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This tip is part of my 5-part series on tips for navigating and finding content in Microsoft Teams.  In my first tip, I shared one of the most common places to start searching Teams – “The Search Bar.”  You can access this blog post here – Tip #1- Use the search bar to find messages, files, people, and more.

My next tip expands upon the search bar and shares a few advanced features available in the search bar (also referred to as the “command box”). Typical users often overlook these advanced features, and I find that some of the commands available in the search box come in handy.

As a reminder, here’s a summary of the complete series on tips for navigating and finding content in Microsoft Teams:

  1. Use the search bar to find messages, files, people, and more
  2. Use the command box to perform quick actions and access apps
  3. Use the activity feed to see your notifications and mentions
  4. Use the chat tab to find key information in your conversations
  5. Use the Teams tab to search for teams and channels

Tip #3. Use the activity feed to see your notifications and mentions

The activity feed (aka Activity App) is located on the left side of the Teams app and shows you all your notifications and mentions in one place. You can see when someone has replied to your message, mentioned you in a conversation, reacted to your post, or shared a file with you. You can filter your activity feed by unread and @mentions. Just like your email’s inbox, you can mark items as read or unread along with replying to messages.

View only unread messages

For organizations that have fully adopted Teams, the Activity Feed becomes your key inbox for getting work done. You can get notified for a number of reasons, but I find filtering down to “Unread” messages a way to quickly drill down to key information in this inbox. In order to easily get back to important messages, I click the ellipses next to the right of a message and mark the message unread (as shown in the image below).

View only messages you are mentioned in

I also find that some of the most important messages are when someone intentionally includes me in the conversation through an @mention.  That is why the “@Mentions” filter is handy as a quick filter.  Note that this could change in the future, but at the time of this writing, it is handy that you have the option to apply this filter with a click of a button (see below images as an illustration of how this quick filter works).

Activity Feed 2

Filtering by Custom Text

What I have found as the most powerful navigation feature within the “Activity Feed” is the ability to search for an Activity Feed entry based on text in the summary of the message or other metadata (like the Team name that holds the message as shown in the below images).

Filtering Activity Feed

When searching the activity Feed, you can search the “summary text” of the Activity (as seen in the below image).

Summary Text

You can also search for the person that is triggering an Activity Feed entry (as seen in the below image).

Filter Activity Feed by Person

And finally, you can search text can locate Activity Feed updates based on the source Teams location for the Activity Feed entry (see below image for an example).

Filtering Activity Feed by Text


Finding content in Teams can be a challenge at times. The Activity Feed is one of the most common paths to getting to relative content in Teams. Hopefully, some of these tips that I have pointed out in the Activity Feed will help you quickly find the content that you are looking for or content where people need your assistance.

In my next entry in my series of tips for navigating and finding content in Microsoft Teams (Tip #4, for those who are keepig count), I will share my power tips for using the Chat app. Chats contain unstructured content that can be hard to return to over time. I will provide some handy tips for returning to older conversations to get work done that is outside of a Microsoft Team’s Teams.

Quick disclaimer: In the world of software as a service, the platform can change daily. If you see that one of my tips is outdated, let me know in the comments so I can update it when a change occurs. I always appreciate feedback and discussions in the comments of my posts.

If you are looking for a guide to help you get more out of Microsoft Teams, we are here to help.  Click the link below to learn more about how we help organizations have thriving employees through better use of Teams.


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