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Last updated Mar 29, 2024

Microsoft has long been known for their productivity software. With the advent of Microsoft 365, they’ve added collaboration to their reputation. It seems year after year there’s some new Microsoft product in the Microsoft 365 ecosystem that promises to improve collaboration and productivity between team members. In 2023, Microsoft introduced an intriguing new offering: Microsoft Loop. For those of us deeply entrenched in the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, Loop promises an integrated, dynamic workspace that’s designed to make collaboration not just easier, but more creative and fluid.

As someone who loves organization, knowledge, note taking, and productivity, I was excited to try out this new offering. I’ve extensively used a variety of other platforms for managing my daily notes and knowledge. Among these are Evernote, One Note, Joplin, Notion, and Obsidian. I currently manage my notes and knowledge in Obsidian both at work and in my personal life. Obsidian is a fantastic tool, but I will cover it in a separate post. At first glance, Loop appears to be quite like Notion but with a bit less functionality and some Microsoft 365 flavor. Let’s take a look at some core features of Loop.

Microsoft Loop’s Standout Features


If you’ve used Notion before, you’ll immediately understand workspaces in Loop, as they are functionally quite similar. For One Note users, a workspace is much like a notebook, with permissions tied to it. Loop’s workspaces offer a shared, live canvas for teams to brainstorm, plan, and execute projects in real-time. This dynamic nature of workspaces, coupled with the ease of integrating various Microsoft 365 apps, has provided some great improvements to how I collaborate with team members and keep people…uh…“in the loop”. You might have several workspaces including a personal one, one for your team, one that is a shared knowledge base, etc. Each workspace can have different members and permissions.

Nested Pages

Once you’ve created your workspace, you’ll want to put some stuff in it and organize it. Unlike OneNote, Loop does not have sections, nor does it have organizational folders. Instead, Loop uses the same concept of nested pages employed by Notion to take the concept of organization a step further. In my personal workflow, I’ve found the ability to use a blank page as a makeshift “folder” for sub-pages to be great, particularly for things like my daily notes. The top-level page that houses the rest of my pages (one per day), has the template that I use for each day’s notes. You can save any page as a template as well and use it when creating other pages, so this works great. That said, the nested page functionality of platforms like Loop and Notion is something you’ll either like, or you won’t.

Loop Components

The real game-changer that Microsoft’s somewhat new tool offers is something called Loop Components, and are are perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this tool. Being able to insert dynamic elements like tables, lists, and task lists that stay updated across all instances in Microsoft 365 apps has blurred the lines between individual and collaborative work. The seamless experience of updating a task in Loop and seeing it reflected in Microsoft To Do has not only saved me time but also kept the entire team on the same page. You can do two key things with Loop Components. The first of these is selecting a block on one of your pages and opting to convert it to a Loop Component. This component can then have it’s link pasted into other applications such as Microsoft Teams or Microsoft Outlook; when pasted in, the link is rendered to display the actual Loop Component itself. Moreover, people with permission to that page in Loop can interact directly with the content of the Loop Component regardless of which application they are in, and it is updated for all users in all applications in real time. The second thing, which is something I use a lot, is the ability to share an entire page as a Loop Component. I have a great use case for this particular feature. When sending out notifications to our team about scheduled maintenance for various systems, I create a new page in Loop using a template that I’ve saved. Once I’ve filled out the page with all the maintenance information, tasks, assignments, etc. I then share the page as a Loop Component and paste that into both the email notification I send to the team, as well as the event on our team calendar. This means I can keep the information up-to-date and modify it for everyone if needed without having to resend the message or alter the calendar item. Additionally, this lets other team members check on the progression and status of the maintenance being performed in real time. Loop Components are super flexible and are a huge reason to try Microsoft Loop.

Loop’s Integration within the Microsoft Ecosystem

Tightly coupled with Loop Components, the strength of Microsoft Loop lies in its integration with the broader Microsoft ecosystem. For those of us already using Teams, Outlook, Planner, and To Do, Loop feels like a natural culmination of these other tools. This integration has facilitated a smoother workflow, where switching between apps no longer disrupts the thought process or collaboration flow. My personal experience of integrating Loop into my daily routine has underscored how valuable such interconnectedness can be in enhancing productivity.

Giving it a Shot

Having dabbled with Loop for a few months and only recently committing to fully integrating it into my workflow, I’ve experienced first-hand the potential it has to revolutionize the way we work if Microsoft continues to improve it. I took the time to copy over a subset of my knowledge and notes from Obsidian into Loop, and have started taking my daily notes in Loop rather than Obsidian. This, in addition to the aforementioned uses of Loop Components are serving as a great trial of how Loop can fit into my daily productivity. Of course, the transition hasn’t been without its challenges, notably the app’s youth and its somewhat limited feature set. The search functionality, for example, has been a major point of frustration for me, offering only title-based searches rather than searching the content of the pages as well. This limitation, while frustrating, has not deterred my foray into this app. There are a variety of minor annoyances as well. An example of this is if you are renaming a column in a table on a page, Ctrl+A will not select all of the existing name for you to change. In fact, it does nothing, and you have to click and drag to select all. Another oddity is that sometimes when you’re adding a new label set to a column, you’ll get part way through adding your options and the context menu will just close and you lose your progress. These are things that I’m certain will be fixed. When Loop first released in preview, it was more feature bare than in its present state. In the last year, Microsoft has added many small niceties such as support for inline code and code blocks, which is huge for me, and was one of my initial complaints. Microsoft has continued to improve the software and Loop is now in general availability for Microsoft 365 E3 licensed users. Oh. That’s another thing to note: you’ll need a 365 subscription of E3 or higher to use Loop, much like some of the other Microsoft 365 collaboration and productivity tools.


As Microsoft Loop continues to evolve, addressing these limitations will be crucial to its long-term success and adoption. Loop feels like a significant step forward for Microsoft, especially alongside the release of Copilot (which is available inside Loop as well), offering a glimpse into a future where fluidity and integration reign supreme for users in the Microsoft 365 ecosystem. While it’s still early days, and the app’s full potential is yet to be realized, the journey thus far has been promising. I encourage those with the necessary subscription to give Loop a try, to explore its features, and to contribute to its growth by sharing feedback with Microsoft. Together, we can shape Loop into the ultimate collaborative tool it aspires to be. Explore Microsoft Loop and share your feedback with Microsoft to help shape the future of collaboration in this new tool!

Disclaimer This blog post was written with the assistance of a large language model, but was not entirely generated.