6 Tips for SharePoint Beginners

SharePoint has grown into a leading business collaboration resource over the last decade —more than 250,000 organizations and 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies use it.

As adoption soars, more companies are seeking out power users who know the ins and outs of SharePoint.

Whether you’re looking to increase your business impact or gain marketable skills, learning SharePoint will position you for career success. Read on for the complete guide to learning SharePoint and tips for SharePoint beginners.

Why You Should Learn Microsoft SharePoint

SharePoint facilitates collaboration. As a robust content management tool, it’s designed to make companies and individuals work better together.

Due to the platform’s popularity, SharePoint skills apply to a wide range of industries, careers and occupations, from sales and executive teams to human resources, IT and operations.

Learning Microsoft SharePoint can expand your career opportunities, streamline work and business processes and increase collaboration across your organization. Having SharePoint experience will also make you a valuable asset during an Office 365 implementation.

Here are a few capabilities and benefits of SharePoint:

  • Create internal company websites or intranets for easy information access and sharing among team members.
  • Centralize document storage and collaboration with SharePoint’s content management system.
  • Track tasks, clients and other items in list formats that provide richer functionality than doing the same via Excel alone.
  • Integrate SharePoint with major Microsoft applications and services, including Office 365 and OneDrive.

How to Learn SharePoint

SharePoint’s central role in Microsoft’s ecosystem and widespread enterprise use makes it a valuable tool for everyone from the C-suite to the front lines of the customer service department.

But just as it can take business users years to master all the intricacies of Excel, learning the ins and outs of SharePoint requires consistent practice.

Here are a few tips to learn SharePoint:

  • Start using it. As a beginner, the best way to start learning SharePoint is to dive right in. Use the tools. Create a SharePoint team site. Poke around and explore the latest features. The more practice you have, the easier navigating SharePoint becomes.
  • Supplement training with SharePoint courses. SharePoint training courses and certifications are a great way to supplement on-the-job experience. Especially when you’re starting out with SharePoint, training courses help solidify basic SharePoint principles and tasks you can build on.
  • Continue to develop your skills. SharePoint is a robust resource with endless iterations and uses. Even after you’ve mastered the basics, there are new features and countless ways to utilize and advance your SharePoint skills. Continue to test your knowledge by learning to create advanced workflows, customize security and more.

SharePoint Tips for Beginners

Learning SharePoint is a process. It takes a combination of training, practice and continual use to fully master the platform.

When starting out, learning a few basic SharePoint tasks can familiarize you with the platform and help you build some foundational skills. Here are six tasks that will get you more comfortable with SharePoint.

1. Create and Share Site Templates

SharePoint provides freedom in how you customize your sites with lists, workflows, logos, etc.

Once you build the perfect site for your organization, you can save your settings as a template so you don’t have to reconfigure it next time.

A template includes the basic framework of the website, including its libraries, content, documents and lists. Templates can be ported to other SharePoint environments, opened in Visual Studio and uploaded and shared with specific users in the SharePoint solutions gallery.

2. Collaborate and Co-Author Office Documents

SharePoint is a powerful tool for collaboration, providing options for real-time or regular co-authoring.

  • Real-time collaboration: Track the position of other users in the document and see the changes as they happen.
  • Co-authoring: Apply updates made by others when you choose.

Depending on how you want to use it, multiple users can work on Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations concurrently without clashing with one another.

3. Make a Team Site With Precise Permissions

Team sites are the bread and butter of SharePoint. To start, sign into Office 365 and follow the creation wizard’s instructions to build a team site.

During the setup process, you’ll learn how to create group email lists to manage user access to the site. Depending on your goals, you can toggle user access so it’s accessible to everyone in your organization or only select groups.

4. Add Files to Your SharePoint Instance From Your Computer

SharePoint is available in the cloud with SharePoint Online and on-premises with SharePoint Server.

SharePoint’s convenient drag-and-drop interface lets you upload documents easily from your computer. You can also upload entire folders at once with Microsoft’s Edge browser that’s built into Windows to access SharePoint Online.

5. Learn How to Use SharePoint Columns

A key SharePoint feature is its ability to group, filter and sort complex data sets. Learning to use SharePoint columns enables users to quickly locate information.

With SharePoint columns, users can apply specific criteria to lists and libraries across multiple team sites. For example, you might set up your columns so you can track invoices by customer name and region.

6. Set Up SharePoint Views

A SharePoint view is similar to an email inbox filter. It allows users to fine-tune the default application display so you can sort out irrelevant information.

Users can set up SharePoint views to get quick insight into specific columns of lists and libraries or create a more visually engaging style.

Build Your SharePoint Skills With New Horizons

By learning SharePoint and introducing those skills to your organization, you can help improve efficiency for individuals and teams and expand your value to the business.

As the leading technology training provider, New Horizons Computer Learning Centers offers SharePoint courses to fit every need from SharePoint beginners to power users and IT admin.

Anjali Punjab

Anjali Punjab is a freelance writer, blogger, and ghostwriter who develops high-quality content for businesses. She is also a HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certified and Google Analytics Qualified Professional.