On the Practical 365 podcast this week, we’re bringing you a pre-Microsoft Ignite 2021 special with a deep dive into Microsoft Lists. And, who better to join us to talk Lists than Microsoft’s Mark Kashman.
Mark and I begin with a quick primer on Microsoft Lists – so if you haven’t used it yet, then you’ll find out what it is and where it fits within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem. We also discuss who should use it, and explore when Microsoft Lists is the right tool to use instead of SharePoint Lists, Microsoft To-Do, Planner or even Office apps like Microsoft Excel.
After exploring when to use Microsoft Lists, Mark talks to use about why. We explore use-cases and opportunities to benefit from it and Mark gives us great examples of when Lists is the perfect tool. In particular, Microsoft Lists is good if you need to track and share information. Mark talks about how he uses Lists day-to-day, which you can read more about on his personal website, the Kashbox – talk about “eating your own dogfood!”
For SharePoint folks we then venture into what is usually familiar territory, but if you are using Microsoft Lists as a standalone tool, then you’ll find this eye-opening. For years, SharePoint Lists have been a core foundation for building asset management and similar tools on SharePoint, but making them look great or customising them required expert skills. Customizations are much simpler with Microsoft Lists these days, but if you want to go further – in the same way you can with SharePoint Lists, exactly the same principles apply, because Microsoft Lists are SharePoint Lists. This means we can build applications, like Power Apps using Microsoft Lists for data storage and use Power Automate to trigger actions based on data being added or modified. Using more complex frameworks, we can also build custom interfaces within SharePoint using SPFx, using data in Microsoft Lists. It’s what SharePoint focused IT professionals have been doing for some time, but Microsoft Lists allows beginning that journey and creating a usable proof-of-concept much simpler, and replaces the need for a custom interface in many cases.
Finally, we touch on user adoption. In the past, launching SharePoint Lists would seem an unusual task – especially as getting started required expert help. Microsoft Lists is taking a different approach here, as it has it’s own app – now available on iOS, coming to Android and is already a first-party app inside Microsoft Teams. People will discover it, and wonder what it is. We talk about the new day in the life scenarios that Mark has been involved with and how these are published as part of Microsoft’s wider adoption guidance. They are designed to make it easy to show people how to use Microsoft Lists for particular job roles or tasks.
Microsoft Lists will be featured next week at Microsoft Ignite 2021, so be sure the register for the Updates to Microsoft 365 experiences in Teams, Lists, OneDrive, Stream and more session, and Paul and myself will be discussing everything new next Friday on the show.
You can also check out Mark’s podcast, The Intrazone, which is worth adding to your subscriptions – alongside Practical 365, of course.