Microsoft Loop is a new application that was announced by Microsoft at the Ignite event in 2021. It is now available in public preview.
Documents have always been more than just a way to record information. They have been a way for us to connect and collaborate.
They allow us to connect, collaborate and share thoughts, ideas and aspirations with others. With the aim of building on each other’s contribution rather than working alone. But the way we work together has undergone significant changes over the last few years.
Now, in our current environment, we encounter greater levels of ambiguity and uncertainty than ever before. This forces us to co-create in fast-paced, dynamic environments. As a result, teams need tools that embrace the messiness of the creative process and adapt to our evolving needs.
Microsoft Loop is a transformative co-creation experience that brings teams, content and tasks together across your tools and devices.
Microsoft Loop combines a powerful, flexible canvas with portable components that move freely and stay in sync between applications, enabling teams to think, plan and create together.
Loop comes from the idea of ‘loops’. It is based on virtual workspaces where team members can collaborate on specific tasks or projects with each other so that they can create and share content such as files, messages, notes, and tasks.
Microsoft Loop aims to be a collaboration and productivity tool designed to help teams work together more efficiently and effectively.
Its aims to tackle the most common challenges that teams face when working together, such as scattered information across multiple locations and tools, which often result in communication issues and a lack of coordination.
This is where Microsoft Loop comes in; designed to address these problems by providing an integrated platform that unifies the information and tools used by the team.
Microsoft Loop has three basic elements:
Components, as portable chunks of content, stay synchronized wherever they are shared. These components will allow us to collaborate in the workflow: on a loop page or in a chat, email, meeting, or document.
These components can be lists, tables, notes, and more.
Pages are flexible canvases in the Loop application, where we can bring together people and all their components, links, tasks, and data. Loop pages can start small and keep growing and growing, collecting all the ideas of our work team. In addition, Loop pages can be shared in Microsoft 365 applications as a link or as an embedded Loop component.
Lastly, workspaces serve as shared spaces where our team can view and organize everything crucial to our project, enhancing their ability to stay updated on our collective work and track progress towards project goals.
Microsoft Loop is designed to be able to create and manage projects and tasks and, among many other functions, to share information and resources between established team members.
In addition, it will allow us to integrate the platform with Microsoft Teams, Outlook, and Sharepoint so that all users can access the information and tools needed to work as a team in one place. It can also integrate with external tools such as Excel, Power BI, and OneNote, thus improving collaboration and data analysis in our projects.
One of the features that make Microsoft Loop stand out is the ability to create a customized view for each user.
Our team members can view content in a way that best suits their needs and preferences, and it also has an advanced, intelligent search function that allows users to search for any content they require within Microsoft Loop and suggests relevant results based on the context of their search.
The elements included in this platform are designated in the notes that users can create and share, including text, images, and links, the tasks that can be created and assigned to other team members, as well as tracking the progress of these that can also be organized by categories and assigned by due dates and priorities.
In addition, Loop allows us to send messages to other team members, both public and private and can include text and images.
Loop users have the ability to share organized files by category, enabling team members to access and edit them.
As expected, the solution includes a calendar that displays task due dates and important events.
Loop, therefore, excels in creating and managing projects, assigning tasks to team members, tracking progress, and sharing project-related information and files, facilitating collaboration among team members through a centralized platform for information sharing and communication.
You can see what others are doing, receive updates on project progress, and work together on tasks assigned to you.
You can access the preview version of Microsoft Loop by going to the loop.microsoft.com website.
Once on the website, the first time you access it from a browser you will have to sign in with your Microsoft account, and this will take you directly to the presentation workspace.
In addition, you will see that even the presentation work environment itself with the tool’s information is editable, and you will be able to start practicing in it and get ideas of what Microsoft proposes. You can then click on the Loop logo to see your working environments, create one and start creating pages in it.
Microsoft, as with all its tools, is also preparing mobile applications. The Android app is not yet available on Google Play, and to access the iOS app you’ll need to sign up via Test Flight, which is Microsoft’s beta app platform. You can access it at aka.ms/LoopiOS.
In short, teams of all sizes and types can utilize Microsoft Loop as a collaboration and productivity tool in various scenarios.
From project management to knowledge management, helping teams to work together on projects and tasks more effectively and efficiently, unifying information and tools in one place.