At the time of writing this, we're preparing for Day #3 of GlobalCon2 [Register to join here]. Day #1 was so informative and I can't thank Microsoft enough for "trusting us" to deliver some of their amazing announcements.

One session in particular that resonated with me was around the new "Microsoft Lists" announcement from Lincoln DeMaris

(Note: If you prefer to watch the session then scroll to the bottom and watch it in full or here on YouTube).

In this post, I have taken Lincoln's session and sliced it up into smaller videos so that you can scan this post to find the parts that most interest you. You can also see the entire session at the end.

Quick Navigation:

What are Microsoft lists?

Microsoft Lists are a brand new app in Microsoft 365 that enable you to track information and organise work for your team. The goal with Lists is for them to be:

  • Simple. Start a list easily from scratch or with ready-to-use templates.
  • Smart. User Teams to collaborate on lists, using flexible views like grids, cards and calendar.
  • Flexible. Keep everyone in sync with smart alerts and conditional formatting.

You can think of a list as being like a database or a spreadsheet and with the ability customise your view of the data displayed.

In case you're wondering, Microsoft Lists are nothing new. Lists are the natural evolution of SharePoint Lists. Everything new announced today will also be coming to lists within modern SharePoint sites.

There's also a new dedicated Lists iOS app coming towards the end of the year.

Video: A quick tour of the new Microsoft Lists home

So let's dive in : Watch the video to see the new Microsoft Lists Home. From this page you can see my 'Recent lists' and "Favorites'. 

  • Recent lists: This denotes the lists that you've accessed or created recently.
  • Favorites: This is the lists that you want to access more often. To make a favorite, simply click the star icon on the list tile

Video: Create Lists in a variety of ways.

You can create new lists in a few different ways:

  • Create a blank list
  • Create a list from an Excel Spreadsheet
  • Create from an existing list
  • Create from a Template

When you create based on a new template, you can preview the data and columns. You can also choose colour, name, icon and a choose whether to save it personally ('My Lists') or with your Team.

The video below also shows how to pre-fill the columns and how quick it is to edit it.

Video: Say hello to a brand new image column!

This short demo illustrates the brand new image column allows you to attach an image (from your computer) directly to a SharePoint list. This is very different from the normal way of linking to an existing image. 

Video: How to set the default view to 'quick edit' in a Microsoft List

If you'd like your default view to 'quick edit' then this is now really simple to do. All you need to do is choose "save view as..".

Quick Recap of the new Lists experience

From the slide below you can see that you can already create blank lists and lists based on existing lists. Coming this Summer, you are going to be able to create from Excel or a template. In addition you can can create personal lists or shared lists in team sites. 

There are also some big improvements coming to 'Quick edit' (I get the feeling that this will end up as flexible as Excel, eventually). There's also some cool formatting improvements as well as big performance improvements.

Video: How to format list items in the new Microsoft Lists

Find out how to format columns using fills, colors, and images. You can also add conditional formatting based on rules that you can set. E.g. If you want to show a row as red if it's 'priority' is high and 'days old' is greater than five.

How to display list items in a Microsoft List as Tiles ("Gallery view")

If your list contains images that are the central focus of your data (such as in a car booking list) then you'd probably want to present that in a gallery view. This is all easily achievable with the new Microsoft Lists. What's even cooler is that you can also edit the order and items that are displayed in the tile view. 

How to display data as a Calendar with a new Microsoft List

For lists that are focused around time (such as an event planning list). It's not possible to create a calendar view on any list in SharePoint. This will allow you to visualize your data by day, week, month, and add/edit the items by simply clicking on them. 

How to completely customise a List form in the new Microsoft lists

With new Microsoft Lists, you can show/hide form items and re-order them at the click of a button. You can also conditionally show/hide a form item based on data from other items then this is now also very easy to achieve. For example, if you'd like to hide a "Notes" field if the "Event Capacity" is greater than 500.

Additionally, you can now edit the entire layout of the form including the header and footer. This experience is more for a power user because it requires a working knowledge of JSON to achieve the required formatting.

Views and Formatting Recap

Views and formatting are getting some serious lovin'. We're going to see a new way to create views along with new Calendar views and Gallery views. Post-summer we may even see a Kanban view, which sets up a potential decision point with Microsoft Planner 🙂

Video: Want to collaborate (comment on share) on a list?

If you want to share a list with other people then this is all possible. You can also share individual list items in the same way that you can in OneDrive. All of the standard sharing options are available. Microsoft is also adding the ability to chat/comment on a list item. It will be interesting to see how that works when the list is surfaced from within Microsoft Teams. You will also be able to @ Mention people from the comment stream.

Video: How to configure rules in the new Microsoft Lists

You can now create rules that will take action when something happens inside of the Microsoft List. A perfect example is to send an email to a person if the field is set to a certain value.

Recap: Sharing, Collaboration, and Commenting

I personally like the commenting features coming to Lists as i can see so many uses for it. Here's the recap shared by Lincoln.

The new List experience is here to serve a wide range of use cases, ranging from simple to complex. For the none Power User, they are there to model a very simple business process. For the more advanced Power User, then they can be used to be the data repository for complicated line of business process with with the Power Platform talking to the lists.

Microsoft Teams is fast becoming the central hub for all collaboration, so it's essential that other Microsoft apps integrate seamlessly with it. Lists are no exception. Microsoft are committed to making sure that the Lists + Teams experience is first class. Lists will be surfaced as a Tab and conversations is set to be more closely integrated.

Later this year, Lists will be available on a new the Lists iOS app. Microsoft are planning to allow you to manage, create,  customise and manage alerts all from the mobile app. 

Full Video: watch the entire GlobalCon2 Microsoft Lists demo in full.

If you've time, we strongly recommend you watch the entire session presented by Lincoln at Microsoft.

Learn More about Lists? Visit the official Microsoft site.

About the author 

Mark Jones

Collab365 Founder helping people learn Microsoft 365 via these:

👉 Collab365 Summits - Massive virtual conferences for Microsoft products
👉 Collab365 Today - Aggregation site for the best community blogs
👉 Collab365 Community - Huge blog site including plenty of Microsoft content

I want to provide a friendly online community, where we can learn and grow together:

👉 365ers - coming very soon!