Microsoft Lists Arriving Soon!

July 30, 2020 James Cragle

We are only days away from Microsoft releasing their long-awaited update to SharePoint lists. The new update is being branded as Microsoft Lists and there will be a new app and integration with Microsoft Teams. SharePoint lists have been around since the beginning of SharePoint and have been used in all sorts of creative ways. On one end, people have used lists to create simple two-dimensional ways to track data. On the other end of the spectrum, people have created highly complex collections of lists that act like a relational database for custom applications.  

What these lists have always lacked is visualizations to cue people to specific information. Let’s face it, out-of-the box lists are monotone, lack any eye-drawing insights to important information and aren’t very engaging. And for those who don’t have the resources to add JSON and JavaScript to apply color to their lists, Microsoft Lists has them covered!  

What is a list? 

In the simplest form, a list is a table with rows and columns. Each row contains many different types of column data. These columns allow you to choose from simple free-form text fields to more complex data types like metadata, people and hyperlink fields. A full list of column types can be found here. 

Many people are already using Excel to track important information outside of SharePoint. I’m sure many of the readers here are using a sheet in Excel to track all sorts of information. Wouldn’t it be great to have that data available on the web so your organization can utilize it? This is where Microsoft Lists is going to take your data to new heights. 

What Microsoft Lists Can Do For You 

Microsoft Lists is a powerful tool that allows you to track and take actions on thousands of items right from the web or mobile app on your phone or tablet. Having trouble getting started? Use one of the predefined list templates. Do you already have a spreadsheet that you like? Upload it as a new list and share it with your coworkers. What used to take hours to build can now be done in minutes with Microsoft Lists.  

Some of the features are: 

Eye catching, out-of-the-box color indicators for highlighting specific data   


People pictures for people fields   


Easily embed Lists in Teams so the data is available where you work every day   


Create the list for your private use or add it to any SharePoint site you have access to. 

 Choose from many options to make your list more engaging and make it a bigger impact. 



There is a soon to be released App and improved Teams integration.   


 Let’s Build a List 

The easiest way to create a List is from the App Launcher (aka the waffle). This functionality should be available to all tenants in the next few weeks so keep your eyes open in your tenant.  

After clicking Lists from the app launcher, you will see every available List that you have access to. 


Click on the + New List button to get started 



Choose the option that fits you best.
  • Use a pre-defined template 
  • Create from a sheet in Excel 
  • Upgrade an existing classic SharePoint list

I will demonstrate with the Work Progress template in the templates section 



After selecting the template, I get a preview. If I like the template, I can click the “Use Template” button to create it. 


Assign the name of the list, give the list a good description, choose a color for the new list, pick an icon and choose a destination.  

 The destination, when selected, will show you every place to which you have access. I can assign this new List to any Team or SharePoint site. 


After the list is created, add new items to the list and enjoy the fruits of your labor.  


 You can use Microsoft Lists to add great value to your business. As the Lists mobile app becomes available and when the integration with Microsoft Teams is released, you will be able to take tracking data to all new heights. The ease of use, the ability to have thousands of items and showing the data that fits you best makes this tool truly an asset to your organization. 

About the Author
James Cragle is a Collaboration Consultant at New Signature in our Southeast United States region. He is an expert and lover of all things SharePoint, and helps our customers develop and manage dynamic and intelligent workplace environments. In his free time, James is an avid hiker and has recently started experimenting with gardening.

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