8 Easy Ways to Change SharePoint for Work

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Editor’s note: Contributor Chirag Patel is a Senior SharePoint Consultant for PointBeyond. Follow him @techChirag

2012-07-11-8EasyWays-01.jpgFrequently, 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 a mountain of articles and how to guides on the internet but my responses 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 an 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 has 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!