Top 5 Productivity Features in SharePoint 2013
There are lots and lots of great new things coming in SharePoint 2013. Here is a list of the top 5 things that will change your life. Well, maybe not your life, but most probably the way you work:
Intranets remain a great place to communicate with and between staff. SharePoint 2013 introduces an array of features to allow people to stay up to date on what is going on in your organisation. Hash tagging, micro blogging, and follow concepts come together to provide a great way to stay up to date on the most important updates in your intranet. Now you can follow people, and even documents. No need for barrages of alerts whenever a document changes. Just keep up with the latest modifications using your newsfeed which, by the way, is a great place to start and join conversations with your co-workers, and find out what is trending in the organisation using hash tags.
A great new site template,community sites, allows organisations to drive adoption and encourage knowledge sharing using reputation scores, best replies and gifted badges. Users can easily join the conversation and share ideas on the category driven discussion boards.Next...
Managing tasks is a bane in most people's lives, and most people have different ways of managing and tracking tasks. Because of this there are now many new ways to track tasks in SharePoint.
- Newsfeed discussions have a follow up option. This automatically creates a task in your My Tasks area.
- The My Tasks page now aggregates all of your tasks in you SharePoint farm. No more hunting around for workflow or team tasks in hidden sub sites and task lists.
- Even Outlook tasks get synchronised with your My Tasks giving you one place to track all to do items.
- A new timeline allows you to track progress easily and visually.
- Tasks can be grouped together and indented to allow better tracking of related tasks.
- MS Project 2013 now fully integrates with SharePoint 2013 task lists. This means you get a two-way sync between your project file and the underlying task list.
Better Email Integration
Emails and documents go together like love and marriage. Well, they should do at least? Looking at the last three versions of SharePoint you would hardly believe that it originated in its infant days as an exchange public folder solution.
SharePoint 2010 introduced the ability to index Exchange public folders into the search results. This was a great way to find emails, but still no solution to store and classify emails. SharePoint 2013 introduces the Site Mailbox!
The Site Mailbox feature creates an exchange inbox for a SharePoint site. Now you can cc your SharePoint sites, drag and drop emails into the site mailbox and forward important emails to SharePoint at the click of a button. You can also drag and drop attachments and documents directly from email messages into the document library which is associated with the SharePoint site. Effectively what is happening here is a symbiosis between Exchange and SharePoint. While SharePoint maintains the documents, Exchange maintains the emails; each doing what they do best but the interfaces have been brought together to provide a seamless experience. Well, mostly seamless…
Another great email management feature is the eDiscovery Centre. A site template which allows the legal team to search for content across the farm including people's inboxes, put content and inboxes on legal hold and create extracts of documents and emails for compliance and auditing purposes.Next...
Faster, Better, Stronger Search
Effective search is one of the most important functionalities of any SharePoint farm. It is the most common success factor of intranet projects and document management solutions. No wonder then, that search keeps on getting better with the SharePoint generations. Effectively all the bells and whistles available only to FAST search customers is now part of the OOB experience. Some of the latest additions include:
- Native .pdf support
- Dictionary now managed in the Term Store
- Document previews
- Ability to modify ranking criteria in the user interface using query rules
- Graphical refiners
- View in library link (so simple and yet so loved)
- Newsfeed search and special video results page.
Simplified Document Management
Several usability features make document management a breeze in SharePoint 2013. Expanding on SharePoint's already strong version control and check in/check out and template functionality, SharePoint 2013 has increased productivity for users by reducing the complexity and number of clicks it takes to perform tasks. Areas where this can best be seen include:
- drag and drop content directly into your document libraries
- item menus now contain a live document preview for Office documents with one click editing
- viewing item properties suggests similar documents in common to the current item with see also functionality.
- simplified share functionality visibly identifies who the document is shared with and allows for invitations to be sent.