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Introduction to SharePoint Lists

Author by Christian Urena

In my previous blog, I discussed basic topics on document libraries and in this post I will cover SharePoint Lists. Knowing how to use SharePoint lists is just as important as knowing how to use document libraries. So let’s get to it.


What is a SharePoint List?

A list in SharePoint looks very similar to an Excel spreadsheet. Even though it doesn’t have all of the cool Excel features and functions, organizations can benefit greatly by using lists. A lists allows users to organize and identify information in rows. You can slice and dice the information in lists fairly simple. For example, each column in a list details a piece of information that makes up an item and each row in a list is classified as a list item. You may be wondering; how can organizations benefit from using a SharePoint list that looks just like a spreadsheet full of empty cells? Well, that all depends on the type of content you want to display. Here are some popular lists that can help you better share content with your targeted audience.


Announcements List: An announcement list is very simple, but beneficial if your trying to share news, events, or status updates to your users. What makes this list popular is that you can format it by including images and links to make your announcement more appealing.

Links List: A links list is also very simple, but very handy. I find this list very common in organizations that want to have a location for users to find various company resources.

Calendar List: Calendar lists are very popular and useful for organizations and teams. Calendar lists can be used to display events, meetings, appointments, etc. You can also change the views to display items in a calendar format or list format.

Tasks List: Tasks list are very useful when tracking information about projects or tasks. You can assign a task to people and track the status from beginning to end. A neat feature of a task list is that you can create subtasks for any task item.

Issue Tracking List: An issue tracking list is very similar to tasks list but offers a little different functionality. In this type of list, you can keep a track of descriptions and comments as you work on an issue.

Custom List: You can also start from scratch and create your own custom list. All of the lists mentioned above can be changed, but if they don’t meet your needs you have the ability to create your own. 


SharePoint offers many useful lists that can help any organization manage information. You can also tailor lists by applying permissions, creating or changing views, generating information, and even integrating email and workflows. What if you want to use a SharePoint list, but all of your data is in an Excel spreadsheet? No problem. You can simply import the data from a spreadsheet into SharePoint. Exporting a list to an Excel spreadsheet and manipulating the data with Excel features and functions is also an option.

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