot to compose complex messages or my favorite, use this to paste and format code,

Highlight a message

When replying to a chat message, sometimes it is helpful to say “I am replying to this chat message”. Simply right click on the … ellipsis and choose “Reply”. I do wish though teams allowed 1 level threaded replies.

Quote a message

Sometimes you wish to quote a message, like this,

Here is how you do this, you type “>” and space to get a quote area. Then type in whatever you wish to garner attention to.

What are some of your favorite teams tricks? I’d love to know!

Recommended Blogs: Tips to Get Started with Microsoft Teams

About the Author:

Sahil Malik, the founder and principal of, has been a Microsoft MVP and INETA Speaker for the past 8 years, author and reviewer of many books and numerous articles in both the . NET and SharePoint space, consultant and trainer who delivers training and talks at conferences internationally.


Malik, S. (2022). Microsoft Teams Productivity Tips. Available at: [Accessed: 13th September 2022].

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