The Ultimate Guide to Templates in Microsoft 365: A Powerful Feature to Boost Your Productivity

Templates are one of the most useful features of Microsoft 365 that can help you create amazing content in less time and with less effort. Templates are pre-designed sites, documents, lists, libraries, or teams that you can customize to suit your needs.

In this series of articles, I will explain what each one of these types of templates is and how to create them to take advantage of the same structures over and over again. I will also share some tips and best practices to help you train your users to be more productive. Keep reading!

Microsoft 365 Templates

One of the challenges that many organizations face in the 21st century is how to adapt to the rapid changes in technology and the labor market. According to The Future of Jobs Report 2023 from the World Economic Forum, one of the top priorities of organizations for the next five years is to accelerate automation processes.

Automation report

Using templates in Microsoft 365 is one way of contributing to the automation process and enjoying many benefits, such as:

  • Speeding up the creation process: You can use templates to create content faster and more efficiently, without having to start from scratch or repeat the same steps over and over again.
  • Keeping consistency around content: You can use templates to ensure that your content follows the same style, format, and branding across your organization, which can improve your professional image and credibility.
  • Creating the ultimate working experience: You can use templates to enhance your productivity and collaboration, as well as your creativity and innovation. By using templates, you can focus on the most important and valuable aspects of your work, while letting Microsoft 365 handle the rest. You can also create a more engaging and user-friendly experience for your audience, as they will be immediately familiar with anything new created.

What templates can you customize in Microsoft 365?

In Microsoft 365, you will find several different types of templates that you can use for various purposes. Here is the list of templates that you can customize with your own content:

  • SharePoint site templates: These are templates that you can use to create a new SharePoint site with a predefined layout, design, and functionality. You can use SharePoint site templates to create sites for different scenarios, such as team collaboration, project management, communication, or knowledge management.

    Coming soon

  • SharePoint Page templates: These are templates that you can use to create a new page with a predefined layout, web parts, and content. You can use page templates to create pages for different purposes, such as news, announcements, reports, or dashboards.

    Coming soon

  • SharePoint list templates: One of the features of SharePoint is the ability to create and use custom list templates for different purposes. Custom list templates are collections of columns, views, and data that can be reused to create new lists. They can help you save time and ensure consistency across your organization. However, you may also want to manage the availability of these templates and remove the ones that are no longer needed or relevant. In the following articles, you can learn how to add and remove custom list templates from your organization and you can also find a handy template for a to do list that your users can integrate in projects or use in SharePoint pages.

    Microsoft List templates

  • SharePoint Document library templates: Document library templates are a new feature in SharePoint that allow you to create a new document library with a predefined structure, columns, views and automation flows. This can help you organize and manage different types of documents, such as policies, procedures, contracts, or proposals. Document library templates can save you time and effort, as well as ensure consistency and quality across your document libraries. If you want to learn more about document library templates, how to create them, and how to use them, you can read the following article:
    Office document templates
  • Office documents templates: Office templates are pre-designed files that you can use to create new documents, presentations, spreadsheets, or forms with a predefined design, content, and functionality. Office templates can help you create files for different scenarios, such as resumes, invoices, budgets, or surveys. You can also create organization templates that are available to all your users in Microsoft 365.
    To do this, you will need to create an organization asset library in SharePoint. An organization asset library is a special type of document library that can store and distribute organization templates across your Microsoft 365 environment. To learn how to effectively distribute organization wide document templates, you can read the following article:
    Office document templates
  • Microsoft Teams templates: These are templates that you can use to create a new team with a predefined set of channels, tabs, apps, and settings. You can use Microsoft Teams templates to create teams for different types of collaboration, such as education, healthcare, retail, or government.

    Coming soon

  • Microsoft Teams meeting templates: One of the features that Microsoft Teams Premium offers is the ability to use meeting templates. Meeting templates are useful to automate the meeting settings that are otherwise configured by the organizer every time a meeting is created. For example, you can use a meeting template to set the meeting title, agenda, participants, roles, and options for each type of meeting. This way, you can save time and ensure consistency across your meetings.

    Coming soon

  • White board templates: Microsoft Whiteboard templates let you create and save customized layouts for new whiteboards. This can help you work faster and more consistently with different types of whiteboards. You can also share your templates with others and collaborate more effectively. Whiteboard templates are a powerful tool for brainstorming, organizing, and teamwork.

    Coming soon

This article is not a static document, but a dynamic one that reflects the latest developments in Microsoft 365. As more templates are added to the platform, I will continue to update this article to include more information about how you can use them to automate your workflows and tasks. My goal is to provide you with the most comprehensive and up-to-date guide on Microsoft 365 templates and how they can help you work smarter and faster. Stay tuned for more updates and tips on using Microsoft 365 templates.

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I've been working with Microsoft Technologies over the last ten years, mainly focused on creating collaboration and productivity solutions that drive the adoption of Microsoft Modern Workplace.

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