The top three productivity tools in Office 365 that can transform the way you work
By now, most of us are familiar with Microsoft’s cloud-based Office 365 suite of tools. With Office 365, Microsoft put their most-used business tools, like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel in the cloud, making them accessible from anywhere on any device. What you might not know is that the cloud model allows Microsoft to quickly develop new tools and functionality and release them directly to customers, no installation or upgrade required. And Microsoft has been building at an incredible pace, regularly releasing productivity tools that can save you and your employees a tremendous amount of time. In this article, we’ll highlight a few of our favorite time-saving applications available in Office 365 that you are missing out on.
If you have ever heard of IFTTT, then you know what Microsoft’s Flow is: an easy way to build automated workflows to manage repetitive, time-consuming tasks. Building a workflow is as simple as selecting a tool (like Outlook, Excel, or SharePoint) from a list and picking the task you want that tool to perform, like sending you a notification when an event happens, organizing and sharing data, or synchronizing files. Microsoft has even provided hundreds of templates that make building your automated flow easier, like automatically managing your calendars, getting notifications when a shared file is modified, or saving Outlook attachments to OneDrive.
In today’s collaborative work environment, we often need input from large groups of co-workers or customers. With Microsoft Forms, you can design, build, and distribute surveys, quizzes, and polls and see the results in real time. Surveys can be designed using included themes or customized with your brand and styles. Participants can respond from any web browser on any device. The surveys can be sophisticated, with branching and built-in data analysis. If you are already using Office 365, Forms is a viable replacement for applications like Survey Monkey and Google Forms.
With Planner, Microsoft took what they learned about managing complex projects from their work on the Microsoft Project application and created a lean, easy to use project management tool that anyone can use and benefit from. Now you can create project plans, manage and assign tasks, and collaborate using document sharing and chat. Planner’s KanBan card style interface will be familiar to Trello users, but the integration with the rest of the Office 365 suite is where Planner really proves its value. If you have a business Office 365 account, including people from your company in a project is incredibly simple. Planner integrates across the Office 365 suite, so you can use Teams to keep all project-related conversations and documents in one place, use Flow to automate repeatable project tasks, and move information between Outlook or OneNote and Planner with ease.
Guidance on how to best adapt and use these powerful productivity tools
Whether you need help on how to use these tools, or advice on how to best adapt them we’ve got you covered! Our end-user training program can help you learn how to use your technology more efficiently all on your time, and our IT consulting team can give you the guidance and advice you need to adapt tools and digitally transform your business with confidence, contact us today to learn more!