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SharePoint document libraries are a special kind of list

As Jamie McAllister explains in a video tutorial published for free-of-charge public viewing on the Microsoft Virtual Academy web site, SharePoint document libraries are actually a “special kind of list”.

The title of the video tutorial is Manage SharePoint Online Documents and Lists. I need to admit I wasn’t aware of the veracity of McAllister’s point. But my surprise only grew when McAllister proceeds to explain “[v]irtually all SharePoint content is stored in lists”.

He also explains the notion of “views” as aids available to end users and site owners to “filter, sort, group information so we can access it easily”.

McAllister dives into a demonstration of how to add a task list to a team site. As he adds tasks to the list McAllister works with the concept of “predecessors”, which is likely to challenge end users and even site owners new to task lists in SharePoint Online. McAllister simply explains “predecessors” as elements of a project plan, which must be in place if a task is to be successfully completed.

If we pop up for a moment to catch a glimpse of where McAllister is headed with his approach, it will likely be clear to readers the deep connection he sees between Team Sites, the task lists commonly used for them, and project management. He goes as far as to suggest the real reason most SharePoint Online users choose to build site collections with the team site template is to work on a collaboration objective. More often than not this effort is an element in a project plan.

McAllister spends time on the SharePoint Online ribbon. He explains how Office components (including Outlook and Project) can be used to work with the task list in his demonstration. He explains how a decision to connect a task list to Outlook is actually a decision to synchronize the two; so changes effected to the task list in SharePoint Online will, in turn, be reflected in Outlook, and vice versa.

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