Whenever we talk of Microsoft Office, how often do we really think beyond Word, Excel, and PowerPoint? Simply put, Microsoft Office 365 is a lot more than your average business software. There are more than 25+ tools packed into one powerful business software suite. But are you aware of all of them, let alone leverage them to boost your productivity? We’re here to help you understand that.
In this article, we take a look at the 12 most underutilized Office 365 productivity tools.
What are office productivity tools?
Office productivity tools are software apps that help users view, edit, and create office-related documents. It could be presentation files, letters, databases, records, spreadsheets, etc. These productivity tools also help employees in managing their tasks and schedules effectively.
Office productivity tools are highly needed in organizations for the following reasons:
1. Improved work quality
The quality of work and its effectiveness improve with use of office productivity tools. For instance, it enhances communication between team members by making video conferencing and file sharing smooth and effortless among teams. Additionally, team members can rely on automation used in Excel, presentation templates used in PowerPoint and so on, to create reports and presentations without having to spend time on design. One can certainly bank on the tools for managing aesthetics and in turn, high quality of work.
2. Enable Office 365 workflow automation
Productivity tools assist users with office 365 automation. It is a time-saving process since it automates tasks with the help of different applications and platforms. Workflows automate processes that are routine and can be done in varied procedures without manual intervention. This way, you can focus on other essential tasks at hand.
3. Enhances mobility
Modern working solutions must accommodate mobility requirements. With the advent of several Work-from-home engagements with teams and clients, businesses have now adopted office productivity tools to facilitate the process. The tools keep employees engaged and connected for seamless execution of tasks, without delay and hassle in the long run. Mobile workers can remain productive and in time for their deliverables without the need for commuting to office every day.
4. Improves tracking and reporting
With office productivity tools, managers can track the progress levels of their employees. Likewise managers can also view the status of the entire project and identify issues at each phase of the project. Assessment reports and monitoring progress becomes easy with a remote clock set up based on work-hours for each employee. Work done on the centralized system can be transparently tracked and monitored without issues, as audit trails through versioning on each Office 365 tool can facilitate clarity and precision in the work assessments.
12 Underutilized Office 365 Productivity Tools
Here is a list of 12 productivity tools that you may not be aware of or not using frequently.
1. MS Forms
Are you looking to conduct a quick survey for one of your projects? MS Forms can do that for you. Beyond surveys, the tool also allows you to run quizzes and polls. You can view the results as soon as people respond. The tool lets you have an audience size of up to 5000 people. So go ahead and leverage this tool for your upcoming survey, quiz, or poll.
2. MS Flow
Flow allows you to automate workflows across a range of applications. Whether it is about instant messaging alerts, emails, or file synchronization, Flow can do it all for you. Also known as Power Automate, you can use this automation tool without the support of developers.
Read Also Office 365 Migration: Why it is Important to Have Your Employees in the Loop from the Beginning
You can integrate Flow with other Microsoft apps like PowerApps, Power BI, and Dynamics 365. Besides the Microsoft services, you can use other applications like Facebook and Dropbox. You can connect it with various systems to manage your work better.
3. MS PowerApps
You can create your apps with the predefined templates offered by Microsoft. It is also possible to connect the newly created app with other business tools. Some of these include SharePoint, Oracle Database, and CRM. It allows collaboration with your co-workers as you can invite them to work with you through an email.
4. MS StaffHub
Managers and other workers can manage their schedules and collaborate with others through a mobile device. Besides that, the tool also allows requesting for leaves and exchange shift timings. Users can send messages to an individual co-worker or even an entire team.
5. MS My Analytics
You can track how much time you spend on what activity. It will also help you identify the time you spend on your emails and the people with whom you collaborate the most. You can also keep up with the information related to your meetings. The tool has several components like focus hours, after hours, meetings, emails, and network. If meetings are where you spend most of your time, you can probably relook your working pattern.
6. MS Planner
The Planner will be especially beneficial for you if you have a team spread across countries and collaborate with them regularly on multiple projects. It simplifies your task management process. Managers can visually organize their teams.
The components of this tool include communication, information hub, insights, and categorization. Users can plan work, assign tasks, share data, communicate with everyone, and stay updated about project status.
7. Office 365 Groups
It is like a shared workspace for all the members of your team. You can create documents and also store them in these groups. Collaboration with your team members is easy as you can work on project plans and schedule meetings. Group administrators have the right to add and remove members to the group.
8. MS Delve
It is a data visualization tool that combines the power of social media and machine learning. You can use the tool to discover content across various Microsoft integrated platforms. These include SharePoint, Exchange, OneDrive, and Yammer. However, it doesn’t simply aggregate data but does it meaningfully. You can identify the information related to past interactions and activities between a set of users.
9. Office 365 Video
It acts as a portal that you can use to share, upload, and manage videos on various devices like mobiles. In the future, Stream might replace this tool. However, till the time the transition happens, the two tools will exist alongside
10. MS Sway
It is a professional presentation tool that is much like PowerPoint. There are chances in the future that PowerPoint may get replaced with Sway. The inbuilt design engine allows you to create visually rich presentations and reports. You can use text, images, videos, and graphs in a canvas-based format.
11. Power BI
The pro version of this tool allows you to collaborate with co-workers, publish reports, and share dashboards. The individual user license gives you the chance to browse all the content and features offered by the Power BI tool. It is easy to collaborate and share content with other pro users.
12. MS Advanced eDiscovery
The tool helps businesses to find relevant data by scanning hundreds and thousands of files quickly and efficiently. It can search SharePoint Online, Exchange Online mailboxes, and OneDrive for Business in one search.
In one of the recent updates, Microsoft also added the ability to identify near-duplicate files and email threading where only new emails get identified. There is also an export feature for the review function. You can use it to export the data in a .csv file and retain the properties and metadata of the document.
Who are we and What Makes us a Preferred Office 365 Setup and Migration Services Provider?
Flatworld Edge is a leading Office 365 service provider that will help you set up the system from scratch or migrate to it. We can help you migrate your mailboxes, email systems, and other Office 365-related services. Our services do not affect your business continuity, leading to uninterrupted service deliveries to your clients.
Looking for additional guidance on Office 365 setup and migration from our experts? Get in touch with us, and we will be happy to assist you.