Microsoft Loop app – Introduction
A new app in Microsoft 365 called Microsoft Loop features interactive elements. You can collaborate on (task)lists, tables, or notes in a chat, email, or document using the loop components. Microsoft Loop has been available in Microsoft 365 since it was initially shown at the Microsoft Ignite conference in 2021.
We can currently collaborate on documents and share OneNotes within Microsoft 365. The issue, though, is that some people favor using Outlook to keep track of tasks, while others could use OneNote or even Teams to exchange work.
Microsoft Loop can help with this. You can build Loop Components and distribute them around the many Microsoft 365 applications.
What is the Microsoft Loop App?
Microsoft Loop is fundamentally all about versatility!
The Microsoft Loop app is a lot more than a simple tool for collaboration. It is a platform that makes it possible for businesses to automate and streamline their procedures. The loop app makes it simple to assemble all the tools and teams needed to complete their task because of its strong connectivity with other Microsoft 365 apps and services. Microsoft now offers numbered lists, bulleted lists, checklists, paragraphs, tables, voting tables, and task lists as loop components.
The three elements of Loop
Users can access its three essential components, workspaces, and pages, using the Microsoft Loop app, which serves as the platform’s center.
Users of Loop Components can copy pieces into other applications for the best collaboration while always maintaining the data within the component in sync and current, whether that be in Word, Whiteboard, or Outlook. Any adjustments made, for instance, will be done in real-time between the email and Microsoft Teams if a user builds a Loop table component within Microsoft Teams and shares that table with another user via email.
Range of elements
The elements range from simple notes and tables to more complex ones seen in Dynamics 365. Additionally, Loop provides a progress Tracker, a dynamic table that users can update as needed to keep other users informed of the most recent project progress.
It’s also crucial to remember that Microsoft has made it possible for many Microsoft 365 components to continue to function, including governance and permissions settings. The proper permissions can be specified to reflect a Project Manager’s decision to limit access to a Loop component to a certain group of users. Colleagues can also be @mentioned to guarantee that they receive notices of updates intended for them. Users have the option of pinning components within Microsoft Teams, making it very simple to find their content, in addition to having it appear in their feed.
These serve as the focal point for team collaboration. They are workspaces that offer areas to make sure your colleagues can see everything connected to a project or concept. A user can immediately discover what they may have missed and start contributing by logging back into the workplace. This is comparable to how Microsoft Teams’ channels are organized. This can improve project visibility for a project manager and prevent work from being done twice by different team members. This makes it possible for the team to jointly plan a project’s success. Users are kept informed of the team’s overall activity, and anyone can respond virtually or contribute comments or opinions to another person’s contribution.
In a sense, Loop pages are stronger versions of OneNote pages. The pages serve as a versatile canvas where you may collaboratively organize concepts, documents, and other information in real time with your team. You can enter text there, add additional loop components, and quickly respond to ideas or content to share your thoughts.
Loop pages are currently testable in the Public Preview version. By the year’s end, it’s likely to be made available alongside Loop workplaces.
What are Microsoft Loop’s main advantages?
- Effective cooperation Employees who collaborate on documents and monitor each other’s progress in real time will inevitably become more organized and efficient.
- Collaboration will be better because of the remote aspect of work, which frequently leaves team members feeling “out of the loop” or unconnected from their group and a project. Even if your team members are scattered around the globe, real-time collaboration will make them feel more connected.
- Project transparency is made possible by Microsoft Loop Workspaces, which provides users complete control over a project and quick access to each object.
How to use Microsoft Loop
Current public preview versions of the Microsoft Loop program (Loop Workspaces) and Loop pages are available. There is currently no release date listed for the workplace app on the Microsoft Roadmap. However, we may test the Loop App online and use the Loop components that are already present in the apps listed below.
- Outlook Online
- Word Online
Although generating loop components in Whiteboard is not presently supported, you can copy and paste them into a Whiteboard page from one of the other apps. Whiteboard component creation will be made available starting in the summer of 2023.
Adding Loop Components in Teams
Therefore, let’s begin with Microsoft Teams. Teams are frequently used today to cooperate with coworkers. At this time, only Teams Chats and not channels allow the addition of loop components.
Opening a conversation is necessary before adding a Loop component to Teams:
- Select the Loop icon.
