As we are currently working on a new intranet (SharePoint! At last!) we are thinking about “personal” information on the intranet. So I am looking into web parts that can be added to a page, which will present information especially for you.
Of course, you can add document library and list web parts with a default view of “Created by = [Me]” or “Assigned to = [Me]” etc. but that is generally for a specific site that you work in, rather than being applicable to anyone in the organization.
But there are a few web parts which can be used centrally, on an intranet page called “My Page” or similar, that shows information just for you.
1. My News
The News webpart allows you to show News from the site where the web part lives, or from selected sites. Quite a pleasant functionality, I must say. But you can also select “Recommended for current user” and that will show you YOUR News.
This looks as the same News that is shown on the SharePoint landing page, but it will bring it into the intranet, which saves switching apps.
Microsoft info: Use the News web part on a SharePoint page – Office Support (microsoft.com)
2. Saved for later
This web part will show you documents and News items that you have saved for later. It corresponds somewhat with the “Favourites” on the Microsoft365 landing page, but it will only take news posts and “real” documents, presumably from OneDrive and SharePoint.
And of course it shows the same content as the Saved for later web part on the SharePoint landing page.
There are a few display options to choose from while configuring.
Microsoft info: Use the Saved for later web part – SharePoint (microsoft.com)
For comparison: above you will see the items shown in Saved for Later, below are My Favourites on the M365 landing page. You see that Forms, Lists and an attachment in my Outlook are not shown in Saved for later. That is a little inconsistent.
3. Recent documents
This web part shows documents you opened or worked on recently. There’s not much to configure, just the number of documents. It corresponds to the “Recent” tab of the M365 landing page, but then if it would be filtered for Office documents.
Microsoft info: Use the Recent documents web part – SharePoint (microsoft.com)
This web part can show your frequently visited sites. You can select the layout and the number of sites shown. It corresponds with your “Recent” list on the SharePoint landing page. In my experiment, it did not show a webpart title upon publishing, so I had to invent my own.
Microsoft info: Use the Sites web part – Office Support (microsoft.com)
5. Conversations (Yammer)
This Yammer web part shows what’s on the Yammer feed. Use the option “Home Feed” to make it personal. My web part is empty, as I am the only person in my tenant and have written all messages, but I hope you will get the gist. 🙂
Microsoft info: Use a Yammer web part in SharePoint Online – Office Support (microsoft.com)
6. My Feed
This will show a variety of items, such as appointments and files that you have shared or updated. In my own tenant it does not show anything, so I have used another tenant, hence the blurred info. You will also see more of the Yammer conversations web part 🙂
Microsoft info: Use the My feed web part – Office Support (microsoft.com)
I have heard rumours about a Tasks web part but I have not seen it yet, so I do not know if it can show your personal Tasks from Planner and ToDo.
All web parts have a “See all” option to display more. This is all shown in the site where you are, and generally in a card format.
The only exception is the Conversations web part, where the option is called “View all” and takes you to Yammer.
What do I think?
In general, this is interesting functionality. Some of these web parts are already available in other places in Microsoft365, but it can give your colleagues a good overview of their stuff, and save time switching apps. It is not new – at an earlier employer we already had personal tasks web parts back in 2005, on SharePoint 2003. But that did not look as good and was not as easy to configure as this 🙂
It can also help bring home the message that Microsoft365 is a fully integrated suite of tools.
The look-and-feel is quite pleasant, but be careful with the number of items you make available, and the layout, as it can easily become a very long page. Below a screenshot of what I ended up with, while finding out what was available.
Of course it will be interesting to see how people will respond to a page that has all their own information “on the intranet”. We need to inform people that the content will be different for everyone.
Are you using this in any way? Any thoughts and suggestions as for the perfect page layout? Please let me know – screenshots also welcome!