10 cool features of Office 365

Office 365 is much, much more than just email; you get additional applications with a professional Office 365 subscription. For businesses, driving productivity and collaboration is becoming an essential must have tool to make working easier and more efficient for every single employee.

However, many of us with an Office 365 subscription are guilty of using the same tools and applications in the same familiar way, even as new updates are rolled out. Yet, we mustn’t forget Microsoft’s mission; they want businesses to increase productivity with Microsoft products and in order to do so, new features must be developed.

So, to make sure you’re getting the most from your Office 365 subscription, we’ve put together this blog to help you discover tools you didn’t even know you had.

1.) Microsoft Planner

Microsoft Planner allows you to manage projects by creating a plan, adding your team, assigning tasks and updating the status. This great organisation tool can be utilised in four easy steps to help you keep track of what’s going on in various team projects:

Sign in and create your plan

Add tasks and set deadlines

Manage the tasks by sorting them into buckets

Add your team members and assign them tasks

Perfect for the busy manager who needs to manage their team efficiently and easily, Microsoft Planner will do all the organising.

2.) Resume Reading feature in Word

We’ve all received those long documents in Word, page after page; it doesn’t stop. Yet you really do need to read it, but being strapped for time makes it difficult to set time aside to plough through 70 pages. With the Resume Reading feature in Office 365, forget setting aside over an hour to read it. Drop in and out of the document as and when and pick up straight from where you left off… on any device. Easy and convenient.

3.) Make really awesome presentations in Sway

Don’t be stubborn. It’s time to move away from PowerPoint for just a second because Sway is absolutely awesome for presentations, newsletters and even press releases. Smart, polished templates allow any employee to create designer standard materials, ensuring that information is displayed in a manner that will hold attention, be easy to digest and also look great. What’s not to love?

4.) Yammer; One virtual location

Yammer is another application that makes work life easy – especially as many employees are mobile or remote workers, or on business trips a lot of the time. It’s essentially one virtual location where employees can share, talk and follow each other’s activities – a work based social media site, if you like. Yet Yammer is more than just a social site for businesses. It’s integrated with Outlook, Skype for Business and One Drive for Business so that you can tune in and join video conferences, schedule appointments and meetings and create collaborative documents. For large enterprises, this is especially useful if employees are based in different locations around the country. Don’t worry about travel – use the cloud to your full advantage and have Yammer as your virtual location accessible for everyone.

5.) Spend less time writing emails

*Leaves desk to go to meeting. Returns to desk one hour later. Checks inbox; 50 emails*


Ok, busy workers, here’s another productivity update of Outlook that was rolled out in June. Email templates! With this new feature, you can now spend less time writing emails and more time doing the stuff you need to do. Simply select the email message you want to use as a template. Select File > Save As Template. Give it name; Monthly Update, for example. Choose where to save it and it’s done. Easy!

6.) Look stuff up in Word

If you’re ever reading a Word document and are not sure what particular words mean, then you can highlight the word, right click, select Smart Lookup and to the right of your screen, Microsoft word will bring up definitions pulled from the internet.

7.) Forget email attachments

Gone are the days where we attach files to emails. Yup – no more issues with file size limits! Upload all your documents to Office 365’s cloud storage and copy and paste the link to the file on your cloud into your email. Outlook will then grant edit permissions to the recipients – but you can change these at any time.

8.) Editing and Converting documents is as easy as ever

If you’ve finished creating and editing your document, publication or spreadsheet, you can convert these files to a PDF quickly and easily with the save as PDF feature. But, what happens if you need to edit a PDF? You can simply save the PDF as a Word document without any of the bizarre formatting issues that came with the classic ctrl C, ctrl V!

9.) Word Editor; your personal writing assistant

If writing is not your strong point, Microsoft Word now has a new amazing feature called Editor. Editor is a Cloud powered intelligent service that now does a lot more than just highlighting a typo; it helps with grammar, spelling and also assists with writing styles. It can even provide alternate suggestions for writing context as it uses machine learning and natural language processing… We know, what?! All you need to know is that it’s seriously helpful and aids in productivity as well as producing better results.

10.) Real time editing – Word, PowerPoint & Excel

As applications in the Cloud are accessible by users in different locations, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint & Excel now have a real time editing feature. This means that you and fellow colleagues can co-author documents, working on them in real time so that you can see changes as they happen.

If some of these features are new to you, chances are your customers won’t know about them either. Why not share these features with them too!

Don’t forget, if you’ve got the cloud subscription of Office 365, updates are continually rolled out to make your work life more productive and collaborative!

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