12 Days of Microsoft Teams | Day 4

Notifications Best Practices | What you need to know to stay in the know

Welcome to Day 4 of PixelMill’s ’12 Days of Microsoft Teams’ series! Clearly, you got the notification because you’re here, but today’s tip will help you manage all the things begging for your attention. Enjoy!

Social Enterprise is a blessing and a curse. In our always-on world, tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Skype allow us to stay in nearly constant contact with our work world anytime, anywhere. This is great when we are able to maintain balance, but can easily infringe on personal and family time. Thankfully, Teams offers many ways for you to manage your availability, stay in the know when you need to, and protect your sacred work/life balance, all through notification settings.
Let’s start with the basics:

Team: This can get a bit confusing; a ‘team’ within Teams. 😉 Microsoft defines a Team as a collection of people, content, and tools surrounding different projects and outcomes within an organization.

  • Teams can be created to be private to only invited users.
  • Teams can also be created to be public and open and anyone within the organization can join (up to 2500 members).

Channel: Microsoft defines channels as dedicated sections within a team to keep conversations organized by specific topics, projects, disciplines—whatever works for your team!

  • Team channels are places where everyone on the team can openly have conversations. Private chats are only visible to those people in the chat.
  • Channels are most valuable when extended with apps that include tabs, connectors, and bots that increase their value to the members of the team.

Activity Feed: This is your notification base station. Here you can see all activity as it specifically relates you, the channels, and teams you are part of. For example, an @mention from a team member, replies to your post, when you’ve been added to a team, etc. all show here.
Owner: A user who creates a new team or channel is the ‘owner’. The owner is granted full permissions to the group, enabling them to add/remove members, make a user a co-owner, change the name, and more.
Member: a user who is invited to a team or channel has is granted standard permissions including the ability to send/receive messages, make mentions, and more.
Channel Conversation: Public conversation threads within a channel that everyone in that channel can see and engage with; compare these conversations to social media posts.
Private Messaging/Chat: Available for both one-on-one and group chatter with Team members not specifically affiliated with a channel; look at these like you would a text.
Notification Settings:
To access your notification settings click on your profile picture and then Notifications:
– Notification categories: 

  • Messages: These are notifications specific to private and/or group messaging/chat.
  • Mentions: Often referred to as @mentions allow you to either notify an entire team or channel (i.e. @sales) or a specific user (i.e. @danielle).
  • Other: These are notifications such as membership changes and role changes.

– Notification Settings:

  • Desktop: To access your notification settings on desktop, click on your profile picture and then Notifications.
  • Mobile: To access your notification settings on mobile, click on the hamburger in the top left and then Notifications.


Tip 1: Adjust your Push Notification Settings (Desktop & Mobile)

These are pop-up messages that will display on your phone or desktop to alert you of activity on Teams. Things like chats, likes, team updates, calls and mentions can trigger a push notification.
Mobile Settings Android: Notifications —> Configure Notifications —-> Choose a Category —-> Advanced:
On Android you can individually manage each type of notification including importance, pop-ups, and sound for desktop and you can select which notifications you receive on your mobile device in the app.

Mobile Settings iOS:
Importance, sounds, and vibrations are not adjustable at this time by type of notification in iOS, however, you can individually select which type of action triggers pop-up notifications.

Desktop Settings:


Tip 2: Claim your Quiet Hours/Days (Mobile only)

It’s crucial to our work/life balance that we find ways to turn off in our always-on society. Teams allows you to set specific quiet hours, muting notifications when you wish in the mobile app. If there are specific urgent messages you wish to still receive, even during quiet hours, you can set an override in your push notification settings for that specific case.
To access Quiet Hours/Days click on the hamburger in the app —-> Notifications —-> Quiet Hours


Tip 3: Priority Access

Under “Privacy” you can also manage priority access which allows you to always receive notifications from certain users, even when your status is set to DND. Priority access can only be set on desktop at this time.


Tip 4: Filter Your Activity Feed 

If returning from quiet hours or an extended weekend you find your activity feed a bit daunting I suggest filtering your feed to attack what is most important first. For example, mentions, replies and missed calls may take precedence to likes and apps. You can filter your feed in both desktop and mobile.


Tip 5: Favorite the Right Channels

By favoriting a channel you will automatically receive a notification of any activity that happens in that specific channel, so chose your follows wisely. Much like that absurd aunt who posts far too many political rants thereby commandeering your Facebook feed, some channels might have a lower priority in your day-to-today activities. There’s a common solution to these issues. On facebook you don’t have to unfriend aunt Hilda, just simply unfollow her and keep your feed clear for the important stuff like Elf Yourself and baby goat videos. The same goes for Teams, you can still be part of a channel without favoriting it so you can check in on it when you need to without being bombarded by notifications.

Does your organization want to make the most of Teams? PixelMill is here to help you plan, launch, and get the adoption you need to take teamwork to the next level. Chat with a Teams expert today!

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