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Office 365 Libraries and List 


The filing structure is displayed in the traditional Microsoft format of a folder tree. However, there are differences in Office 365. Most of the objects in the tree will be either a Library or a List. 


The tree of Libraries and Lists is shown on the left in the illustration. You can select any Library/List by a single click or single touch on a touch sensitive screen. If it is a library the documents will be shown in the main body of the window, if it is a list the items will be show instead. 




A library is a collection of document files. The files can be Word , Excel, Power-point (or Office documents created with software other than Microsoft), or PDF, or Tiff, or whatever you decide to store. Along with the file you will record certain meta data. These are items of data which catalogue and index the file, such as creation date, date last modified and document type. In Office 365 you can determine what meta data you need and why. In the illustration the list of documents have the following meta data displayed - 

1. An icon to indicate the documents type and if it is checked out

2.  The Date/Time the document was last modified 

3.  The name of the account holder who last modified the document 

4. The Approval Status (approved/pending/rejected).

This Approval Status is only available if the site administrator has enabled content approval in 'version controls' for the library. This is used only where shared documents need a strict control. Pending documents will only be visible to the author of the last update and the administrator. The document must be checked in and approved before it becomes visible to other team members. If content approval is switched off the document becomes available to other team members as soon as it is checked in.   


Imagine if you were storing and cataloguing invoices, you would need the invoice number, the date of invoice, the amount, a customer reference and an indicator to show payment, non-payment or part payment as meta data items. From this you can quickly list who owes you money, how much and how overdue the payment is. Not only can you see the summary but because each and every invoice is stored electronically you can see the detail of each item invoiced by examining the invoice document. With Office 365 you don't even need to go to your place of business to access the data, you can view it on your laptop, tablet or smart phone from where ever you can get an Internet connection. If you run multiple Office 365 accounts you can make the document available to your users immediately that indexing is complete. 


Now extrapolate the simple invoice analogy to cover the complexities of YOUR business. Asset maintenance, repairs and revenue on a portfolio of rental properties perhaps, or vehicle cost for a motor fleet. 


Lists .


Lists co-exist with Libraries in the Office 365 structure. A list is just data, such as a list of things to do in a 'Task List', or a list addresses in a customer list or supplier list. Office 365 allows you to determine what data you would like in a list, so in an address list you can decide for your business how many lines the address should contain. This promotes consistency and delivers analytical bonuses, such as being able to see how many customers you have in a particular town, or street or near a particular postcode. The main advantage of Lists is that you can enter data once into a list and 'pick' that data for use in any other list or library. Instead of retyping customer addresses over and over again you simply select the correct address from a drop list for use in letters, invoices or wherever you need it. 


Learn more.


Chris Watkins I've been an IT professional for over thirty years. Most of that time has been spent helping large organisations with the evaluation, installation and maintenance of business software applications.
I have a wealth of knowhow on the subject of data management.
Advice is free and so are basic templates. If you need more just ask. I only charge for actual work done.
Contact - Tel: 01392 58 0420 email: