Microsoft Loop is a new app that allows you to create, share, and collaborate on various documents, from notes to diagrams to code snippets. You can use Loop for brainstorming ideas, project planning, task organisation, or simply sharing dynamic content with your colleagues.
Loop is designed to be flexible and intuitive, so you can customise it to suit your needs and preferences.
A significant advantage of Loop is that it reduces the need for context switching. You can collaborate with your colleagues directly within existing Microsoft tools!
How Does It Compare with Other Tools?
Loop is a unique tool due to its capability to embed within a range of Microsoft apps. This sets it apart from other tools with similar functions.
Other tools with some of the same capabilities include OneNote, Notion, Asana, and Confluence. OneNote is part of the existing Microsoft suite but limited to collaboration within workbooks. Notion has a similar look and feel to Loop, making it easy to transition if you’ve used it before. The key advantage of Loop is its ability to integrate with other applications, avoiding the need for everyone to switch to a new tool.
When Should You Use It?
Loop’s flexibility makes it the perfect tool for various situations. We’ll cover specific use cases with examples below, but in general, Loop is the go-to choice for collaborative planning, brainstorming, or creative work that involves different content types.
What Makes Up “Loop”?
Loop has three key areas: Think of a Browser Window, tabs within the window, and content within the tabs.
Loop Spaces (Browser Window)
Loop Spaces are shared areas that allow you and your team to see and group everything important to your project, such as Loop pages, components, links, tasks, and data. You can set up Spaces individually or for a group of people.
Loop Pages (Tabs within the Window)
Loop Pages are flexible canvases where you create and share content. Pages can contain components, links, task lists, connections to Microsoft 365 documents, and various other types of data. Pages are associated with a Space, and you can add a Page that has been shared with you into a Space of your own.
Loop Components (Content in a Tab)
Loop Components are portable pieces of content that stay in sync across all the places they are shared. For example, a checklist that one person looks at in their emails, one looks at within Teams, and one goes directly to the Loop app. Any changes made to the checklist by anyone will immediately show up in the other views, as they all reference the same source component. This means you can collaborate within your existing workflow while always working with the latest information.
A Loop component can be a small section of content from a Loop Page, or you can turn an entire Loop Page into a component, which is quite impressive! Whether you want to share a small table of tasks from a Page or the whole page context, Loop allows you to do that. You can also embed the same Loop component in multiple spaces, making it efficient for managing data across teams.
Component in Loop:
App Integration and Access to Loop
Loop itself is available as both a web and mobile app. You can visit loop.microsoft.com or download the app on your mobile or desktop. From here, you can access and create your personal or team spaces, pages, or components that have been shared with you.
You might already be interacting with Loop without realising it! Loop components are integrated with Teams, Outlook, Word Online, Whiteboard, Planner, and more. You can identify Loop components by the Loop icon at the top right corner and a dotted border around the content. For Jira or Trello users, these can be embedded within Loop pages for instant sync between the apps.
- Team Research: Utilize the Notes feature, link multiple sources, add tables with ratings of research topics, and enable voting on outcomes.
- Project Planning: Use Loop components to create a plan, set a timeline, and assign tasks. Embed your Task Tracker in your Team Meeting chat for increased visibility and collaboration.
- Meeting Agendas and Notes: For recurring meetings we find Loop super useful. We create an initial meeting agenda within Loop, share it in the Meeting chat, and allow meeting participants to add discussion topics throughout the week. This streamlines communication on non-urgent items and helps track what needs to be done. You can also embed documents directly in the notes, saving time hunting around to make sure you are all working on the same document. You can assign outcomes to team members within the notes as you go, ensuring responsibilities are clear.
How to Get Started
Note: Loop is in preview mode at present but should be accessible to everyone.
1. Sign in with your work account at loop.microsoft.com
2. Create a new workspace and add your first page.
3. Use an existing template to explore Loop’s functions and get started.
4. If you’re starting from scratch, add components to your page using the insert menu or intelligent suggestions.
5. Share a component from your page with someone in a Teams chat and interact with it to see live sync in action.
6. Download the mobile app for Android or iOS to access Loop on the go.
Want to Learn More?
- Watch this short case study that provides a real-life overview of Loop’s potential to transform collaboration in an organisation: Clipchamp uses Microsoft Loop to stay in sync and work together – YouTube
- For specific information about Loop components in Teams, visit First things to know about Loop components in Microsoft Teams – Microsoft Support
- For Outlook users, learn how to use Loop components in Outlook on Use Loop components in Outlook – Microsoft Support
Want to make the most of Microsoft Loop but unsure where to start? We’d love to talk to you.