Keeping lists can be a boring task. However we all do it as a daily requirement. A to-do list, a list for the holiday transfer, a checklist for hiring new employees, a list for keeping track of the mileage. We often record these kinds of lists in MS Excel. By placing filters on columns you can easily sort and filter information. But this is not what Excel was actually designed for. Microsoft has another application that is intended for keeping lists: Microsoft Lists. Microsoft Lists can be an excellent tool to improve your workflows.
What is Microsoft Lists
Microsoft Lists is an application with which you can easily record and maintain lists. The application looks like Excel, but for keeping lists you have much more options in Microsoft Lists than in Excel. In Microsoft Lists you can:
- Add different types of columns (text, location, person, date/time, hyperlinks, or pre-set choices)
- Change items at the same time as other people
- Use version history to see who changed an item and when
- Set up alerts or actions, for example send an email when the item is changed
- Visualise items using conditional formatting
- Share specific items or the entire list with internal or external people
- Create multiple views with filters and sorting
You can also easily automate information from a list. Based on a certain line or column in your list, you can have actions take place automatically. Think of a reminder as soon as a deadline is approaching or an email as soon as your item is changed by someone else. The Microsoft application Power Automate is used in the background for this, but due to the simple display within Microsoft Lists, you do not need to have any knowledge of building complicated workflows.
What can you use Microsoft Lists for?
You can use Microsoft Lists for any type of list that you’ve probably used Excel for up to now. In addition Microsoft has made a number of templates available for inspiration, for example:
- Employee management: Manage the process of new employees from day one. Keep track of which information and contacts to send so that new employees can get started quickly.
- Event Calendar: Organise all the important details of an event in one place so everything runs smoothly.
- Describe the content of sessions, the speaker(s), start time and end time and make notes about the preparations.
- Work progress tracker: Track priorities and work progress as you collaborate to deliver products and services.
How can you open Microsoft Lists?
Some people will recognise Microsoft Lists as a functionality of SharePoint. Microsoft Lists is indeed an application that originates from the development of MS SharePoint lists. People who have used SharePoint lists can still add MS Lists to a particular SharePoint site. In addition you can now use Microsoft Lists as a separate application on your laptop or smartphone and you can add Microsoft Lists to your MS Teams environment. This way you can always easily access your lists, regardless of where you are in the Microsoft environment.
Apply in MS Lists in practice
You can use the templates from Microsoft as inspiration in which situations you keep lists and which actions you perform with them. You often have to adjust the template slightly to make it really relevant in your situation. You can remove certain columns from the template or add extra columns. In addition to setting the correct columns, you can create extra views or set conditional formatting to really take advantage of Microsoft Lists.
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