The Microsoft Suite has perennially been the favored tool for administrators across all facets of business. In the past, licenses would need to be purchased up front, and updates would need to be purchased annually. That all changed with the advent of the subscription-based Microsoft 365. It contained all your favorite MS Office products, and was scalable to your business. At this point we all know the basics of MS Office. Microsoft Word handles all of your word processing needs. For writers such as myself, as well as everyone from secretaries to CEO’s, Word is our go to for everything from writing blogs to internal documents. PowerPoint is industry standard for all of our presentation needs. Excel is still the most widely used tool for spreadsheets and other administrative functions. Checking your email, probably doing it through Outlook. What other goodies does 365 have? Let’s explore!

TEAMS

Since the pandemic started, many of you have had to work from home. That also means your meetings and collaborative projects are done away from your coworkers. Zoom burst on the scene at the beginning, but it is far from the only product, or most effective product for internal communications or collaboration. This brings us to Microsoft Teams. Just like Zoom, you can virtually congregate with your coworkers, up to 250 members can be on a single call. However, it does much more than that. Teams was created as a one stop collaboration tool, making it perfect for a remote office setting. You can create channels that are dedicated to the project or topic you are working on, helping your team stay organized while working on multiple projects at once. Its chat tool allows for messages to be sent both privately and to the group as a whole. If your team uses multiple apps for a project, you can integrate them into the Teams system as well. You can voice call making it easy to communicate when on the go through a mobile device. Screen sharing is easy with Teams, one click and you can make sure that your colleagues can see the file you want them to, when you want them to. Every file you send, or share is saved to the cloud, allowing you to utilize Teams search tool to quickly find what you are looking for. Best of all it’s included in your Microsoft 365 plan!A

ONEDRIVE and SHAREPOINT

OneDrive is a fantastic tool to both share files and backup data. Included with teams, this cloud offers you over 6TB worth of storage, allowing you to save and backup files large and small. Larger files such as software or video, that are normally to big to share through email, are easily sent and accessed via OneDrive. OneDrive also offers a powerful synch feature. Not only can you back up multiple devices to the same account, but it gives you the ability to access your synched files from any device almost instantaneously. For team sharing, 365 offers Sharepoint, which gives you all the features of a Onedrive account, but accessible to a whole team, not just a single user, as well as numerous metadata trackers and backend security protocols to keep your office safe and your workflow flowing. You can even create intranet sites for your staff and subdivisions using Sharepoint. This can give each an organized landing site to build off of and get alerts internally.

ONE NOTE

Be it working on a project or doing research for a paper, keeping organized notes and lists will help you reach your goal faster and more efficiently. This is where OneNote comes in. You can use the ink feature to write with your stylus instead of typing. It includes collaborative features allowing others you allow access to your notes to make edits or share ideas. It’s not just limited to text either, you can include videos, images and voice notes as you see fit. Organization is made easy with OneNote as well. You can create

subsections, chapters, and even different notebooks for each endeavor you are working on. It even includes a highlighting tool so you can highlight the important aspects of each section, making it simple to navigate and find your information.

PUBLISHER

Now, what if you are working on something a little bit flashier than a standard text document. This is where Publisher comes in.  Think of it as a simpler version of the Adobe

suite of products. It allows you to produce everything from newsletters, to greeting cards, to pamphlets without needing a degree in graphic design. Publisher offers various templates and features to help you get what is in your head, on your screen and in print for the world to see.

PLANNER AND PROJECT

Both the Planner and Project tools allow you to post reminders, new projects, and delegate responsibilities for your whole office. Think of it as a virtual version of the old corkboard system where reminders and notes were pinned. This makes it easy to keep track of who is supposed to be doing what and when it is due. Adding Flow to the mix, you can go as far as synchronizing alerts across your email and messaging systems so a notification can come up as soon as something goes up.

SWAY

Powerpoint has been the industry standard for slide based presentations for decades. It allows for text and images to be put together in slides and is a great way to convey information. However, it is a limited tool. If Powerpoint is not enough for your presentation needs, let me introduce you to Sway. Sway is the perfect tool to create streaming presentations. It includes a video editor, allowing you to turn your presentation from slides into dazzling motion. Utilizing the canvas-style system, you can drop and drag videos, images, and text with ease to make your presentation everything you want it to be and more!

POWERBI

One of the best tools for tracking data exists in Microsoft 365. It’s called PowerBI. The BI stands for business intelligence and is a perfect name for a smart tool like this. PowerBI allows you to see fully visualized data. This goes beyond the data accrued on through Microsoft 365, as you can integrate data from several platforms both inside and outside of your business. In short it allows you to transform your data from numbers on a spreadsheet to charts and graphs you can manage, understand, and most importantly use to track and improve your business.

With Microsoft 365, you get a combination of Microsoft’s award-winning business suite, combined with cloud technology and cutting edge editing and analytics. As with any new tools, there is a learning curve. Microsoft also provides you with a dedicated help center ready to answer your questions and guide you in your journey. With so many tools at your disposal via 365, you have a perfect platform to not only streamline, but transform your workforce!