By now, it’s almost impossible that you haven’t heard of Microsoft 365 (Formerly Office 365). But in case you’re not familiar with it, 365 is a subscription plan that gives you access to Office applications and other productivity services, all cloud based.
This means you get access to the Office applications that you’re used to working with like Word, Excel or PowerPoint but also a whole new lot of applications that promote productivity in your teams. The best part is that everything is saved to the cloud, so everyone in your team can access it.
These are some of our favourite features which not everyone knows about:
Multi edit access
Multiple people can edit the same document at the same time, by saving your file to OneDrive or SharePoint you can co-author the same word document between a team. No more emailing different edited versions.
By using the track and review feature, you can also set the application to show your edits as suggestions which the author can choose to accept, reject, or comment on. Microsoft additionally saves a history of the different versions of the document over time, so you can always go back to a previous version if there's an edit you're not happy with.
OneNote meets Outlook
Turn notes into calendar items, OneNote is great for taking notes at a meeting or to organise all of your projects. Turning them into calendar items makes sure you never miss a deadline.
Make Pretend Laser Point
Turn your mouse into a laser pointer for better PowerPoint presentations; you can even change the colour of the laser and highlight sections.
If you're recording a presentation for an online training session, you can also record the laser pointer's movements to highlight different parts of the screen as you discuss different subjects.
3D Excel Interactive Map
Turn data into maps with Excel using Microsoft Power Map. A 3D visualisation tool that transforms your rows of data into a 3D interactive map.
When you're scrolling through an excel page, trying to find that vital piece of data, it's all too easy to lose track of which column records which set of information. With the freeze panes option, you can pin the column headers to the top of your page as you scroll. Problem solved; error averted!
Flash Fill in excel will save you so much time if organising data is part of your normal day. This feature automatically recognises patterns in your changes and does it for you. For example, filling in different months of the year or separating collected data from a previous column. All you have to do is accept it. If Microsoft doesn't pick up on the pattern straight away, you can also access this function manually through Data> Flash Fill.
Export PDFs into Word
Turn a PDF into a Word document, without the formatting issues that may come about when copy and pasting from a PDF; just save it as a Word document and its ready to be edited and changed. Another fabulous little feature is that you can save small portions of your Word document and turn them into a new PDF.
Use a whiteboard in Teams meetings
If you prefer to keep meeting notes which are a bit more freeform than a Word document, or visually brainstorm with colleagues, there are a few whiteboard options you can use during Teams meetings. You can keep it simple and click the Microsoft Whiteboard icon under the "+" menu, which will bring you to a simple white page you can scribble on in real time with other meeting participants.
Another option is to choose one of the many whiteboard plugins available for Teams, which include more advanced features like editable templates and graphs.
Link files, don’t attach them
Instead of sending attachments to your coworkers, just upload the file to Office 365 cloud storage and copy the link. Send it on an email and grant permission to the people you are emailing. It’s much easier than having lots of different file versions floating around!
Updated September 2021 with two new features