What are Microsoft Lists: Part 1

Part 2: Creating and managing Microsoft Lists

Part 3: Using Microsoft Lists


While working hard on improving business results, internal processes can get neglected and go their own way. Everyone needs them to be simple, defining yet flexible, easy to follow and effective – just what Microsoft Lists are made to do. That’s why we prepared a meticulous three-part blog series that will help you navigate the world of this smart information tracking app across Microsoft 365. So, let’s dive in.

Microsoft Lists has undergone plenty of evolution since its introduction in August 2020. Back then, the Microsoft list app was designed, in Microsoft’s words, to “help you track information and organize work”.

Nowadays, enabling collaboration has also become an integral part of its feature set. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the Microsoft 365 app currently helps you track, organize and collaborate.

What is Microsoft Lists?

Microsoft Lists was introduced as a new option for people who wanted to create a SharePoint list. Previously, users were using SharePoint lists as a web-based alternative to using Excel. There were options to organize different lists into SharePoint sites, such as Contact Lists, Custom Lists, and Announcement Lists.

Of course, this gave users different solutions for different use cases. Which was fine – apart from it also meant different lists would reside in different sites. The result was often siloed information.

Microsoft Lists is a centralized way of solving the separation that went before.

What is Microsoft Lists used for?

Lists can be used for any data you usually store in SharePoint. Anything from processes, inventories, customer feedback, support tickets, and more.

Think of Microsoft Lists as an option for activities that relate to workflows, outcomes, and situations requiring collaboration. Not so much for task-related activities – these are probably better suited for other Microsoft apps, such as Tasks or Planner.

You can create and share lists using the Microsoft 365 app, Microsoft Teams or SharePoint. Choose to start with a blank page in Microsoft Lists, use an Excel file, or take a readymade shortcut with a template:

How to create lists using the Microsoft 365 app

Whichever option you choose, you can customize its appearance to match your preferred style or corporate branding.

How Microsoft Lists integrates with SharePoint and OneDrive

Full SharePoint and OneDrive integration means users can access Recent lists from their connected devices. Just like accessing any document from other recently used Microsoft apps. Naturally, this comes with many Microsoft 365 capabilities you’ll know and recognize, such as:

  • Syncing
    Lists are available in real-time, to support internal and external collaboration across multiple users, devices and regions
  • Sharing
    Lists can be shared, with or without Microsoft 365 permissions such as edit and read-only
  • Securing
    There are options to add expiry dates, set passwords, and configure approval processes
  • Tracking
    You can also track versions of lists and list items, to know when a value has been changed and by whom
  • Integrating
    The OneDrive integration also means users can create personal lists, rather than using SharePoint and potentially causing content sprawl
  • Organizing
    Further control comes from the ability to filter, sort and create custom views

Microsoft Lists is available in any Microsoft 365 or Office 365 plan that includes SharePoint. So it’s easy to integrate with your current M365/O365 activities.

The above-explained features and options will help you understand the capabilities and possible benefits of Microsoft Lists, and hopefully motivate you to implement it as your everyday tool that does what you need without any bells and whistles.

However, if you’d like to maximize its potential to your advantage and learn how to properly create and manage them, read next blogs in this series:


Part 2: Creating and managing Microsoft Lists

Part 3: Using Microsoft Lists

Digital transformation has become an integral part of successful businesses, so keeping your environment secure is now more important than ever. Make it sealed with SysKit Point. With it, you can control external sharing, know at any point in time who has access to critical files, automate M365 governance, set-up alerts to get notified of suspicious activities, know how many orphaned or inactive resources you have, and much more.

Go on, book a free demo of the tool and see how it can solve your security issues in your M365 environment!

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