In recent years, especially since COVID, remote work and online collaboration for work projects has become a norm. Businesses are always on the lookout for new tools and apps to make their teams more efficient and enhance their performance and productivity. Amid the ever-changing work dynamics, Microsoft Teams has emerged as a popular collaboration platform for businesses of all sizes, providing them with a comprehensive range of features to boost team communication, management, and productivity.
If you’re not already familiar, Microsoft Teams gives you access to all your workplace apps, tools, and services from a single platform to achieve better results. While MS Teams offers plenty of features to make remote teams more efficient, it also allows for various third-party Teams apps integrations to boost your team’s productivity even more.
Let’s explore in detail what Microsoft Teams apps are and how your business can benefit from them!
What Are Microsoft Teams Apps?
Microsoft Teams apps are integrations that help extend the functionality of the Microsoft Teams platform. These third-party applications provide add-on features that help teams streamline workflows, collaborate better, and be more productive.
MS teams apps are either developed by Microsoft or come from independent third-party software vendors. You can get these apps from the Microsoft Teams app store and integrate them into your Teams platform.
What Are They For?
The whole idea behind the Teams apps is to bring a host of communication, productivity, HR, finance, project management, and various other tools to Microsoft Teams, enhancing the platform’s capabilities and allowing users to access everything they need without leaving the Microsoft Teams app.
Using Teams apps allows business teams to collaborate better and work efficiently with the help of specialized tools accessible from within Microsoft Teams. They can find an app for virtually everything, from project management and file sharing to team communication and video conferencing. The MS teams apps also let them automate tasks, use other software, and get analytics and reports on the team’s performance.
Types of Microsoft Teams Apps
The Microsoft Teams app store hosts a comprehensive range of Teams apps, extending the functionality of the Teams platform manifolds. Whether you’re looking for productivity and collaboration apps or something that helps with training your workforce, the Appsource has it all. Let’s give you a quick roundup of various Microsoft teams apps categories you can find in the app store.
- Productivity Apps
The productivity apps help Teams users to efficiently manage their routine tasks. With such apps, you can streamline workflows, manage your tasks better, track progress on your projects, and collaborate efficiently with team members. Project management apps like Trello and Asana or document management solutions such as OneDrive and Dropbox are good examples of productivity apps for MS Teams.
- Communication Apps
Communication apps are designed to help business teams communicate effectively through common communication channels, like messaging, voice calls, or video conferencing. They help teams stay connected and promote better collaboration on projects, regardless of their physical location. Zoom, Skype, Slack, and Discord are some of the most commonly used communication apps for the Teams platform.
- Education Apps
The Microsoft Store teams apps features several education apps tailored to meet the specific needs of educators and students. Using these apps, educators can create and grade assignments, manage class schedules, and conduct online lectures and meetings. Assignments, Class Notebook, and Flipgrid are some good examples of education apps.
- Training Apps
Training apps give organizations a way to train their employees effectively and support their employee development initiatives. These apps let you create structured trainings through online courses, live training sessions, quizzes, interactive activities, and games to engage learners and boost knowledge retention. MindTickle, Kahoot, and TalentLMS are good examples of such apps.
- Collaboration Apps
Collaboration apps help remote teams with more effective collaboration on projects and make project management easier. They allow for more streamlined document management and workflow automation to help boost overall team productivity. For instance, you can use apps like PowerAutomate to automate Teams’ processes and workflows or rely on SharePoint for centralized document storage and file sharing. Many collaboration apps allow teams to collaborate in real time and increase their efficiency.
- Industry-Specific Apps
As the name suggests, industry-specific Teams apps are designed for specific business functions or industries. They help increase team efficiency by allowing teams in a particular industry to work together towards their specific objectives and team goals. For instance, healthcare professionals can use the HealthHero app for accessing patient data. Similarly, the Salesforce app lets sales teams efficiently manage sales leads and customer data from within their Microsoft Teams app.
- Fun Apps and Games
These apps are meant to make it more fun and enjoyable to work as part of remote teams. They can be quite effective in team building by helping team members connect with each other and boost morale, creating a more productive and positive work environment. A couple of good examples of these apps include Praise and Quizlet.
You can explore these Microsoft teams apps categories to find virtually unlimited Teams apps to customize your MS Teams experience. They will work wonders to improve your teams’ collaboration and overall productivity.
