Out of the hundreds of Office 365 features and tools available to you, you’re probably using only 10-15% of them. This could be due to a lack of training or an unfamiliarity with some of the advanced options available in Word and Excel. But it’s easy to optimize your Office 365 investment by learning more about the following communication and collaboration features.
Here are 9 of our favorite Office 365 features that will enhance your productivity:
SharePoint is the “communication sites” platform for building an intranet where you can upload and manage content. It’s customizable, feature-rich, and ideal for organizations that need an online library of information.
It’s a relatively new Office 365 feature that allows you to add vibrant templates and visually appealing layouts to your company’s intranet, turning it into a highly dynamic and interactive page that staff will enjoy accessing for company announcements, to share updates, and more.
Microsoft Teams is an interactive workspace that lets users chat about specific projects. It’s a collaboration tool integrated with Office applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, so it’s an ideal alternative to SharePoint for employees who don’t need the latter’s more robust capabilities.
Yammer is an easy-to-use social networking platform for companies where users can post status updates, create polls, and make announcements. It’s also useful for sharing and co-authoring documents and discussing content from SharePoint and Skype for Business. Much like Facebook, it allows users to join interest groups where they can interact with members similar to how Facebook Groups works.
Planner is Office 365’s work management application that lets you create, organize, and assign tasks, share files, and chat about ongoing projects. While its functions seem similar to Teams’, Planner’s main purpose is to organize tasks and provide users with a visible and transparent platform for coordinating work. It’s primarily a business tool whereas Teams is more of a communication tool.
Clutter can help you filter low priority email messages saving time for the most important ones. The email server keeps track of the emails that you read and those that you do not. As less important messages arrive they are automatically moved to the Clutter folder.
Delve makes it easy to access your documents by foregrounding content from across Office 365 that is most relevant to you. Delve displays documents (primarily from SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business) in a dashboard personalized to you, giving prominence to documents that have been shared with you, you’ve worked on or identified as ‘favorites’. It also lets you know who is working on what, and facilitates collaboration, for instance by making it easy to search for or to share documents.
Sway allows you to combine text, images, video, and social media into an interactive presentation. It’s essentially an onboarding tool that allows you to teach a new skill, or guide someone through a new process, remotely. It is well suited to making a viewer navigate through content online by themselves, rather than the material being presented by another individual.
Flow is an intuitive tool that has built-in templates you can use to automate various tasks. Things like tracking hours worked, saving files from one SharePoint account to another, and creating calendar events are streamlined by Flow. And like all the aforementioned apps, Flow allows you to create workflows using files from OneDrive or SharePoint.
PowerApps lets you build custom applications with a minimum amount of coding involved. Although there are similar app-building tools on the market, PowerApps is especially useful for Office 365 users because it seamlessly integrates with O365 apps, including SharePoint, for easy access to your data already stored in the Office environment.
Whether you’re a new or a long-time Office 365 user, these programs and features are hiding in plain sight, and we’re here to help you explore and maximize them for your business. If you have any additional questions about how you can use Office 365 features to increase collaboration and save resources in your company, contact Palindrome Consulting today. We’re passionate about helping organizations optimize their technology and workflow. We’d be honored to help you find the best IT solutions and meet your business goals.