office 365 business help needed



I own a very small business (5 people in total) and we have an Office365 business plan. I have two problems which I can’t solve:

1) is it possible to have guests working with us, especially in teams and todo? Often we have free lancers working for us for just a few hours every month or for specific projects and we cannot buy additional licenses for them, especially because they are too many working for us for little time. Is there a way they can join our todo lists or participate in our activities in Microsoft teams? I am aware they can open a free microsoft account but with that one there is no way, as far as I know, for them to connect with a business account.

2) how does the note sharing feature of OneNote exactly works? I create a new notebook on one drive in a folder that is shared with other team members (with Office365 business licenses). They can access the notebook by going to OneDrive on the web and clicking on it but that opens the online version of OneDrive. How do they open it in the OneDrive application on their computers? We cannot find a way to open files that others shared nor a way for them to add shared files to their own OneDrive. Is there some sort of team folder as in dropbox?

I am aware I should ask these questions on a microsoft support forum but I had very bad experiences in the past and it turned out to be just a loss of time. I was wondering if someone here encountered such issues and could maybe help.

Thank you,


Comments (4)

4 responses to “office 365 business help needed”

  1. Patrick3D

    I don't know the answer to #1, but for #2 when the person goes to OneDrive they can select the file by clicking the radio button to the left of the filename and then at the top of the page click the drop-down arrow next to "Open" and select "Open in OneNote". They can then select to open it in the OneNote app rather than OneNote Online. I wouldn't recommend moving the files out of OneDrive for OneNote specifically due to how limited the sharing feature is for this particular app. Microsoft is supposedly working on overhauling the sharing feature to improve it. For other apps like Excel and Word, setup a group Sharepoint for people to upload files into and collaborate on.

    People can bookmark OneDrive and/or Sharepoint folder locations in their preferred web browser for quick access.

  2. wright_is

    With Teams you should be able to invite non-employees into a conversation - I think they need to sign up for the free Teams account, then you should be able to invite them.

    With OneNote, you can share a page, it will create a link, which you can email the other party, inviting them to open the page, if they have OneNote installed, they can open it with the app. You can then revoke the sharing once the project / co-operation is finished. In OneNote, go to File -> Share and then enter the email address(es) of the person(s) who need to be able to share the folder.

    Unfortunately, whilst we have Microsoft 365 at work, due to GDPR restrictions, we can't use Exchange Online, Teams, OneNote Online, SharePoint or Azure AD, so I can't help with exactly how you can invite the external members to Teams.

  3. AnOldAmigaUser

    You can invite external users to Teams. Once in the team, they have access to anything in the Team site. If you have added To-do to the Team, they should also have access to that. You can add a OneNote Notebook for each Channel. For file sharing, the Team gets a SharePoint file library on the Team site for each channel. That would probably be better than OneDrive for file sharing, at least for most file types.

  4. whitekn3

    I understand your frustration. I am a "freelancer", you can find me on Upwork, only I work from the other side.

    The "guest" feature of Microsoft Teams is there but in my opinion it is very buggy. Plus, the documentation in one place says one thing, it's different elsewhere. I've solved my problems via Google searches, as I too have found Microsoft support worthless.

    To add a guest to a team, do all the Settings changes that you can find on Google, or in the Help page (Use Admin portal). There seems to be a bug that makes a prompt, that you MUST respond to, disappear sometimes before you even see it. Thus the final steps for me were this on the "Add member to team" page.

    1. Type in the email address
    2. Wait for the “not found message”
    3. Edit the email address you just typed in by adding a character, then deleting the character.
    4. Wait for the “add as guest” prompt to show up.
    5. Click on the “add as guest” prompt real quick.
    6. Edit the name by clicking on the pencil.
    7. Follow the rest of the prompts.

    Now is that crazy or not?

    This is why I still use Slack.