Teams Real Simple with Pictures: Microsoft Teams Loves Microsoft Lists Pt 1

This blog is part of a series on Teams. For more articles, check back often

Written: 06/09/2020 | Updated: N/A

When Microsoft Lists was announced back at Build in May 2020, it was also announced that in addition to the core web app experience Lists would have both its own dedicated mobile app and be integrated with Microsoft Teams. Well, that integration with Teams has arrived. As of 03/09/2020 the Lists app was showing in Ring 4 (GA) and this blog will merge a previous series I wrote about the core web app experience called Microsoft Lists Fundamentals into The Teams Real Simple with Pictures series.

This blog will cover

  • How to add Lists as a Tab to a Team
  • Creating a Team List: From Blank
  • Creating a Team List: From Excel
  • Creating a Team List: From Existing
  • Creating a Team List: From a Template
  • Adding an existing Team List
  • How to quick edit a Team List
  • How to export a Team List to Excel
  • How to delete a Team List
  • How to restore a deleted Team List

A really important point to cover from the very start is that there are two types of Lists – Personal Lists (stored in OneDrive) and Team Lists (Stored in SharePoint). Working in Teams today involves Teams Lists, but at the time of writing not Personal Lists. This could very well explain why the Lists App is only an app which can be surfaced as Tabs within Teams, not a personal app which can be pinned to the App rail. This is some something 100% needed in order to be comparable to and consistent with the web app experience so I have raised a uservoice here

https://microsoftteams.uservoice.com/forums/555103-public/suggestions/41325397-lists-personal-app

WHY WOULD WE DO IT?

  • To use Lists in Teams
  • To access Lists via Teams

PREREQUISITES

1.) Teams Licence and a SharePoint Licence: usually within Office/Microsoft 365 Licence

2.) Lists to be allowed within the users app permissions policy and permissions (for the member) to be able to add apps

HOW TO ADD LISTS AS A TAB TO A TEAM

1.) In the App Rail on the left select More Options (…). Search for and select Lists

2.) Select Add to a Team

3.) Select a Team and a Channel and then Set Up a Tab

4.) Select Save

5.) You can now create a List

6.) An alternate way to do this is – if you know which Team and Channel the Lists Tab will go in – is to simply go to the Team and Channel and select add (+). Search for and select Lists

7.) Select Save

8.) You are now ready to create your Lists

CREATING A TEAM LIST – FROM BLANK

Creating a list from blank is to create the list from scratch – the List will be created completely empty where you will then go and manually add the columns and the List Items. This is ideal when starting afresh or building a List for the first time on a new endeavour

1.) Create a list as a Tab as specified above. Select Create a List

2.) Select Blank List

3.) Set a name, description and choose the colour/icon of the List. Once done select create

4.) The list in now created

5.) To add a new column select add column, choose the column type

6.) Set the Name for the Column, as well as a description and a default value if required. By opening the more options, you have the ability to set the max number of characters in the column field, as well as if this column requires information. Once done, select Save

7.) The new column has now been completed. To add a new item to the list select New Item

8.) Add the List Item properties in the required column fields and select Save

9.) The List item is complete. Rinse and repeat with new columns and new list items to build out your list

CREATING A TEAM LIST – FROM EXCEL

Creating a list from excel is to create the list from a table on an existing excel sheet – often with pre-populated information (not simply the column names). This allows a user to create the List ahead of time or outside of both Teams and Lists and then simply create a List off the excel via Teams. It is also useful in scenarios such as when the List will be known to be large, and the user can leverage Excel to order the information before housing it in a List

1.) Create a list as a Tab as specified above. Select Create a List

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2.) Select From Excel

3.) You can choose an excel file on the local machine or one which has been already uploaded to the Team. Regardless of where the excel file is, the list within the excel must be formatted as a table

For this example, I will select the upload file from the desktop

4.) The table data will be fetched and the column types can be modified if needed. Once complete, select Next

5.) Provide a name, description, colour and icon for the list and select create

6.) The List is now created

CREATING A TEAM LIST – FROM EXISTING LIST

Creating a list from an existing list means to clone the columns and views of an existing list, not its data. This would be effective in a scenario such as creating Lists for events where each List is used for different events: you would not have to waste time creating the List or the columns or views

1.) Create a list as a Tab as specified above. Select Create a List

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2.) Select From Existing List

3.) Select a Team List which is in another site which you have permissions over and select, then select Next (Note for those familiar with the web app you will not see personal lists in this view)

4.) Provide a name, description, colour and icon for the list and select create

5.) The List has been created ready to be populated

CREATING A TEAM LIST – TEMPLATE

Creating a list from a template is leveraging one of the dozen scenario List templates Microsoft provides in order to get started with Teams. Like creating a List from an existing List, this doesn’t create List Items and populate the List with data – it only creates columns and views as provided by the template

1.) Create a list as a Tab as specified above. Select Create a List

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2.) Select the template under category ‘Templates’

3.) Review and select Use Template

4.) Provide a name, description, colour and icon for the list and select create

5.) The List has been created ready to be populated

ADD AN EXISTING TEAM LIST

Add an existing List means to pull through an existing Team List to a Tab in Teams, populated with all it’s information. This may be needed if the List was accidentally removed as a Tab or was created in the web app prior to the integration with Teams. It is critical to note that personal lists cannot be added – only Team Lists housed in SharePoint which is why it asks for a SharePoint Link during the process. If a personal list URL is added, you will receive a 404 item not found. On the upside, the Team List can be added from any SharePoint site meaning that Lists housed in different sharepoint sites can be surfaced in Teams not associated with them

1.) Create a list as a Tab as specified above. Select Add an Existing List

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2.) If the List has been created in the Team previously, it can simply be resurfaced by selecting the List under the category ‘or select a list from a Team

3.) However, if it has been created outside of Teams in the Lists Web App then the URL needs to be provided

4.) Go into the Lists Home page via https://login.microsoftonline.com and select the List to surface

5.) Copy the URL.

6.) Use it in Teams and select the Go/Arrow Icon

7.) The existing list has been added

HOW TO QUICK EDIT A TEAM LIST

Quick edit is an easy way to make multiple changes to the list without having to go into each List Item and change them

1.) At the top of the list select Quick Edit

2.) Make the changes you need to make en masse and exit Quick Edit Mode

HOW TO EXPORT THE TEAM LIST TO EXCEL

Exporting the List to Excel will allow you to review the List offline, use the List data for other applications or tidy up the list for re-import

1.) On the list select More Options (…) and then select Export to Excel

2.) You will be redirected to the browser and may be asked to log in and authenticate. A .iqy file will download. Once opened in excel, you can view the data (you may have to enable data connections)

HOW TO DELETE A TEAM LIST

From time to time, a List may need to be deleted. Whilst the Lists Tab can be removed from Teams (see below), this will not delete it. In fact, the Team List cannot be deleted from Teams itself

1.) In the List select More Options (…) and then Open in SharePoint

2.) Select Cog and then List Settings

3.) Select Delete this List

4.) A pop up will ask you to confirm, select Yes

5.) The list is now removed. In Teams it will look as follows to which you can safely remove the tab

HOW TO RESTORE A DELETED TEAM LIST

Since Team Lists are housed within SharePoint then the place to restore them from is the SharePoint recycle bin. Go to the recycle bin within the SharePoint Site of the Team and the List should be there

If your Lists tab still exists then it will display as required again. If you have already removed the tab you can re-add it as an existing List

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That’s all for Part 1!

I’ll return in Part 2 where I’ll look at the Lists experience in Teams a bit further, as well as looking at some integrations between Lists and Teams