7 Pro Tips for Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 is the most popular of all major office productivity software, and not only do we support Microsoft 365 at Firewell Technology Solutions, we use Microsoft 365 a ton! It has 48.8% of the global market share, just edging out Google’s apps, by a couple of percentage points.

It’s used by individuals, small & mid-sized businesses, and larger enterprise organizations. It does everything a modern office needs. Including from word processing and spreadsheet work to cloud storage and video conferencing.

Because Microsoft 365 is such a vast platform, with over 20 apps in total, it can be easy to miss helpful features. People tend to stick with what’s familiar. But this often causes them to miss out on time and money-saving bonuses in M365, beyond the core apps.

Some of the many apps you get, depending on your subscription plan, include:

  • Excel
  • Word
  • Powerpoint
  • Outlook
  • To Do
  • OneDrive
  • Teams
  • Forms
  • Defender
  • SharePoint
  • Yammer
  • Lists
  • Access
  • Bookings
  • Intune
  • Planner
  • Visio
  • And more

Firewell Technology Solutions can help you use Microsoft 365 with more value. Let’s go through some of the most helpful apps and features in Microsoft 365 that you may now know about.

Get More Out of M365 With These Tips

 

1. Skip the Menu Bar by Using Search to Find Functions

We’ve all been there at one time or another. You know there is a way to do something in an app, but you can’t find it in the menu. For example, trying to change your margins in Microsoft Word to give you more space on the page.

You can stop wasting time clicking through one tab after another, and instead, use the search box at the top. It’s not just for searching for help topics. You can use a search to quickly jump to settings like margins, page orientation, and many more.

Search

2. Leverage the Free Stock Images, Icons & Videos

Most businesses need to have nice-looking images from time to time. They’re used on websites, brochures, and presentations. But finding good business images can be expensive.

You can’t just do a Google search to find them because they may be copyrighted. You need to have images that you can use commercially without any problems.

Inside Word, Excel, and PowerPoint you have a treasure trove of images. These are free to use in your marketing. You also have videos, icons, and even 3D models, all there for the picking.

Find them by going to Insert > Pictures > Stock Images

Use the tab at the top to tab between the different media. Then, click to insert it directly into your document, spreadsheet, or presentation.

Stock Images

3. Save Time by Using Data Types in Excel

Researching things like the population of a city or the nutrition value of a new menu can take days. Did you know that inside Excel you have access to several databases?

You can leverage facts and figures stored inside Excel’s “data types.” They include topics on everything from chemistry to yoga poses. Use data types to populate tons of data in seconds for various topics.

  • Start by adding your list (e.g., a list of menu items)
  • Highlight your list.
  • Then, click the Data tab.
  • In the Data Types window, choose the type of data it is (e.g., Food, Plant, etc.).

Excel Data Type

  • Next, click the small database icon that appears at the top of the list.
  • Choose the type of data you want.
  • The details will populate into the next open column on the right for each list item.

Excel Data

4. Save Time on Customer Surveys with Microsoft Forms

Microsoft Forms is one of the best-kept secrets of M365. This cloud-based survey and form builder makes it simple to send out surveys to people. You get the results back as soon as they click “submit” on the cloud-based form.

You can even download the results directly to Excel. Using them for graphing or uploading them into a software template.

Microsoft Forms

5. Use PPT’s Presenter Coach to Improve Your Skills

Do you worry when it comes time to give a presentation to clients or your own team? Not everyone feels comfortable about public speaking, even if it’s virtual.

PowerPoint can help with a handy AI-powered feature called Presenter Coach. Turn this coach on when practicing your presentation. It will give you tips on your pacing, use of filler words (e.g., umm), repetitive language, and much more!

Look for the “Rehearse with Coach” option on the Slide Show menu.

6. Save Recurring Email Text in Outlook’s Quick Parts

Do you have certain emails you send to customers that have the same paragraphs of text in them? For example, it might be directions to your building or how to contact support.

Stop retyping the same info every time. Outlook has a feature called Quick Parts that saves and then inserts blocks of text into emails.

  • Create a Quick Part by highlighting the text to save in an email.
  • On the Insert Menu, click Quick Parts.
  • Save Quick Part.

When ready to insert that text into another email, just use the same menu. Then click to insert the Quick Part.

Outlook Quick Parts

7. Create a Keyboard Shortcut to Paste as Unformatted Text

Keyboard shortcuts are great for saving time. But there’s not always one there when you need it. One handy keyboard shortcut to add for MS Word is to paste as text only. This method removes any formatting that copied text might have had so your document isn’t messed up.

Here’s how to make a keyboard shortcut for this:

  • In Word, click File> Options.
  • Click Customize Ribbon.
  • At the bottom of the panel, next to Keyboard shortcuts, click Customize.
  • Scroll in the left pane to All Commands.
  • Look for “PasteTextOnly”
  • Type your keyboard command, then click Assign.

Keyboard Shortcut

PasteTextOnly

 

Need Help Optimizing Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 has many security-enhancing, time-saving, and dollar-saving features. Learn how else Firewell Technology Solutions can help optimize your Microsoft 365 experience by scheduling a free consultation today!

 

Featured Image Credit

This Article, adapted, has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

Increasing Your Office Productivity With Streamlined Android Apps – The 3 Best Solutions

Is your team also using their Android mobile devices to do their tasks? Incorporating an Android suite of apps into your workplace can dramatically improve productivity.  

