The 5 best free apps within Microsoft Teams

Apps integrated into Microsoft Teams are an effective way to merge valuable features with a helpful program. The goal here for Microsoft Teams is to create an effective communication and management platform for users to work in the most proactive manner possible. However, you may be wondering which apps are the best and which ones will provide the most useful for your daily usage of Teams. Follow through for more information as I give a comprehensive guide on which apps are the best within the Teams application. 

The best app The best in Which category 
Polly Best third-party app
Tasks by Planner and to do  Best first-party app
Attendance Bot  Best punctuality app 
ScrumGenius  Best helpful hands app
TeamViewer  Best Remote management

After some extensive searching, I found the applications above to be the most useful apps in Microsoft Teams. I wanted to cover a wide range of functions users can find helpful; therefore, I selected the above applications.  

  • The best third-party app: This application has shown the most valuable features from the applications that Microsoft does not create; they are essentially applications that have partnered with teams to help integrate their tools and functions into Teams. Polly is the best in this category due to its ability to retain engagement in a Team chat. When users engage in a survey or questionnaire, it generates a level of consideration and cares for their opinion; this is essential if you want to create unity between members of a Team and get essential feedback.  
  • Best first-party app:  This is an integrated application created by Microsoft and integrated within Teams. This distinction has to go to “Tasks by Planner and to do.” This application is a planning application created by Teams to help users manage tasks, set accomplishments, and segment a day-to-day approach in your workplace. From personal experience, I can say that this is the best first-party app offered by Teams. Tasks is a practical approach to time management that helps users properly segment their goals, helping to achieve them in the most effective manner possible.  
  • Best punctuality app: Punctuality is key to ensuring a good, productive, and well-organized approach to work or academic life. For good punctuality, it’s essential to have good attendance at the very beginning of a workday— this is where the Attendance bot application comes into use. With this application, you can easily monitor your Team member’s attendance and log this record directly within Teams.  
  • Best helpful hands app: ScrumGenius is a tool for automating team status meetings. Running automatic check-ins and stand-ups is a simple method to automate your daily status meetings, weekly retrospectives, and one-on-one check-ins. This category of app is dedicated to the most useful application on the list; when you can delegate tasks, it frees your time to do more things; this is why having an application that can automate specific processes can be helpful for better time management.  
  • Best Remote management: A collaborative approach between team members is essential to attain success most effectively— this is why an application that helps users better collaborate with different elements of a team is practical. The application that best fits this category is TeamViewer which works well in the Microsoft Teams platform. This app allows colleagues to connect devices, better integrate, and improve teamwork, allowing for productivity.  

These are the best applications you can use to enhance your experience with Teams. Below is a more in-depth guide on each application, its pros, and its cons. I will also discuss the uses you may find for each of the applications mentioned above. Follow through for more information.  

Polly in Microsoft Teams

Polly is a survey software for Microsoft Teams that allows you to construct surveys in your channel or group chat. It provides a quick and easy option for your co-workers to vote on a single subject. You need to give questions and answers, and Polly will handle the vote-counting analytics in real-time. To design and send your survey, mention @polly and wait for the results to display. 

Polly is personally the best application by a third-party company as the feature set is incredibly diverse and allows for quite an adequate degree of convenience for users. Anonymity, scheduling, showing or hiding results, and multiple votes are all available as sophisticated customization options. Turn on comments to hear what your co-workers have to say, and an easy-to-use discussion board will appear. 

How to use Polly 

Below is a guide on using Polly; I will talk about how to download the application and provide screenshots to depict what the information is displaying; go through the guide below for more information. 

  • Firstly, open Teams.  
  • From there, click on “Apps.”  
  • Use the search bar to find Polly.  
  • Click on “Add to Team.”  
  • Now go to “Teams.”  
  • From there, select your Team.  
  • Now click on the “+” symbol.  
  • From there, click on “Polly.”  
  • Begin by selecting your “Audience.”  

For this example, I have selected “Co-workers or Employees” as I work in an office: this is a perfect example for me to use. 

  • Select the “Goal.”  

Set the goals based on what you think are the appropriate metrics to gather; if you find you need to collect some feedback on recent tasks, you can use the “General Feedback” option; however, if you find that you need some performance metrics, you can use the “Evaluate Performance” tab to measure those metrics. For my example, I have chosen the second option on the list. 

  • Select a “Polly” to create.  
  • Fill out the suggestion box.  
  • Finally, click on “Send now.” 

That’s it. Once the steps above have been completed, Polly polls will have been successfully sent to the users, who can then give their feedback or provide information as necessary. You can use this to get judgments on specific topics, create polls on opinions or even have a digital suggestion pot where users can submit suggestions on various subjects related to the company. 

Tasks by Planner and to do in Microsoft Teams

The Tasks by Planner and To-Do app in Microsoft Teams from Office 365 combines your individual and personal To Do and Outlook tasks with your team’s Microsoft Planner tasks. When you can view all of your work in one spot, project management becomes much more accessible. Finally, this makes task management of your to-do list a little easier. The Tasks by Planner and To-Do app are discussed in this video and article. 