Benefits of Using Microsoft Teams Apps
While Microsoft Teams itself is quite a comprehensive tool with a range of collaboration and productivity features, integrating Microsoft Teams apps into the Teams platform will elevate your overall experience. Apps help you with increased productivity, improved communication, and more streamlined workflows.
Here’s a quick look into some key benefits of using Microsoft Teams apps.
- Improved Productivity: Remote teams can use apps in MS Teams to automate processes, streamline workflows, and get real-time feedback to increase overall productivity.
- Centralized Collaboration: Using Microsoft Teams apps allows remote teams to collaborate on tasks, documents, and projects in a single location. It improves efficiency, as they don’t have to switch between various apps and platforms.
- Better Communication: Teams apps are a great way to ensure more effective communication between remote team members. Apps provide remote teams with efficient tools for real-time chat, voice calls, video conferencing, and more.
- Automation and Streamlined Workflows: Many MS Teams apps come with automation features, allowing teams to automate repetitive processes and daily tasks. You can use these apps to streamline workflows better and automatically perform tasks like sending notifications, scheduling meetings, and more.
- Customized Experience: Apps in Microsoft Teams let users customize their Teams experience the way they like. They can choose apps that best meet their requirements and fit their custom workflows.
- Integration With Other Apps and Tools: Microsoft Teams apps can also integrate with popular apps and tools that team members might already be using. Integration with tools like OneDrive, Outlook, and SharePoint, for instance, makes information easily accessible and allows teams to collaborate across these platforms without leaving the Microsoft Teams app.
Overall, Microsoft Teams apps make your Teams Experience even better and empower your teams to be more productive and efficient. Learn how to use them, and witness the power of MS teams apps!
How to Use Microsoft Teams Apps?
As mentioned earlier, the Microsoft Teams platform gives you access to a wide range of apps from various categories to make your teams more productive and enhance the overall user experience. If you’re still exploring the platform and don’t know how to find apps in the Microsoft Teams app store and use them, here’s a step-by-step guide for apps installation, integration, and usage.
- Launch Microsoft Teams and click the Apps icon at the bottom left of the screen to access the Microsoft store Teams app.
- Find your desired apps by browsing the app store and filtering apps based on their category. Alternatively, search for a specific app in the search bar at the top.
- Once found, click the app to go to the app page and learn more about its features and pricing.
- Click the “Add” button to install the app to your MS Teams environment.
- Once installed, the app will be accessible from the Teams Apps bar or from within your Teams channels or chats
- Just click the app icon to launch the app and start using it
Once you’re done with the installation, you may also customize the app bar by clicking the “…” icon and choosing the “Manage apps” option.
Using Apps In Microsoft Teams
Once you have the apps installed and integrated into your Teams platform, you can start using them in your Teams chats, meetings, and channels. Apps may appear in different places depending on the way they are built and the purpose they serve.
Let’s explore where and how you can use apps in MS Teams.
How To Use Apps in Tabs?
You can use MS Teams apps in your Teams chats or channels by following the steps below.
- Open the chat or channel where you want to use the app
- Click the + sign at the top
- Search for the app you intend to add to your chat or channel and select it
- Add the necessary information
- Click Save
The newly added app will now appear at the top of your Teams channel or chat. Click it and start using the new integration to your Microsoft Teams environment.
How To Use Apps In Messages?
To use the desired apps in Messages, follow the steps given below.
- Click on New Conversation in the message box
- Select the app you want to use and just start using it
- If you can’t find the desired app, click More Options
- Find the app you want to use
- Click Add
You can now start using the app in messages.
How to Use Apps as Connectors?
Connectors are Teams Apps that send information and notifications to a Teams channel. Follow the steps below to add a connector.
- Go to your desired channel
- Click More Options
- Click Connectors
- Select the app you want to use as a connector
- A prompt will appear requiring you to add a service and set up notifications
- Add it and follow the on-screen instructions to configure notifications
Once configured successfully, the app can be used as a connector and send notifications to your Teams channels.
How to Use Apps In Meetings?
It is also possible to use apps in scheduled meetings with your teams. It will help enhance your team collaborations. Here’s how you can use apps in meetings.
- Before the start of a scheduled meeting, open calendar invite
- Click the + sign at the top of the invite
- Choose the app you want to use in the meeting
- Click Add
- When in the meeting, view content with the attendees and fetch information from the app you had added earlier
Apps stay in your calendar invite as tabs, allowing you to quickly access them whenever required after the meeting.
