Microsoft Lists: Tips & Tricks

Microsoft Lists help streamline workflow and processes, increase efficiency, and encourage fluid collaboration. As discussed in Microsoft Lists, we learned about Board View, creating a Board View, Lookup Columns, and Creating and Viewing Lists from SharePoint among a few other features, but they are a few tips and tricks which will elevate your skills and usage of Microsoft List.

Easy List Access with Favourites

Simply by clicking on the star icon, you can Favourite Your List so that it becomes easily accessible when there is a break in your work routine or flow. Favourite Your List lists will appear at the top of the Lists home page on mobile and desktop. The star icon can be found next to your list’s title when you are in the list itself, on your Lists home page under your recent lists, or within the Lists app for iOS. Clicking on the star icon again will unfavour the list and it will no longer appear at the top of your List on your home page.

Create a List from a Template

Templates are underrated and underutilized. There are 11 templates in Teams and eight available to use as is or as the start of a customized List. These available templates address many scenarios, including employee onboarding, asset managing, and progress tracking. Simply find the template that suits your needs, choose the Use Template button, name your list, assign a colour, and assign an icon. You now have a List that will be populated with pre-defined columns, pre-populated choice fields, and more that can be used as-is or you can customize it to your needs.

Lists on the Go for iOS

For iPhone and iPad, the Microsoft Lists app for iOS provides you the freedom to access your Lists when you are on the move. Not only will you be able to access your Lists, but you will also be able to access those that have been shared with you along with editing, writing, creating, and sharing Lists with other people.

Lists and Microsoft Teams Channel

In your Microsoft Teams Channel, you can add a new or existing List so your team can organize, collaborate, track, and chat side by side. You can easily add or create your List by going to the channel that you want to start a tracking list. Next, hit the plus (+) button and select the Lists app from the tab gallery. Once the tab is added, you can either create a new list or bring in another list from a SharePoint site or from another Team into the channel as a new tab. Personal Lists cannot be added. You can now track your List in the Teams mobile app too by going to the channel the List has been added to.

@Mention Colleagues in the Team Chat and a List Item

Contributors in the Lists app in Teams and the Lists app on the web can be called out with @mention which will send them either a Teams notification (for Lists in Teams) or email notification (for the web app) and will link them directly to the list item. An icon will appear next to the List item if there is a comment attached to it. The comment can be viewed by clicking on it, and it can be deleted by the originating author.

Visualize Item Milestones in Calendar View

For a quick snapshot of events and milestone dates, your list can be viewed as a calendar. Unlike the default views, this view must be created but it can live alongside the default views or other custom views.

Make Quick Updates with Grid View and Bulk Actions

In the Edit in Grid View, quick updates or edits to multiple list items can be performed with ease. In the item card, you can edit freely by double-clicking on the item cell or by selecting multiple cells. In edit mode, you can navigate from cell to cell by keyboard commands, adjust columns, and many more actions.

Get Notified When Information Changes

How do you know if someone alters information in your list? Simple. By creating a rule that will send an email notifying you with a direct link to the changed item.

Applying Conditional Formatting to Change How Your Lists and List Items Appear

Conditional formatting, based on the criteria of your list items, can be applied in Lists to improve how columns and rows are displayed. This can be set up by:

  1. Open the column drop-down menu;
  2. Select column settings;
  3. Select format this column;
  4. Check the conditional formatting option
  5. Select manage rule to create the conditional simple, sentence-based rule. For example, If [Deadline] [is before] [Today], show list item as [red colour] will result in overdue list items to be highlighted red.

Notably, you can add more than one condition, allowing you to highlight and visually bring forward information to the eye by setting it apart from the other information.

These are just a few tips and tricks that will help manage, utilize, and maximize productivity through Lists.

Microsoft Lists

At Ignite 2021, Microsoft announced many great new features to the Microsoft 365 app Lists. Getting organized and on track, for yourself or your team, has never been easier. Flexible, easy to create, and customizable, Lists can track and organize based on the type of information you want to track or the level of automation and formatting that you want to build in.

Board View

Lists data in Board View utilizes Kanban board’s efficiency of work and process flow. Board View easily facilitates tracking items that are moving forward in a process or workflow by simply dragging and dropping the display card to its appropriate stage in the process or workflow within its vertical column. Columns are configured from the data in your list, and you can configure which columns will display which cards and the order that you want them to be displayed in.

Creating a Board View

  1. Go to your List;
  2. Select the View drop-down list;
  3. Choose Create New View;
  4. Name your view;
  5. Select Board under the Show as section;
  6. Organize your board by Choose a column drop-down menu;
  7. Choose how you want the columns to be organized with one of the three options: Create a new column to organize by, Priority, and Progress;
  8. Your Board View is now created and ready for user consumption.

Users can drag and drop card items displayed on the board and can move them as they move through the different phases and stages of the workflow. The values of the columns will automatically update to reflect these changes.

Modern Lookup Columns

Centralizing lists that contain information you frequently use while providing easy maintenance at the team level, Modern Lookup Columns allow you to connect a list to a column from another list on your site. After connecting the lists, you can easily search for other information to include in your new list.

Create and View Lists from the SharePoint App Bar

From within the SharePoint app bar, not only will you be able to start creating lists as an action, but you will also be able to view these lists. From anywhere within SharePoint, one can now stay in the workflow by jumping straight into the list viewing or creation process.  