Many organizations opt for Android to take their office productivity to the next level. After all, they can provide higher flexibility, better workflows, and efficient communication. 

All sectors in your business can even benefit from a high-quality suite of Android apps. 

For instance, your account representative can use an app to update client information while on sales calls instead of making notes and submitting the information later. This can save a lot of time and can reduce errors that can occur due to extra steps. 

Another great thing about these apps is that they help reduce paperwork. Your team won’t have to wait until they go back to the office to fax, print documents, and maintain hard-copy files. They can perform these tasks on the go with less effort, all while also lowering ink, power, and paper consumption. 

Numerous companies have gained a lot from using Android apps on their team’s devices, and you can reap the benefits, too. You just need to integrate a powerful yet intuitive suite of apps. 

To help you do so, this article will detail the three best Android app suites for boosting office productivity. 

The Three Apps

App #1 – Microsoft 365

Unlike Microsoft Office (a one-time purchase), Microsoft 365 is a subscription service. With Microsoft 365, you don’t have to worry about paying full price when a new update rolls out.

Subscribers automatically gain access to new features, security updates, and tech support (at no additional cost). These can all be accessed through multiple PCs, tablets, smartphones, and Mac devices.

How many devices exactly? This depends on which Microsoft 365 plan you subscribe to. There are currently 4 business plans and 4 enterprise plans, so you can always tailor your subscription to optimize your return on investment.

Microsoft 365 is probably best described as a productivity hub. It provides much more than convenient access to the Office desktop apps that most people are familiar with: Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint.

Subscribers also gain access to a holistic suite of productivity-boosting features:

  • Inbuilt professional email and calendaring
  • Store and share files from multiple devices, with 1 TB of online storage per user.
  • Collaboration tools: Microsoft 365 Groups, Yammer, and Microsoft Teams
  • Advanced security and device management: Microsoft 365 Defender

You can also consider pairing Microsoft 365 with other productivity tools like Windows 365 (aka “Cloud PC”) and Windows Analytics.

There is also the option of integrating third-party apps with Microsoft 365 In September 2021, Microsoft unveiled third-party integration options for Salesforce and Atlassian’s Confluence Cloud. They join other popular third-party apps like Slack, Mailchimp, Trello, and Evernote.

App #2 – Google Workspace

Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) is probably Microsoft 365’s main competitor. Subscribers gain access to a suite of communication and collaboration apps. 

These include worldwide favorites like Gmail, Gdrive, Google Meet, and Calendar, as well as Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Sites, and more. 

Google offers three business plans (Business Starter, Standard, and Plus) and one Enterprise plan (with custom pricing). Since you subscribe to Google Workspace on a monthly basis, there is more flexibility here. You can easily change from one plan to another each month if your business changes considerably over time. Furthermore, all Google Workspace plans feature a free 14-day trial. This is probably the best way to discover if a particular plan is worth the monthly price tag. 

It is worth noting, however, that Google Workspace’s entry-level plan (Business Basic) only comes with a measly 30GB of storage per user. (Microsoft 365’s equivalent offers 1TB). Google Workspace’s Business Standard and Business Plus plans are nevertheless very competitive as far as storage is concerned. And both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace allow you to buy more storage on a per-user basis if you exceed your current quota. 

If your business needs specific apps that go beyond Google Workspace’s core and supporting apps, you can head over to The Google Workspace Marketplace. This directory of third-party apps contains hundreds of additional apps that are compatible with Google Workspace. For example, Dropbox, Trello, HelloSign, and MindMeister. 

App #3 – WPS Office

WPS Office can be a huge boon in your workplace, supporting nearly 50 languages. It’s free to install and consists of Spreadsheet, Presentation, and Writer. You can also purchase more features. 

Unlike the other apps, WPS Office can even convert PDF to WPS and read Adobe files. This app supports several file types, including HTML, TXT, PPTX, DOT, RTF, and DOC. All documents are compatible with Google Docs and Microsoft Office. 

Furthermore, WPS Writer lets you securely store your documents with passwords. You can also edit your files without the risk of data loss due to the auto-save feature. Additionally, the app comes with a spell checker, comments, and it can track changes. 

That said, WPS Writer might be the strongest app for boosting office productivity on the Android platform.

Optimize your Workplace with Cutting-Edge Android Apps

While all three suites are an excellent choice for Android users, Microsoft 365 might be your best bet.

It delivers the tools necessary for fruitful collaboration, including Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint. The ongoing customer support is admirable, too, meaning you can overcome setbacks quickly. With that said, it is always best to carefully consider all your options before committing to a productivity suite for the long run.

Whichever app suite you choose, it is evident that addressing workplace productivity is pivotal. The trend towards digitization has influenced even the most skeptical and change-resistant.

Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of remote and hybrid working across multiple industries and countries. While everyone is undoubtedly looking forward to a post-pandemic future where the virus has finally been vanquished, we here at Firewell Technology Solutions believe that a new paradigm of work, management, and productivity will also be at hand, and that’s not ever going away.

If you wish to increase your business’s productivity and profitability, give us a call today. Firewell Technology Solutions provides IT support and IT services to the greater Fresno and Visalia region. We can have a non-salesy chat to work out how we can be of help.

Article, adapted, used with permission from The Technology Press.