Best Practices for Using Microsoft Teams Apps
It’s true that Microsoft Teams apps can offer a lot of benefits and make your teams more productive, but you must follow some MS Teams best practices to make the most of your Teams experience. When you have lots of features available to fulfill your Team needs, you can easily overlook so many ways you can utilize the Microsoft Teams app to your benefit.
Here are some Microsoft Teams best practices that will help make your Teams experience more productive and beneficial for your team’s overall success.
- Choose Apps Carefully Based on Your Specific Needs
When considering different MS teams apps to add to your Teams platform, you must first evaluate the specific needs of your team. Only choose relevant apps that will add value to your team’s workflow. Cluttering your workspace by installing too many apps will only make it harder to locate the ones you actually use.
- Check App Ratings and Read Reviews Before Installing
Not all apps may be worth it, and you can find multiple apps in the Microsoft Teams app store to do the same task. So, before you proceed with the Microsoft team app download, make sure you check ratings and read reviews to get the feel of other users’ experience with the same app. Only go for apps that are worth installing.
- Keep The Apps Up To Date
App developers constantly release updates to their apps to fix any possible bugs or add new and enhanced features. Keeping your apps up to date allows you to take advantage of all the latest improvements and make the most of your favorite Teams apps.
- Customize Apps To Fit Your Needs
Some apps can have different settings that must be configured correctly to use these apps to your benefit. Make sure you customize app settings according to your preferences to get the best results. Once you’ve installed the apps, make it a routine to review different app settings and adjust them as needed.
- Streamline Workflows By Integrating Apps With Other Tools
Your teams might already be using various tools, and switching from them may not be an option. Well, you don’t need to! Many apps in Microsoft Teams can be integrated with other tools you might already be using, like some project management solution or the calendar app. Integrate them with these tools to streamline your workflows better and boost productivity.
- Choose Apps From Reputable Sources
When choosing apps for your Microsoft Teams platform, you must be concerned about security. It is recommended that you should always choose apps from reputable sources that take security seriously. Avoid apps that require access to your sensitive information or need unnecessary permissions.
- Keep The App Bar Organized
As you keep installing apps, it’s likely for your app bar to become cluttered. Therefore, it is important to keep it organized so that you can find apps quickly whenever needed. You can manage apps from the “…” menu. Remove apps that you don’t need anymore.
With these Microsoft Teams best practices, you can enhance your overall Teams experience and boost productivity and collaboration. It will also help keep your workspace organized and ensure all your data and information is secure.
Examples of Useful Microsoft Teams Apps
With so many Teams apps available in the App Store Microsoft Teams, it can be confusing which ones you should install to your Teams platform. While the first consideration should be your team’s specific needs, here are some examples of popular apps for Microsoft Teams that you must try to boost productivity and make the most of your Teams experience.
- Trello – Project Management At Your Fingertips
- Manage Projects With Boards, Cards, and Lists
- Notifications for Card Updates and Project Due Dates
- Card Previews
- Trello Search Integration To Teams
If your business teams already use Trello for project management, you can integrate it with the Microsoft Teams platform using the Trello app. The Trello integration will let team members create Trello cards and manage them directly from within Teams, using both platforms seamlessly to boost collaboration.
Use Trello boards, cards, and lists to flexibly organize and prioritize your tasks and projects. Once the app is integrated into your Teams platform, all your Trello boards will be directly accessible from the Teams app. Team members will be able to create new Trello cards from messages or attachments, assign them to other team members, and set due dates.
You can also use the Trello app in MS Teams for tracking the progress of your projects and team performance through tags, labels, and activity logs. One of the key benefits of using Trello with Teams is that it helps keep team members on the same page and ensures your projects keep moving forward as planned.
- Polly – Get Feedback From Teams and Plan Future Actions
- Simple and Complex Surveys With Different Question Types
- Scheduled Polls
- Automatic Reminders
- Data Export for Further Analysis
Polly is a useful Teams app to gather feedback from your team. It lets you ditch survey templates and create unique surveys and polls with different types of questions, including rating scales, checkboxes, and open-ended questions.
The app can be used for quickly determining your teams’ opinions about a number of things like preferred methods for communication, best times for meetings, appropriate documentation to share with clients, and other useful information to improve collaboration.
Polly allows you to schedule polls, send automatic reminders to participants, export data to CSV or Excel format, and customize settings for anonymity, displaying or hiding results, etc. Add the Polly tab to your MS Teams and reach out to your colleagues about everyday activities, like where to have lunch or when to schedule a meeting, without causing distractions.
