How Well Are You Utilising Office 365?
But did you know there are numerous applications that extend Office 365's capabilities beyond Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, and PowerPoint presentations? In fact, these hidden gems can make it easier for business professionals to become more productive. Let's take a look at our top 5 favourites which are at the top of our training request list.
1 - Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams celebrated it’s 1st anniversary on March 12th this year to a fan fair of 200,000 organisations using it in 181 markets and 39 languages. Three million teams were created in a year! Word has it on the grapevine that Teams will eventually replace Skype for Business. Watch a short video here to learn about Teams.
Let’s take a closer look at how Microsoft Teams is transforming workforce productivity:
INSTANT CHAT:- The chat function is one of the main selling points for Teams, and for good reason! The conversation interface is efficiently designed to allow for numerous quick actions within the team. Users can tag one another, schedule an ad-hoc team meeting, easily share links and files, and give immediate feedback. Like many other chat tools, team conversations are stored and saved, so even if a user is offline they can still view past chat history.
As a bonus, having the team communicate via a specific workplace chat, as opposed to cellphone or email, helps keep task-based conversations clearly separated from outside communication.
GUEST ACCESS:- Some of you may be thinking that, while this sounds great for other companies, many of my projects rely on collaboration with outside contractors or other third parties. In these cases, Teams still has you covered.
With the guest access feature, team members can grant third party access to the Teams application, meaning users outside the organisation can be added via their Microsoft account instead of a specific portal login. This can save a lot of time, as communication is centralised in one place and doesn’t need to be relayed via email.
TOOL INTEGRATION:- Another major selling point for Teams is the high degree of tool integration it allows. Within each channel, tabs can be added by the team members, providing quick access to common tools and information that the team needs to refer to on a daily basis. The list of tab options in Teams is constantly growing. Amongst other things, users can collaborate using a shared OneNote teams notebook or a team Planner.
As a Microsoft product, Teams integrates seamlessly with Outlook, Skype for Business, and Word.
SEPARATE THREADS WITH CHANNELS:- Working on a project with multiple threads or focus points can get messy.
On these types of projects, when there are multiple discussions that will occur over the life of a project, Teams provides users with the ability to create separate channels to organise all of what that sub-team does.
With a separate channel, users can group the conversation logs, shared files, and links that are relevant to their sub-teams’ tasks. By reducing clutter, and streamlining both communication and team interaction, the sub-team and the overall project become more efficient.
Working with remote clients is easy using Microsoft Team’s user friendly interface. With the chat function, clients can start informal discussions about our projects, providing time to think about the topic and create new ideas that almost always lead to a much more streamlined, efficient discussion for the next face-to-face meeting.
2 - OneNote
Want to capture all of your ideas in one place? Business professionals can do just that from any laptop, smartphone, or tablet with OneNote. Watch a short video here to learn about OneNote.
OneNote is a digital note-taking app that works on all devices and enables users to share their digital notebooks with others for viewing or editing, making it easy for colleagues to work together even if they are in different offices and different time zones.
If you enjoy scribbling notes on a whiteboard or taking handwritten notes, you can transfer these comments, ideas, and questions to OneNote on a tablet in seconds. Tablet users can capture screenshots of whiteboard and handwritten notes that are automatically organised for your convenience. OneNote translates your scribbles, ensuring you can clearly read the notes and share them with peers at any time. OneNote is completely searchable making it quick and easy to locate notes in a second.
OneNote integrates well with other Office apps including Outlook and Teams amongst many others.
3 - OneDrive
OneDrive for Business is an integral part of Office 365 which provides a place in the cloud where you can store, share, and sync your work files. You can update and share your files from any device with OneDrive for Business and you can even work on Office documents with others at the same time.
Watch a short video here to learn about OneDrive.
4 - Real-Time Co-Authoring
If you're using OneDrive or SharePoint you can take advantage of collaborating online so that others can work on a document with you in real time. You can see each other’s changes as they happen with real-time co-authoring in Word and easily share a document directly from the application, thanks to an integrated sidebar. Watch a short video here to learn about Co-authoring.
5 - Office 365 Planner
Office 365 Planner will help you and your colleagues plan workflows and organise collaboration. This simple project management tool can be used to create basic plans, organise and assign tasks, share files, set due dates and provide status updates. All this work is done with through email notifications and visual dashboards. Office Planner integrates perfectly with Microsoft Teams. Watch a short video here to learn about Planner.
There are literally dozens of apps for Office 365 so don't think it ends there. As Office 365 evolves, more apps will become available through the Office 365 portal. We also like Microsoft Bookings and Microsoft Forms.
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