Managing Documents and Emails with Microsoft Teams

Automatic Filing of Outlook Emails to SharePoint
June 14, 2019

Microsoft Teams provides impressive capabilities for collaboration and communication. However there is still a need to store and manage documents and emails – e.g. the specification documents that team members are referencing in their chat and the emails that they are receiving and sending to external parties. To assist with this, Microsoft Teams supports document libraries. Creating a new Team automatically provisions a document library and existing document libraries can be added as tabs within a Team channel.

In this blog post we will see how MacroView DMF and MacroView Message integrate very well with Microsoft Teams, enhancing the experience for Team members as they work with documents and emails. MacroView enables:

  • easy viewing and navigation of the structure of a Team site
  • drag and drop saving of emails, attachments and other documents to libraries and folders in Teams sites
  • automatic capture of email metadata as you save emails to Teams sites
  • formatted previews of documents and emails stored in Teams sites
  • viewing and filtering of files in Teams sites using metadata
  • intuitive, convenient searching for files stored in Teams sites and other areas of SharePoint.

Files Tab of a Teams site
The Files tab of a Teams site displays the documents and emails that have been stored in a folder called General. This folder is created automatically within the Documents library of a new Teams site.

By clicking New > Folder in the Teams web browser UI you can create additional folders within the General folder. Adding a new channel to the Teams site automatically creates a new top-level folder in the Documents library – i.e. a new folder at the same level as General.

Files tab in the Microsoft Teams UI. Note sub-folders for projects in the General folder and Design folder for a new channel.

Teams Display in the MacroView tree
A Microsoft Teams site is implemented as a site collection in Office 365 SharePoint Online. The site collections that correspond to Teams display nicely in the MacroView tree-view of the structure of the SharePoint Online areas within an Office 365 tenant. The following screen shot shows a MacroView tree in Microsoft Outlook for a user who is a member of Team called MacroView Consulting. Note how the site collection for the Team is displayed with the Microsoft Teams ‘T’ icon.

Expanding the site collection for the MacroView Consulting Team shows the structure that we saw in the Teams web browser UI – a Documents library with top-level folders General and Design, and sub-folders in General for three projects.

Structure of a Teams site displayed in the MacroView tree in Outlook. The main central pane of Outlook displays the default view (All Documents) of the 100 Acme Inc folder. Note the formatted preview of a selected Word document.

Clicking on a folder in the MacroView tree displays the files that are stored in that folder. Clicking a file displays a formatted preview of that file. The View drop-down located immediately above the file list displays all the views that have been defined for the area by using standard SharePoint techniques.

MacroView makes viewing the structure of a Teams site as familiar as working with a tree of folders in a Windows file share or Outlook.

You can right-click on a folder in the MacroView UI and choose Create Document Set or Folder >Folder. The resulting new folder will also display in the Teams web browser UI. Similarly, new folders created by using the Teams web browser UI will display in the MacroView tree.

Managing Emails
When you right-click a document library in the MacroView tree, the right-click menu contains a Provision > MacroView Features command. Using this command will add content types, columns and views to the library that make the library much better for managing Outlook emails, email attachments and documents generally.

When you drag and drop an Outlook email to one of the folders in the library, the MacroView DMF or MacroView Message software will automatically record the attributes of the email (e.g. To, From, Subject, etc) in corresponding metadata columns in the Email content type. When you select the Email Messages view of the folder, the emails stored in that folder will be displayed with their metadata attributes – much as they would be in Outlook itself.

File list displays the Email Messages view, which shows the metadata that MacroView records automatically as it saves Outlook emails.

MacroView automatically names the MSG file that it creates as it saves an email so that duplicates of that email are prevented in any one area of SharePoint Online. Back in the Teams web browser UI, the stored emails are displayed with these unique names.

Files tab in the Microsoft Teams UI showing the files in a folder within the General folder. Files (including emails) are shown with their File Name, Modified, Modified By and File Size attributes.

Searching
MacroView makes it intuitive and convenient to search for documents and emails in SharePoint, based on their content and / or metadata. You can perform the search without leaving the familiar environment of Microsoft Outlook or other Office apps. You can see formatted previews of search results and right-click a search result to be auto-navigated to the area where the result is stored (so you can see related documents and emails). The same functionality and ease-of-use applies when you are searching for documents and emails stored in Teams sites.

MacroView pane in Outlook in Search mode facilitates finding emails stored in the Teams site for MacroView Consulting. The search criteria are the automatically recorded To attribute AND a word contained in the content of the email.

Automatic Filing of Emails to Teams

MacroView Corporate Email Filing (CEF) is an optional module available for MacroView DMF and MacroView Message. MacroView CEF is fully compatible with Microsoft Teams. If you open an email in Outlook and click Tag and Save, you will be able to select a Project folder in the Documents library of the MacroView Consulting Teams site. The Project code that is built into the name of the Project folder (e.g. 100) will be appended as a filing tag to the Subject of the email and the email will be saved to the Project folder by CEF and marked accordingly.

MacroView CEF automatically saves an email to the 100 Acme Inc folder in Teams because it detects a [P100] filing tag in the subject of that email.

This filing tag (sometimes known as a luggage tag) will cause all subsequent emails in the same conversation to be saved automatically to the same Project folder. When you create a new Project you will not need to define a new CEF filing rule, as long as the name of the folder for the new Project has a leading project code – e.g. 104 New Project.

For more information about MacroView Corporate Email Filing see this MacroView blog post.

More Information

This video in the MacroView channel on YouTube shows how MacroView enhances the management of documents and emails in Microsoft Teams.

For more information see the MacroView website or contact MacroView Solutions.