8 Easy ways to change SharePoint for Work

Frequently, I receive requests along the lines of What can SharePoint do and how can it work for me? With endless possibilities and boundless optimism, SharePoint obviously has a great deal more to offer and the manner in which it is implemented and governed. You will also find mountain of articles and how to guides on the internet but my response almost always touch on the following areas. In this post I will share 8 easy ways that by themselves may not dramatically improve productivity, but combined can result in significant performance gains and hopefully help you leverage SharePoint functionality.

1. Lightening Lists
Swapping pinned-up paper lists in your work area with SharePoint lists can increase efficiency.
Tip: use out of the box available contact, task and custom list templates.
More Info: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint-server-help/CH010372655.aspx

2. Fantastic Forms
Converting paper based forms to electronic form will save time and effort.
Tip: use MS Office InfoPath to design forms or convert Word, Excel or PDF to integrated SharePoint Form for quick distribution.
More Info: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint-server-help/CH010372616.aspx

3. Amazing Alerts
Subscribing to many SharePoint libraries and lists via email or RSS feeds will help you access up to date information at the right time.
Tip: categorise the importance of your access to the information and choose immediate, daily or weekly alerting.
More Info: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint-server-help/create-an-alert-or-subscribe-to-an-rss-feed-HA010378197.aspx?CTT=1

4. Categorising Content
We all know that too much content is hard to consume but its not easy to tell where its located.
Tip: using content types such as meeting minutes, project documents, issues, department reports will improve navigation and search.
More Info: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint-server-help/CH010372670.aspx

5. Discovering Data
Chances are that your organisation have key corporate data such as HR, Finance and Service Management. Integrating SharePoint lists with these datasets will guide you to better insights and reusability of your organisation’s data.
Tip: use Business Connectivity Service to configure external lists and external content types with your libraries, lists and reports.
More Info: http://technet.microsoft.com/library/ee661740(office.14).aspx

6. Wizardry Workflow
For your site content (libraries or lists) It is easier than you think to configure task based approval within a browser.
Tip: use document approval and task allocation workflows to handle information effectively.
More Info: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint-server-help/CH010372671.aspx

7. Visible View
Your SharePoint library or list may have many items forcing you to scroll down and navigate number of pages resulting in loss of time and staring longer on screen.
Tip: use views to display data with your choice of selected columns, filters, sorting, grouping and item limits.
More Info: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint-server-help/CH010372657.aspx

8. Web Widgets
Adding web parts to pages in SharePoint sites will enable new functionality while keeping the pages lively and relevant.
Tip: access the web part gallery consisting of site content areas, personalisation, business data, content aggregator and filters.
More Info: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint-server-help/CH010374342.aspx

I hope you found this post useful and happy SharePointing!

Chirag is an Independent Consultant at Patel Consulting, BCS Chartered IT Professional, TOGAF Certified Architect, Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (Productivity, Data Management and Analytics) and Microsoft Service Adoption specialist based in London, UK with more than 20 years of industry experience. He works with a wide variety of clients in many sectors, designing and implementing business collaboration, data and information management solutions and services based on SharePoint and Office 365 technologies to create business value for both themselves and their customers, including UK Microsoft Gold Partners with deployment, upgrade and migration services delivery. Chirag is an active SharePoint community participant, frequent speaker at local and international events including SharePoint Saturdays (London, Cambridge, Brussels, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, UK, EMEA, India) and Collab365. In 2011, for his valuable contributions to Microsoft TechNet forums he received a Microsoft Community Contributor Award. In his little spare time he enjoys cycling, cricket and participating in Charity bike rides and Duathlons. You can follow Chirag on Twitter at @techChirag and find him online at www.techchirag.com

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Posted in Office 365, SharePoint, Tools
One comment on “8 Easy ways to change SharePoint for Work
  1. […] article was originally posted here, on the Chirag Patel blog. .gplus #___plusone_0, .gplus #___plusone_1,.gplus #___plusone_2, […]

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