General

Office 365: 12 reasons why (plus 12 must-use features)

Productivity is a great word that people love to use. However, in the real world, productivity can be summed up in a simple question: Can I do my job easier or not?

Microsoft has invested heavily trying to make the user and administrator experiences of Office 365 as easy and simple as possible.

If you are thinking about moving your business to Office 365, here are 10 reasons why you should.

1. Use the tools you already know and use.

Office 365 works seamlessly with the programs you already know and use – including Outlook, Word, Excel, OneNote, Publisher and PowerPoint. These tools provide the same great features you rely on as well as powerful capabilities in Office 365. With a number of subscription levels, you can see if others are editing documents you are using, synchronise documents with your desktop, broadcast PowerPoint presentations, and check documents in and out of your online document library.

2. Simple to learn and easy to use

Office 365 is simple to learn and straightforward to use. There’s no need to learn new software or jargon; in just a few minutes you can create a trial account and see how easily your business can be “in the cloud” with benefits usually found only in bigger companies.

3. Communicate and collaborate with ease

Create a password-protected portal to share large files both inside and outside of your company, giving you a single location to find the latest versions of files or documents, no matter how many people are working on them. You can also send instant messages to co-workers and customers and invite them to participate in online meetings where you can review documents or take control of a desktop.

4. No need to be an IT expert

Designed for businesses with no in-house IT team, Office 365 allows you to easily set up and use the features of the software, helping you to focus on your business rather than the technical lingo. You can perform administrative tasks using an intuitive portal that is accessible to only those who you designate. The online portal provides step-by-step instructions on how to add users and set up your account so your employees can quickly start using Office 365.

5. Collaborate online

With years of experience in delivering scalable, secure online solutions, Office 365 enhances your experience with features such as a 50 GB mailbox that accommodates attachments up to 25 MB, calendaring, contacts, online meetings, instant messaging, document collaboration and more. You can take advantage of these advanced features at a small-business price.

6. Get that professional look

With state-of-the-art but easy-to-use collaboration, mail, and messaging services, you can set yourself apart from organisations. Office 365 includes design tools to easily create a professional, public-facing website in minutes.

7. Anywhere, anytime access

With web-enabled access to email, important documents, contacts, and calendar on almost any device, Office 365 frees you to work where and when you choose. Letting you respond to important requests right away from just about anywhere.

The ability to access email and documents from your mobile device means you don’t need to hurry to the office, and if you’re travelling without access to Microsoft Office, Office 365 helps you view and edit documents – take control of when and where you work with Office 365.

8. Flexibility for your business

Get the flexibility and predictability your business needs with pay-as-you-go pricing options. Office 365 also offers great flexibility by allowing you to easily provide users with only the services they need, cost-effectively adding value to your business.

9. Guaranteed uptime

Designed to deliver reliability, availability and performance, Office 365 helps safeguard your critical data with enterprise-grade reliability and disaster recovery with multiple datacentres and automatic failovers and strict privacy policy for a guaranteed 99.9% uptime.

10. Safe and secure

With Office 365, you can use the same systems used by Microsoft and other worldwide enterprises to help protect email, documents and networks. These systems scan you messages and documents for spam and malicious software (malware) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

11. All your apps in one place - a unified UI

One awesome feature of Office 365 is that it allows you pick and choose the tools you want. Microsoft has a lot of business apps and these are regularly released in the Windows Store (many of which are free). You can choose to add them to your Office 365 home screen and access them easily from one place.

12. New features and bug updates

Once you’ve moved to Office 365 you’ll have escaped the endless cycle of waiting a couple of years for Microsoft’s next product release. Instead, you’ll have instant access to updates and bug fixes as soon as they’re ready.

Plus 12 cool features you should be using in Office365

Thinking that Office 365 is ‘just’ Office, users will never know the fantastic functionalities that exist.

Office 365 comes with a full list of tools that will increase productivity. Since you have already been using Office applications for years, it’s very easy to stick to the same old habits. Once you’ve adapted to a changed interface, you’ll want to use your favourite application similarly.

By doing so, you may be missing out on new features that can revolutionise the way you work. Microsoft aims to increase productivity with its products, and with the recent release of Office 2016, collaboration has been pushed to another level. Check out these cool features.

1. Co-Authoring

Collaborate online in real-time. See each other’s changes as they happen with real-time co-authoring in Word, then save your file to OneDrive or SharePoint so others can work on it with you.

2. Chat in Office apps

With Skype in-app integration in Office 2016 applications, you can use this feature to chat, share screens and have audio or video conversations with your colleagues. Even when you do close the application, you can continue the conversation via Skype on your desktop or phone, and keep talking to the team as they make changes.

3. Inserting links to stored files instead of sending entire files to co-workers

Don’t worry about sending files as large attachments, when you can upload your file to Office 365’s cloud storage. Create an email, then instead of attaching a file, insert the link to the file on your cloud. Outlook will automatically grant edit permission to the people you are emailing. You can change permissions anytime you want.

4. Turn a OneNote item into an Outlook calendar event

Convert notes to tasks inside your calendar and assign them to co-workers with reminders and deadlines. You can also send meeting notes taken in OneNote by email and automatically add details like date, locations, attendees, etc. for each meeting they’re related to.

5. Use your mouse as a laser pointer in PowerPoint

Use a simple keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+P) to turn your mouse into a laser pointer during your PowerPoint presentations. This feature has been part of PowerPoint for years, but was recently integrated for touch-screen devices. If you hold your finger or stylus down on the device, the red button fake laser pointer will appear.

6. Edit and convert to PDF easily

Once you have finished editing your document, spreadsheet, presentation or publication, you can convert it easily to a PDF with the “Save as PDF” feature. If you want to edit a PDF, you can convert it into a Word document without the formatting issues that come with copy-pasting or editing.

7. Resume reading in Word

The resume reading feature in Word allows you to pick up right where you left off, even on different devices.

8. Retrieve the right version

Version control has been improved with Office 2016 co-authoring. You can see which changes were made, by whom and when. You can also revert back to a previous version of the file if necessary.

9. Work offline, upload changes later

Your OneDrive storage is synced to your device, so you can choose to work offline on files. Once you are reconnected to the Internet, the new versions will be automatically uploaded to your storage. The new version will also be sent to any other connected device.

10. Work anywhere from any device

Being based in the cloud, Office 365 means your colleagues no longer need to be chained to the desk to access company data and be productive. It’s possible to work from mobiles, tablets and laptops on the go - and it’s all backed up by comprehensive security measures. You get the Office Web Apps with your Office 365 subscription, so you can work on your cloud files from any up-to-date web browser on an Internet-connected computer.

You also get access to Office Mobile Apps so you can use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneDrive directly from your smartphone or tablet while you’re on the move. 

11. Office 365 Planner to help organise your team’s workflow

Office 365 Planner will help you and your colleagues plan workflows and organise collaboration. Use this project management tool to create 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.

12. Declutter your inbox

Microsoft’s Clutter feature will use your mailbox rules to automatically organise your email so high-priority messages are visible first. Other email will be moved to the Clutter folder so you can view it later.

SOURCES

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