How to Utilize Office 365

Most people at one time in their lives have used Office Suite as their productivity software. For years it has been the industry standard and used for personal and business applications. Office has always offered easy to use ways to create presentations, spreadsheets and documents as well as integrate email using Outlook. In 2011 Microsoft launched a subscription based service called Office 365 that is cloud based. As part of the Office 365 subscription you also receive Outlook Web Access (OWA). The biggest difference between the two has always been available features. Office Suite for the most part has won out because of things like off-line access and one-time cost. One of the biggest positives for using Office 365 is that you can access it on any computer with an internet connection. Suddenly people who telecommute, travel or just want to work from various locations can always access their work. The reasons to use Office Suite over Office 365 begins to shrink when you realize the benefits of using an internet enabled application. If you are thinking about switching to Office 365 or want to get more out of your subscription here are some ways to better utilize the web-based program.

As a cloud based software, Office 365 is great for giving you the freedom to work from any location. It’s the perfect tool for collaborating in real time. You can seamlessly share ideas and update presentations without sending a file back and forth. Having one location that anyone can access also gives you the ability to make quick revisions and have others review in a more cohesive manner. From personal experience I’ve found that people who use Office Suite make changes to files off-line and forget to upload or save the new versions. When working on excel, PowerPoint or word through the web based application all changes are saved automatically. The best part is you can track what changes have been made and who made them.

Office 365 offers many familiar applications like word, excel, PowerPoint and outlook. It also has a few tools that many people don’t know how to utilize. One that stands out is OneNote, think of it as your digital pen and paper. It’s a great tool for taking and organizing notes. What makes it incredibly useful is its ability to integrate with your other office programs and create to-do lists. These lists are created using tags that you assign to each item. Now your to-do lists can be sorted and assigned deadlines and reminders. They can also be added to your calendar. You can create pages and sections to organize all your information. The best part is that others can also easily access if granted permission.

Set your email to sort itself using the Clutter tool. Clutter recognizes your email habits and identifies which messages should not end up in your inbox. Clutter uses a personalized approach by learning through your actions and gets smarter with time. All you have to do is enable clutter to start monitoring your email and once it has learned your email habits, it will start moving messages to a clutter folder. You have complete access to these messages, but now they are not clogging up your inbox. You won’t waste time sorting through junk or lower priority messages. If you want to see how much time you saved by enabling the tool you can check your clutter settings. Another great feature is if you’ve previously set up rules clutter will respect those and not touch those emails.

These are just some of the cool features that Office 365 offers. There is also the ability to link to files instead of attaching them, which is great when you have large files. Take your presentations to the next level and save time with Sway, one of the newer programs added. It integrates Bing image search along with tweets, videos and other content relevant to your topic and can be seamlessly added to your presentations. Many of the items in the Office 365 tool box can go a long way into creating a better and more collaborative work environment. It is also beneficial to those who just want to be able to access it anywhere. If you take the time to learn and utilize the tools that make up Office 365 chances are you will be more inclined to make the switch and leave the desktop version behind.


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