How to use Tasks by Planner and to do 

  • Firstly, open Teams.  
  • From there, click on “Apps.”  
  • Use the search bar to find Tasks by Planner and to do.  
  • Click on “Add to Team.”  
  • Now go to “Teams.”  
  • From there, select your Team.  
  • Now click on the “+” symbol.  
  • From there, click on “Tasks by Planner and to do.”  
  • Create a new plan, then click on “Save.”  
  • Now click on “Add task.”  
  • Fill out the task information, then click on “Add task.”  
  • Now click the task and make the task for users.  
  • Set a checklist by adding items.  
  • Finally, close the panel.  

Once the steps are complete, you will have successfully created a task in Teams and planned it for users within your Team. Users you send tasks to will complete them by simply checking points on the checklist to proceed ahead. 

Attendance Bot in Microsoft Teams

You can use AttendanceBot to track holidays, paid time off, employee shift planning, sick days, remote work, and hours. It’s beneficial for remote teams with simple ‘in’ and ‘out’ communication and clock in and out. It allows you to log your working hours and export timesheets directly from Microsoft Teams. You can maintain track of how much time you spend on different projects and clients and see the results on a dashboard. 

A good measure of punctuality will allow users to map out their schedules more effectively. With this application in Teams, you can better manage time— this is a better approach for employees and employers in general. 

How to use Attendance Bot 

  • Firstly, open Teams.  
  • From there, click on “Apps.”  
  • Use the search bar to find Attendance Bot.   
  • Click on “Add to Team.”  
  • The bot will send a card to your chat inbox; use this to navigate to the “AttendanceBot Settings Panel.”  
  • Now go to “Time Tracking Settings.”  
  • Set out the credentials.  
  • Now users will automatically be set a standardized time approach to their work schedule. 

Once the steps above have been completed, you will have successfully created a much better approach to managing time and ensuring punctuality remains critical within your working environment. 

ScrumGenius in Microsoft Teams

ScrumGenius is a tool for automating team status meetings. It asks team members a series of questions every day at a fixed time about what they completed the day before, what their tasks are for today, and what roadblocks they encountered. ScrumGenius will then provide team leaders with a summary of the team’s findings so they can keep track of what transpired each day. Running automatic check-ins and stand-ups is a simple method to automate your daily status meetings, weekly retrospectives, and one-on-one check-ins. 

How to use ScrumGenius 

  • Firstly, open Teams.  
  • From there, click on “Apps.”  
  • Use the search bar to find ScrumGenius.   
  • Click on “Add to Team.”    
  • Now go to “Teams.”  
  • From there, select your Team.  
  • Now click on the “+” symbol.  
  • From there, click on “ScrumGenius.” 
  • Now click on “Add.” 
  • Press “Save.” 
  • Sign in with your account credentials or, more conveniently, your Microsoft credentials. 
  • Verify and create your final account. 

Finally, you can proceed to use the application’s various metric features to monitor effective communication protocols. 

ScrumGenius automates check-ins and stand-ups to assist managers in keeping track of their staff’s progress, goals, and performance. Let ScrumGenius keep your agile sprints on track for you! ScrumGenius goes above and beyond other stand-up bots in that it keeps track of your team’s status updates, goals, and team blocks. ScrumGenius interfaces with third-party applications like JIRA, GitHub, and Azure DevOps to show your team’s activities and status updates. Your staff will find it simple to utilize. ScrumGenius will give you a note if you install it on your team. To get started, sign up for our service. We’ll bring in all of your team members and set up some example reports in your dashboard. 

TeamViewer in Microsoft Teams

TeamViewer is feature-rich remote access, control, and support solution that works with nearly most device platforms, including Mac and Windows. TeamViewer allows you to connect to computers or mobile devices anywhere globally and utilize them as if you were physically present. Plus, with our secure worldwide remote access network, you may connect to servers, commercial-grade equipment, and IoT devices from anywhere, at any time. 

How to use TeamViewer 

  • Firstly, open Teams.  
  • From there, click on “Apps.”  
  • Use the search bar to find “TeamViewer.” 
  • Click on “Add to Team.”    
  • The app icon will be added to the menu bar; click on “Get Started.” 
  • Login or Signup. 
  • On your app dashboard, you will be able to pair devices; use this code to achieve this. 
  • Finally, input the details to give remote access on your other device. 

You can now remotely access a mobile device from your computer. You can remotely control a device from the parent device providing the ID when you access it.  

Collaboration between team members is critical for success, whether it’s in producing a new product, assisting customers, or operational on-site teams. Good communication can be a considerable challenge when people want to use different communication tools, share information in different ways and formats, and need a solution available wherever they are on whatever device. The Microsoft Teams platform provides various communication options and operates as a central repository for all of the artifacts that teams use to complete their duties. 

The addition of TeamViewer to Microsoft Teams expands the platform’s capabilities by allowing co-workers to communicate with one another via remote device access and augmented reality connections in addition to regular chat, VoIP, and video conversations. When you “only need to see” what the problem is and trying to explain it is wasteful, this provides a huge benefit. In circumstances when physical actions are required, AR connections are a must-have since you can ‘virtually’ point and draw in the user’s viewport to illustrate in detail what to do. 

Saajid Gangat

Saajid Gangat has been a researcher and content writer at Business Tech Planet since 2021. Saajid is a tech-savvy writer with expertise in web and graphic design and has extensive knowledge of Microsoft 365, Adobe, Shopify, WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and more! You can connect with Saajid on Linkedin.

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