We’re all easily distracted these days and love to procrastinate! Even in the workplace. Information streams in. Urgent pings and alarms interrupt our train of thought. And our productivity suffers unless we have productivity tools that help keep us on track and which “speak” to each other seamlessly. For that reason (and lots more!), at OneSource we’re Microsoft 365 through and through.
We find Microsoft 365 is
- diverse enough to cover all our needs,
- simple enough to understand right out of the package,
- complex enough when we want to do more with it, and
- super user-friendly when teams need to collaborate to be truly productive.
However, there are various Microsoft 365 tailored packages you can buy, and it’s sometimes hard to work out which one you should go for. Of course, if you partner with a cloud service provider, or engage with IT management services, you can upgrade at any time as your needs change. And if you already know you’d like to talk with us now about the best choice for you, contact us for a free evaluation.
Otherwise, here’s a run-down on some of the 365 tools you might find meet all your productivity needs without looking outside of the Microsoft ecosystem.
Productivity Software Tools Available in Microsoft 365
1 Microsoft Teams
Whether you’re working remotely or on site, this is the way to connect your teams and get work done faster. You can collaborate digitally on any scale, which allows:
- easy file sharing,
- engaging with others – by sharing just one window or your desktop, and
- communicating e.g. via online calls or via a PowerPoint slide set that colleagues can interact with at their own pace.
Importantly, Teams gives businesses a platform to host virtual events featuring hundreds of participants. In today’s marketing world, this is an essential part of reaching your audience. Teams is not available in the package that offers only desktop apps. But there are other ways to acquire it, even for free.
Email is still essential today despite the emergence of messaging and collaboration tools. Outlook is thoroughly integrated with Microsoft Calendar and Teams, so you can easily follow up on your engagements and commitments.
Significantly for our conversation here, Microsoft Outlook also has features that allow you to not become distracted while you’re trying to keep up with your inbox! Using Focus, you can set time aside to concentrate on the most important tasks without the distraction of other apps sending you notifications.
Outlook appears in all the Microsoft 365 packages, and there’s no real need to use a third-party email client.
3 Microsoft 365 OneDrive
OneDrive also appears in all the packages. It’s a cloud-based storage facility that holds all your Microsoft files in one place and makes accessing your files possible from anywhere. With OneDrive, you can
- store confidential files,
- keep secure backups, and
- limit access to shared files to authorized users only, thus improving network security.
The main benefits of OneDrive are that you can be more productive from anywhere. You also don’t have to worry about emailing large files between team members or external hard drives getting corrupted. In addition, you’re able to view the latest version of any file that team members have collaborated on.
What is Azure, you ask? Let’s turn to the Business Premium package where Azure is on offer for your business. It’s basically a cloud computing platform where you can access Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). But why is this a vital service for some businesses?
Firstly, you can scale your use of it up and down as your needs change.
Secondly, when you store and back up your data in Azure, everything is held in a number of data centers, so there’s always data backup and therefore data security. This is essential for genuine disaster recovery! It’s also the chief benefit for most small or medium sized businesses.
You could, in addition, host some app development on Azure and deal with any Internet of Things (IoT) arrangements you might have.
5 Word, Publisher, Excel, and PowerPoint
There’s not a lot needs saying about Word! It has so many features that it’s become synonymous with word processing, despite the existence of other professional and free options. You can write documents of nearly any kind your business might need. And Word appears in all Microsoft 365 packages, allowing you to use it from anywhere. Latest features include auto-save, dark mode, and more rich media content to access, etc.
If you need something that offers even more design and layout options, Microsoft Publisher is available in all but the Basic package – but for Publisher, you do need to be on a PC, not a Mac.
Excel is in all the Microsoft 365 packages and used by professionals for
- data entry and management,
- financial analysis,
- charting and graphing, etc.
Data is your key business asset. Excel is perfectly suited to analyzing the bigger picture of your data and providing insights into your business, how you’re doing, and how you can do better. You can create your own templates to suit your needs. And the latest version is powered by AI, which allows both experts and novices to utilize its features effectively and save time. Other latest features in Excel are listed here.
For designing presentations such as business plans, proposals, and strategies to inform, entertain, and share with your potential customers, PowerPoint is your go-to app.
According to the old joke, there’s such a thing as “death by PowerPoint,” but that does it an injustice. As the creator of your slide presentation, you can make yours truly stellar and gain customers!
PowerPoint is available in every 365 package – and for many circumstances will be all you need. The latest version of PowerPoint in Microsoft 365 is available for both web and app versions and supports bringing in 3D objects and Ink Replay, among many other new features.
Why Subscribe to Microsoft 365?
It’s worth noting that if you subscribe to Microsoft 365, your apps are always up to date.
There are two benefits of this:
- You have immediate access to a growing range of features – this in itself makes your business life easier and more productive.
- You’re not using legacy apps that eventually bring in security issues – especially when the publisher no longer supports them.
So – if you’re using old desktop versions of Microsoft apps, you’re running risks within your business, as well as missing out on the latest features of Microsoft 365 that will increase your productivity.
We Can Help
Here at OneSource in Houston, we’re a managed IT service provider with a fully Microsoft-Certified team. We’ll always provide you with the best support possible for Microsoft 365, with a tailored fee structure to suit your needs. We want you to be productive and we’re committed to setting you up for success! Contact us today for a free evaluation.