Office 365: Five Must Try Features

Dec 1, 2017

While at a networking event, I was ousted as the person who works for a technology company. In came the rolling technical questions about computers, phones and tablets and how to “fix” one thing or another. While I am not a tech myself I smiled and politely told them I use our internal IT as much as anyone. Then the secondary questions asking me how I work in a technology company came up: how do you maintain your email? What about working on documents in real time? How do you do remote work? File sharing? Scheduling?

I found myself promoting one thing over and over again: Office 365. As others mentioned issues they were having with communications between remote workers or maintaining aesthetics across all screen types, I continuously thought of features in Office 365 that could solve the issues.

Even though I got several glassy-eyed stares as I listed no less than a dozen awesome features of Microsoft Intune, I knew deep down they were just as excited as I was. More importantly, I knew that if they actually used the features I was talking about, we’d all have way less to complain about at the next event! To make sure you’re using Office for more than just Word documents, I am listing my top 5 picks of must-try features of Office 365.

Make PDFs Easier to Edit Than Ever

If you’ve ever had to convert a PDF file for editing only to have the formatting get completely bent out of shape with copying/pasting, then you can appreciate 365’s easy PDF converting. With 365, you can quickly save any file as a PDF or convert a PDF to a Word document without any formatting issues. Just a few clicks and you’re there!

Get Everyone in Tune with Intune

The service formerly known as Windows Intune, now Microsoft Intune, is a neat, cloud-based capability which allows companies to share data, applications and other corporate resources with their employees, on any device they choose! While the service is a separate charge from your Office 365 subscription, it’s well worth it for these reasons:

  • Helps make apps, files and email more convenient to access
  • Superior access control with identity-driven protection
  • Single, mobile solution to manage multiple operating systems including: Windows, Android, iOS and macOS
  • Ability to customize security policies for apps without having to manage users’ devices
  • Makes on-premise servers obsolete for time and cost savings

Self-Cleaning Email with Clutter Feature

Unlike that lie of setting on your oven, Office 365 really is self-cleaning! Microsoft makes this possible with their Clutter Feature. If you use Outlook 2016 or one of many other programs, 365 will automatically filter out low-priority mail, sending it to a separate folder and helping you get to important messages faster. You can send mail to that file or retrieve mail from it. The clutter feature will record these actions and learn your preferences. Not sure if you want your low priority emails sent to the dungeon of your mail server? No worries, you can easily turn this features on and off.

Teams, Talk it Out With Coworkers

Office 365 is making it easier than ever to chat with coworkers with its in-app integration of Teams. Instead of having to click back and forth between apps or screens, you can now open the chat feature and talk or video chat as you work. Text, talk and collaborate without ever leaving the app!

Goodbye PowerPoint, Hello Sway

Ok, PowerPoint served us well once upon a slideshow, but it’s far from the cutting-edge technology it was thirty years ago. While PowerPoint is still available in 365, you can get a significant upgrade with Sway. Interactive and easy to collaborate on, Sway helps you create dynamic, visually-appealing presentations, newsletters and documents with these features:

  • Easy content adding from anywhere thanks to integration with the web, your device and your social networks.
  • In-app search result suggestions for videos, photos and other multimedia based on the content you create.
  • Fast design done beautifully with Sway’s customizable designs features
  • Automatically adapts to any screen so you can share and publish without losing visual appeal on other devices
  • Simple co-editing by sharing a URL
  • Quickly turn your Word or OneNote content into an interactive Sway in a few simple steps

These 5 apps are just scratching the surface of what Office 365 can do for you and your company. With 365’s suite of subscriptions, you have access to dozens of features that will help make sharing, collaborating and designing easier and faster to save you time and money. While some of my fellow event attendees were more interested in the shrimp plates than what I had to say about Office 365, I know that these tips are even more worth sharing than the cocktail sauce.

Editor’s Note: Clutter is now Focused Inbox. Basically you can turn it on and off and it is two tabs on your inbox instead of a folder that is separate. It is very similar to clutter in its functionality. The nice thing about this is, it is a “smart” box. It will learn your behaviours and senders to make emailing more efficient.

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