Microsoft Lists Rich-Text Editor (RTE) Update

In Grid view, List text columns can easily be edited with the new rich-text editor. Formatting can be easily applied, and changes can be undone before being finalized.

Microsoft Lists Improved Link Sharing

Like files, Lists can now be shared in the manner that you prefer with link-sharing capabilities. Link sharing settings include who you want your Lists to be shared with, including Anyone with the link, People within Your Organization, People with Existing Access, and Specific People. In addition to specifying your audience, you can decide who Can Edit Items, Set Expiration Date, and Set Password.

Microsoft Lists for Androids

Like Microsoft Lists for iOS, Lists for Android will allow you to access your recent and favourite lists, view, edit, and organize list items, create a new list with a template, and scan and upload documents as attachments to the items.

Microsoft Lists Offline

Working with Lists has never been more convenient. With the OneDrive sync app installed on your device, the Lists that you work with will now be automatically synced to your Windows device. Working offline, you can load, view, and edit list data with speed regardless of the number of items in the view or indexed columns as views are not throttled inside your sync lists.

Create in

Lists can now be Created in Office by clicking on the plus (+) sign in addition to documents, presentations, spreadsheets, forms, quizzes, pages, and notebooks. Your newly created List can be accessed from the recent, favourite, and shared sections.

Lists and Power Platform

Customizing List templates can be designed by programming in the Power Platform for the app experience while List rules can be pre-created for use when a new List is created.

Microsoft Lists, built upon the SharePoint platform, brings additional power to collaboration whether online or offline, on iOS, macOS, Windows, or Android platforms.

Microsoft Graph Connectors with Microsoft Search

In the February SharePoint Roadmap Pitstop, it was announced that two new Graph Connectors were released for Atlassian Confluence and Jira. Microsoft Search is powerful on its own as it indexes all Microsoft 365 data, thereby enabling this data to be searchable by users, but with two new Graph Connectors, the ability to search has become more powerful as third-party data can now be indexed, searched, and displayed in the Microsoft Search results. The Graph Connector for Confluence cloud will now index Confluence pages and blogs from Microsoft Search endpoints, such as SharePoint,, Bing, and others, making them searchable. The Graph Connector for Jira cloud will index Jira issues and tickets, allowing this data to be searchable for users.

Graph Connectors connect platforms so data can be shared seamlessly and smoothly. Microsoft provides 9 Graph Connectors while partners provide over 100 and there are many more that have been custom built to suit an organization’s needs.

Microsoft Graph Connectors – Microsoft

Microsoft Graph Connectors will allow you to connect with the following data sources:

  1. Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2
  2. Azure DevOps*
  3. Azure SQL and Microsoft SQL Server
  4. Confluence Cloud
  5. Confluence On-Premises*
  6. Enterprise Websites
  7. MediaWiki
  8. File Share
  9. Oracle SQL
  10. Salesforce
  11. ServiceNow Knowledge
  12. ServiceNow Catalog*

          * As of March 2022, these Graph Connectors are only available in preview.  

Brief descriptions of these Graph Connectors can be found in the Microsoft Graph Connectors Gallery. Additional information and instructions are located in the Setup Overview document which will assist when the comes time to connect one of these data sources to your tenant.

Microsoft Graph Connectors – Partners

Partners who have created a connector are listed in the Microsoft Graph Connectors Gallery with a short description of the connector plus a link to their website is included. Partners will be able to answer any questions or inquiries direct.   

Microsoft Graph Connectors – Building Your Own  

If your preference is to build your connector, you can do so by reading Build Your First Custom Microsoft Graph Connector which provides a step-by-step approach to build your first connector. Greater detail for developers can be found in the documentation on building connectors at the Microsoft Graph Connectors Overview.

Configuring and Managing Microsoft Graph Connectors

Both managing and configuring the Graph Connectors are accomplished through the Microsoft 365 Admin Centre and under the Connections tab.  

Search results can be customized and configured for Graph Connectors by managing:

  1. Search Verticals: the results appearing on the search result page under the tabs will be based on specific types of sources or from select sources. These are managed on two levels. The first is the organizational level where search results initiated from a SharePoint start page, Microsoft Office, and Microsoft Search in Bing. The second is at the site level where search results are initiated from a SharePoint site.
  2. Search Result Types: on the search results page, Graph Connectors content will be displayed in a layout that is designed by using result types.
  3. Search Result Layouts: the custom vertical result layout can be designed by implementing the layout designer. You can either start by choosing a pre-configured template that meets the requirements, edit a pre-configured template by either modifying text, adding or removing text, and adding or removing images, or choose a blank template to design your customized layout.
  4. Result Clusters: these are results grouped based on the configuration of the search vertical and allow users to discover third-party content in one location from their All tab and default view in SharePoint,, and Microsoft Search in Bing.
  5. Custom Filters: two types of filters allow users to refine their query for greater refined results. Out-of-the-box filters include the default search filters Files, All, News, and Images. Custom filters are added to custom search verticals at both organization and site levels.  

With Microsoft Graph Connectors, the power of Search has been exponentially increased through the inclusion of indexed data from third parties. Users can now search across many more resources, gather more information, increase knowledge, work more collaboratively, and make better-informed decisions.