- Choose the element you want to add.
- Give the component a title and, optionally, some content.
- To allow others to edit the component, click Send.
All chat participants can edit the loop component in real time after you press submit. You can mention people by using the @ key, and by hitting //, you can remark on items.
The / key is used to add additional components inside the loop component. In comparison to utilizing the loop icon in the message bar, doing this will provide you with even more options:
- Task List
- Voting table
- Progress tracker
- Bulleted list
- Numbered list
Adding Loop Components in Outlook
Both Outlook Desktop and Outlook Online both provide loop components. The components don’t seem to load right now on the desktop app alone, however, that will be fixed shortly.
You must first open a new email and select the Loop component icon to add a component to it. Choose one of the elements to include in your email, just like with. Again, before the participants may access and update the component, you must send the email.
When a loop component is added to Outlook, users can update the component without having to respond to emails. By simply opening the email in the example above, Megan can cross tasks off her to-do list:
A loop component can also be added to a Calendar event. To add the component, be sure to click on the event’s description field. For instance, you may share the Loop component in a Team chat with coworkers and add a list of meeting points you’d like to discuss so they can add items to the meeting in real-time.
The use of Loop components is also supported by Microsoft Whiteboard. The whiteboard, scheduled for introduction around July 2023, cannot currently accommodate the addition of new loop components. However, elements can be copied and pasted onto the whiteboard.
Either click the copy icon inside the Loop component or pick the component in Outlook or Teams and then copy it. Use Ctrl + V to paste the element into your whiteboard.
As of right now, the Microsoft Loop App is accessible in Public Preview, allowing you to try out an early build of the app. You might need to first enable the Loop App for your company since it isn’t enabled by default. For a short guide, look further down in the article.
Loop App is a collection of pages where you can add loop components like notes, ideas, and photos. You can build various projects or categories by grouping the pages.
Real-time collaboration is the core of Loop. We can therefore share pages, work on multiple pages at once, add comments, and of course, emojis, exactly like we can with components. It’s simple to add components by typing / and the component name, or you can choose one from the list.
In addition to sharing pages, we may copy page elements and use them as loop components. Click the three dots (more) in the toolbar that appears after selecting the text or checkbox. To build a unique component, click the Build Loop component.
The component may then be readily shared with Teams, allowing others to amend the checklist, for example.
It’s also useful to know that, like your Word documents, the Loop pages have a version history. By selecting the three dots (Settings) in the top-right area next to your profile symbol, you may access the version history.
How to Enable or Disable Microsoft Loop
For all renters, Microsoft Loop is turned on by default. However, using PowerShell you can disable it in your tenant. Make sure you have the PowerShell SharePoint module installed and that you are using the most recent version because we will need to connect to SharePoint Online for this.
Enable the Loop App
The Loop App is now available for public preview at loop.microsoft.com. If you attempt to open it in Microsoft 365, you will see a warning that the loop app is not enabled in your company by default.
Only the IT administrator can enable the Loop App. PowerShell cannot currently be used for that; instead, a cloud policy must be created:
- Activate config.office.com
- Select Policy Management under Customization after expanding it.
- To establish a new policy (or update an existing one), click establish.
- Name the Policy, for instance, Enable Loop.
- You must decide the security group to use for the scope. This enables you to either enable Loop for all users or test it out with a small number of people. In Azure AD, groups can be created.
- Find any policy loopholes
- To make each policy active, click on it.
- To create the policy, click Create and then Next.
The policy may not go into force for up to 24 hours after you have created it. Any changes you make to an existing policy take effect after 90 minutes. After I signed out and back in for my tenant, it started working after 5 minutes.
Microsoft Loop will provide an additional method for simple teamwork. Sharing an interactive work list with your team fast is fantastic. The key benefit is that it can be used in many Microsoft 365 apps, but mostly in Teams. The ability to swiftly exchange ideas, etc. from within the chat can significantly increase cooperation in the modern world when we frequently engage with Teams.
I’m interested to see how OneNote will function when Loops Workspace and Pages are launched later this year. Will Loops replace OneNote in the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, or will OneNote still have a role there?
With any luck, you now have a better idea of what Microsoft Loops is and what it can do. Please leave a question in the comments section if you have any.
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