5 tips for working with SharePoint Online

Go beyond the basics with these power user tips for Microsoft's online collaboration platform.

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Share this story: IT folks, we hope you'll pass this guide on to your users to help them learn more about SharePoint Online.

Once you have a good feel for what is possible in SharePoint Online and know how to do common tasks, it’s time to take advantage of some of its more advanced functions.

[ New to SharePoint Online? See our SharePoint Online cheat sheet to get up and running. ]

Here are some power user tips to help you get the most out of your SharePoint site.

1. Set up alerts.

SharePoint can be configured to send you a notification whenever a specific item in a library is changed or if anything in a library as a whole changes. This is useful since you won’t then have to go back and manually check each SharePoint site for changes. You can set up alerts using the Alert Me button in the toolbar above the Documents list, as shown below, to get alerts for the entire library, or as part of the ellipsis menu for any particular item to get alerts on just that item within any given SharePoint content area.

SharePoint Online tips - alert me option Jonathan Hassell / IDG

Clicking it brings up the New Alert window, where you add a title to the alert and specify the following:

  • The delivery method: either an email an SMS text message.
  • The context of the alert: whether an alert is sent for any change, if new items are added, if existing items are modified, or if items are deleted.
  • The scope of an alert: if anything changes, if a document changes, if a document you created or last modified changes.
  • How quickly the alert is sent after a change: you can set up an immediate alert, a daily summary, or a weekly summary, and you can customize the time for this.

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