5 things you should use in Office 365 (but probably aren’t)

There is no doubt that Office 365 is the juggernaut in the room when it comes to enterprise email. There are over 240 million users of Office 365 worldwide. If you run a trade or commercial subcontracting business you are probably using it for email yourself!

What you may not know about Office 365 though, is that it’s a WHOLE lot more than just email. Office 365 contains over 30 different tools you can use in your business, all as part of your current subscription!

So, without further ado, here are the top 5 tools in Office 365 that should should use but probably aren’t.

1. OneDrive on Computer and Phone

OneDrive is Microsoft’s enterprise file storage and sharing solution, baked right into Office 365. It has been designed to make it easy to access, edit and share files, all while being backed up in the cloud, and available anywhere you are.

Why should you use it?

  • You can get to your files anywhere at any time
  • You can send files from OneDrive to anyone, and give the receiver the ability to view or edit the files as your use case requires
  • You can setup alerts when new files are created or existing files are updated
  • Your files are automatically backed up in the cloud, and you can also restore previous versions of a file if you need to (y’know, in case someone accidentally overwrites some important stuff in your quote or spreadsheet).

2. Microsoft Bookings

Bookings is Microsoft’s answer to “meeting coordination fatigue”. You may have experienced this before, where it takes 4 days to organise a 3 party meeting because no-one can find a common time to meet 🙄.

Why should you use it?

  • Microsoft Bookings helps with this by allowing all parties to pick times that work for them, then once a time is settled upon, Microsoft Bookings sends all parties a meeting invite.
  • The best part, it only take 30 seconds for each participant to enter their selections, and Bookings does the rest!

3. Microsoft Planner

Do you need a quick way to organise project (or any other) work, but find that a list is not powerful enough, but Microsoft Project (and similar tools) are too big and complicated to use for your use case?

Microsoft Planner is a simple yet feature rich tool in the Office 365 suite that is designed to help you manage projects within your team quickly and efficiently

Why should you use it?

  • It integrates with Outlook and Teams, giving you a view on your work wherever you need it
  • There is a mobile app for iOS and Android, allowing you to take your work on the go and keep up-to-date with your team
  • It works with other tools like Microsoft Power Automate, allowing you to supercharge alerts, automations and notifications to suit your business

4. Microsoft Forms

Have you ever needed to create a quick survey to get feedback from your staff, suppliers or clients?

Microsoft Forms is a simple tool that you can use to create surveys or forms for anyone you need to get information from. With this tool you can be up and running in 5 minutes with a clean looking form, with the results automatically being collected in a spreadsheet for you.

Why should you use it?

  • You can have a branded form setup and sent in less that 5 minutes
  • You can send the form to anyone, or lock it down to staff only if you desire
  • You can even have the form results inserted into any existing spreadsheet you have!

5. Microsoft Whiteboard

COVID-19 fundamentally changed the way some businesses work, and made working from home the norm in others. The jury is out on whether working from home helps or hinders productivity, but one thing that is missing from the WFH lifestyle is the natural collaboration that happens when two or more people get in a room together.

Microsoft Whiteboard is an elegant solution from Microsoft that allows collaborators all over the world to share a “virtual whiteboard” that works better than the real thing! It can be used as part of Microsoft Teams, or by itself. It is available for no additional cost to anyone using Office 365.

Why should you use it?

  • You can fire up a whiteboard session with anyone in less than 30 seconds, and save/email the resulting whiteboard to all participants when done.
  • Unlike a real whiteboard, you can use not only markers, but highlighters, sticky notes, pictures and diagrams.
  • You can also move any element on a whiteboard after it’s been put there!