- TeamLinx42 – All your information in one convenient place
- Find documentsand information quickly
While Microsoft Teams might be your team’s primary communication and collaboration tool, it’s likely for team members to not always have the needed Information at hand. Often times this results in them relying heavily on colleagues to help them out or wasting an awful lot of time searching. Unfortunately, this does not only happen once but multiple times and worse, it happens to basically everyone in an organization, so this waste of time multiplies by quite a substantial margin.
However, in almost all cases, someone knows where to find the desired information, be it on a, a SharePoint, an Amazon S3 Bucket, some other cloud provider or just plain old on a file server. Harnessing this knowledge effectively is a task seldom done within organizations beyond a certain size and especially with a certain fluctuation of staff.
TeamLinx42 attacks this exact problem at its core. It makes use of the so-called decentralized self-service principle, where users independently make the team-specific processes, documents or otherwise information available to the entire organization. At least potentially, restrictions that make sure, not everybody has access to all information, are available and can be configured to the organization’s liking and need. This concept however, allows for employees to build and maintain an up-to-date and searchable database of where things can be found, which massively reduces time when searching for something.
But because malicious actors or actors external to the subject can potentially screw up the database or the security, writing permission is given only to very few members of a team. Information flow within a small active group of people, such as a team, is much more efficient and therefore if something important. For example, if an updated location of a document is found by a member of this team, the change can be added right away by the person with permission to write to the collaborative build database.
- Workbot – Create Custom Workflows
- Integration with Various Cloud-Based Apps and Services
- Real-time Notifications and Alerts
- Automating Workflows and Data Entry
- Built-in Chatbot
Workbot for MS Teams is a productivity-boosting bot that lets you connect your Teams platform with multiple cloud-based services and applications, like Salesforce, GitHub, Zendesk, and Jira. You can use Workbot to approve workflows, request IT assistance, manage order fulfillment, and do a lot of other useful stuff without leaving your chat space.
The app lets you receive real-time alerts and notifications from the integrated apps right in your Teams chats and channels. It eliminates the need for switching between apps to get all the updates. Team members can also act on the notifications from within the Teams platform.
There are plenty of automation features on offer as well to streamline workflows and reduce the need for manual intervention. The built-in chatbot, for instance, answers your common questions and can perform various simple tasks. You can also create custom commands to trigger certain actions when a given condition is met.
- SelfDrvn – Improve Engagement And Create A Positive Work Environment
- Pulse Surveys
- Access to Learning Resources
- Employee Recognition Programs
- Employee Progress Tracking With Performance Data
SelfDrvn is a useful tool to create a more engaged and connected workforce. It helps create a positive work environment where employees get recognition for their work and become more productive. They can win prizes for their achievements and stay motivated to achieve their goals faster.
The app offers a range of features to enable businesses to measure the engagement levels of their employees and take necessary actions to improve them. When integrated into the Microsoft Teams environment, the app lets users access all the Selfdrvn tools directly from their Microsoft Teams app. They can easily take part in surveys, recognize their colleagues, and access learning resources for their development.
You can use it to track employee progress through their performance data and take necessary actions. It helps you create a more engaged workforce and promote friendly competition among your teams.
Microsoft Teams is itself a feature-rich solution to improve the performance and efficiency of remote teams. But you can supplement its functionality and effectiveness with the help of Microsoft Teams apps. Integrating various apps from Microsoft and third-party vendors into your MS Teams environment lets you create a unified platform for effective communication, seamless collaboration, and efficient project management.
The importance of MS teams apps to boost the overall productivity of your teams can’t be denied. You can leverage the power of Microsoft Teams apps to improve communication, collaborate better, streamline workflows, and automate repetitive tasks. From tracking the progress of your projects and managing customer relationships to facilitating remote teams to perform better, the Teams apps give you a sure-shot solution to make your teams more productive and efficient.
The Microsoft Teams app store gives you access to virtually unlimited Teams apps across a number of categories, including education, training, productivity, communication, collaboration, and fun apps. Explore the Microsoft store teams app and find popular apps that can benefit your teams. Customize your MS Teams experience with the best MS Teams apps and make your business teams more productive and efficient.
As the demand for digital collaboration and remote work continues to rise, Teams apps are certainly a must-have for your teams to collaborate more efficiently and stay ahead of the curve.