Microsoft Teams is a platform that brings together all of your workplace tools, apps, and services to deliver better results for you and your employees. The tool itself has many features for remote work that can advance your team’s productivity. Still, many users are unaware that this collaboration tool also supports integrations that can boost their communication and efficiency even more.
In this blog post, we’re going to break down the seven best apps for Teams to help you upgrade your user experience and keep your team on track.
1. Polly – Get live feedback from your team
Polly is a survey app that lets you create surveys in your Microsoft Teams channel or group chat. It offers a simple way for your teammates to quickly vote on a specific question. The only thing you need to do is provide questions and answers, and Polly does the vote-counting analytics for you in real-time. Simply mention @polly to create and send your survey, and watch the results appear.
It also allows advanced options for extra customization like anonymity, scheduling, displaying or hiding results, and multiple votes. If you want to hear what your colleagues have to say, turn on comments, and an easy-to-use discussion board will appear. It can be used by any department to keep employees engaged with the company’s everyday activities such as – when to have a meeting or where to go for lunch? By adding the Polly tab, you can reach colleagues in context without distracting them from their tasks.
2. Trello – Organize & prioritize your projects
Trello is a project management software whose boards, cards, and lists can help you to organize your projects in a flexible way. When added to Teams, you’ll be able to see all your boards directly from the app without having to go to a web browser. By integrating into Teams, you can see your Trello assignments, tasks, and notifications and have conversations about them.
Trello will send notifications when your team member creates or removes a card, assigns you to a specific card, and comments or adds an attachment to the card. That way, you ensure everyone is up to date without having to check for updates manually. Trello is a fun and free way to bring together project management and project collaboration without leaving the Microsoft Teams app.
3. Karma – Promote good behavior & habits
Karma is an app that allows you to give “kudos” to your team members. Using this app, employees can give each other karma points and move up the leaderboards. You can give kudos to a good reply in a thread or a particular post. That way, everyone is encouraged to work more efficiently and deliver faster. It’s a bot that records small officially recognized encouragements and ‘thank you’s that usually aren’t verbalized.
Some of the use cases are teammates appreciation, micro-feedback, instant and long-term rewards, and performance tracking. Karma bot builds user-profiles and provides the team leaders with detailed insights, introducing a healthy competition that boosts efficiency. Using Karma, you can view a dashboard that can help you visualize the conducted statistics. That way, managers can review performance reports and create a more appreciative culture within the workplace.
4. Wiki – Create a central knowledge repository
The Wiki app comes as a default app for Microsoft Teams, which is included when you create a channel. This productivity app can be used as a dedicated workspace to keep notes for your team members within Microsoft Teams. It is a smart-text editor where you draft, edit, and chat all in one place. Using Wiki, you can store an easy how-to guide so everyone can follow basic rules and be up to date.
It presents a central, easily accessible location that comes in handy for FAQ. You can write down guidelines and best practices for a team and make their collaboration more productive. It is easily accessible, so you don’t have to go further into your documents and search for a specific article to share it with your colleagues. Instead of deleting this default app, find a creative way to use it.
5. ScrumGenius – Automate daily standups
ScrumGenius is an app that will automate your team status meetings. It is an easy way to automate your daily status meetings, weekly retrospectives, and one-on-one check-ins by running automatic check-ins and stand-ups. Every day at a set time, it asks team members a series of questions on what they accomplished yesterday, what their tasks are for today, and what blockers they encountered. ScrumGenius will then email a summary of the team’s results to team leaders, so they have a record of what happened each day.
The @scrumgenius bot collects the updates from your team, records the answers, produces useful statistics and summaries, and broadcasts live updates to your channel. It is a perfect solution for those who want to avoid unproductive meeting sessions.
6. AttendanceBot – Track & analyze work hours
AttendanceBot is an app that helps you track vacations, paid time off, employee shift planning, sick days, remote work, and hours. It is especially helpful for remote teams with simple ‘in’ and ‘out’ messages, clock in and out. It allows you to keep track of your work hours and export timesheets right within Microsoft Teams. You can track the time spent on specific projects and clients and visualize all data on a dashboard.
Just mention @attendancebot in messages like ‘PTO today’ or ‘Vacation from July 2 to July 9’. It will send your request for approval, notify you of its status, put it on your calendar, and set up vacation autoresponders. AttendanceBot takes care of attendance and leaves management without wasting your time while keeping you in the loop with your team members.
7. MURAL – Think & Collaborate visually
MURAL is an app that provides a digital workspace for visual collaboration. Using this app, teams can think and collaborate visually by quickly creating diagrams. This app integrates into your Microsoft Teams workspace by adding a custom tab, notification bot, and messaging extension. You can add a new MURAL or one template and multiple frameworks to your project channel and have your team participate in real-time.
If someone invites you to MURAL or mentions you, the bot will let you know by sending you a private chat message. If you’re having a conversation that requires a visual collaboration session, you can find and share a template right in the current conversation context by using the MURAL messaging extension. This app helps teams to work visually and efficiently by having all the tools for visual collaboration in one place.
We’ve touched only seven collaborative apps for Teams, but there is plenty more to discover if you want to maximize your team’s productivity with collaboration tools. To use Teams to its fullest advantage, we recommend you to check out Microsoft Teams integrations options to simplify workflows, and get back to working smarter, not harder. Find a complete list of Microsoft apps and services available on the Teams’ apps website.
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