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Office 365: Three Productivity Tips

Feb 29, 2016

Think of your team sitting at their desks.

Are they working on their projects the old way? One person puts their edits in a document, then emails that document around seeking feedback. They hit send, then go make themselves a coffee while they wait for the rest of the team to find some time to read, respond, and email an edited document back.

It is time for a brain shift in how we do business.

Day-to-day operations can be completely streamlined for real-time activities, anyplace, anywhere. Now we can go to the data we want to work on, whenever we want to, all at the same time. Is one of your team members working at a coffee shop? Another running in between meetings? A key player lying on the beach? No problem, you can all get to what you need to work on when you need to work on it. Well implemented, the Office 365 environment can make you and your team more productive. (Sorry coffee break lovers, but I did mention working from the beach!)

Here are some productivity benefits we have found while working in the Office 365 platform. While these are more quick tips than full blown tutorials, they provide a glimpse of how it could look if your business decides to move into Office 365, and of some of the tools you and your team could use to make your business more productive.

Productivity Tip 1: Tasks, shared through Outlook and Office 365

We all have a lot to do in a day. With packed schedules and being pulled in multiple directions it is hard to keep up with all the work you have to remember. Then if you are in a management role, you are also responsible for what your team is doing.

The Tasks feature in Outlook, synchronized via the cloud through Office 365, allows you to create much more than a checklist of all your tasks to check off as they get completed. The fact that you can access this to do list from anywhere at anytime on any device is just a basic feature. More importantly, you can share your list to others on the team for collaboration, even assign specific tasks to individual people on the team. At a glance, you’ll be able to see what still needs to be done and who is supposed to do it.

Going somewhere that has less than a perfect internet connection? The same way that it works for Office 365 email and calendars, you can keep working offline and as soon as you reconnect it all synchronizes back up into the cloud.

Productivity Tip 2: OneDrive Collaborative Editing

This blog is being written in a Word document stored in OneDrive. While I am in the office writing, our marketing director is editing this article live and in real time while working from home. No more emailing around different version of the file… a single version of the truth in one document being worked on together. The result is complete document control.

You can organize documents, download, edit, or just review. Think of OneDrive as an online file folder, storing your documents and making collaborative efforts painless.

Productivity Tip 3: OneDrive Groups

Collaboratively share files, conversations, documents, and even a shared calendar with those you need to in your groups. Just add someone using their Office 365 email and it automatically puts their name and avatar into the secured group.

By creating a group you instantly create an email group. Anything sent to the group email is also tracked inside the web interface called conversations, giving you multiple ways to respond and a friendly interface to track the entire conversation. Are you bogged down with large email chains? Using group conversations give you the option to view these chains in a chat-like atmosphere. Don’t feel too chatty? You can just click “like” to show that you’ve read what was just sent (as long as you actually like it!).

Interested in learning more about how you can use Office 365? Click here to see our extended blog series on the anywhere workplace.

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