Lancashire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Jamie Durham
IT Correspondent
2:00 AM 28th May 2022

Ten Tips To Help You Master Microsoft 365

Housing over 20 applications, intelligent email hosting and cloud storage space, plus state-of-the-art security infrastructure, it comes as no surprise that Microsoft 365 is one of the biggest content platform leaders of all time. In fact, the tool plays an integral role in the day-to-day operations of over 1.5 million company users worldwide.

Yet, while organisations of varying sizes and sectors continue to invest in the subscription, a staggering number are unaware of just how many features are at their disposal. From cloud telephony and storing syncing, to intelligent email de-cluttering and real-time co-authoring, Microsoft 365 has the power to completely revolutionise your productivity and workflow.

That’s why Jamie Durham, founder of Systemwork, has collated some useful tips to help you boost your ROI.

1. Collaborate in real-time

No matter your location, or which device you’re using, the cloud-based model enables users to dip in and out of documents at their own desire – providing they’re connected to the internet. Not only this, but virtual meeting tools, such as Microsoft Teams, are also a great way to bolster team dynamic and encourage innovative ideas into fruition.

2. Attach stored files conveniently

Instead of sending large email attachments, you can share a document for co-authoring by inserting the link to the file on your cloud. Outlook will automatically grant recipients with permission to access and edit the document, and you can change this setting at any given time to ‘view only’.

3. Visualise data with ‘Power Map’

This three-dimensional data visualisation tool unlocks innovative ways to view information – plotting spatial and temporal data on a globe or custom map, showing it over time, and creating shareable presentations of findings. Not only does this provide a simple, yet creative, way to explore performance, the software also produces visualisations in just a matter of minutes.

4. Leverage version history

Locate, view, and restore previous versions of documents with OneDrive by exploring version history. Compatible with all file types, this functionality enables a more reliable and secure way of working – showing the date of previous revisions, the modifier, and the size of each version.

5. Automate email de-cluttering

Automation is a great way to save time on mundane, day-to-day tasks in any line of work – and email is no exception. With Microsoft Rules, users can direct inbound messages to a specific folder – whether from a single sender or containing a certain topic – to help organise emails into more manageable chunks, as well as combat spam.

6. Improve workflow with ‘Power Automate’

Speaking of automation, Microsoft 365 also provides an excellent way to enhance workflows through the use of low-code, drag-and-drop tools, plus a host of pre-built connectors, to conduct repetitive, mundane tasks and connect processes with ease – enabling you to work smarter, and achieve more.

7. Organise contacts into groups

Rather than painstakingly typing individual email addresses in when sending out emails, creating calendar events, and so on, Microsoft 365 allows you to group contacts to suit your own criteria – such as by department or client type – and even automatically forward to multiple addresses. This is an excellent tool for project work and to support seamless communication.

8. Connect to Outlook calendar

Fully integrated with apps such as emails and contacts, Outlook calendar helps you organise your time effectively, assign tasks to colleagues, monitor invitation responses, cross-reference time zones, schedule meetings on your behalf, and much more – helping to boost productivity and free precious hours to focus on your core workload.

9. Stay connected with cloud telephony

With Microsoft’s contemporary calling solution, users can make and receive voice and video communications directly in Teams from any device. The cloud-based system boasts features such as call transfer, multilevel auto attendants, and call queues, to help teams connect, communicate and collaborate securely and efficiently.

10. Create using building blocks

From Publisher to Word, a variety of Microsoft apps come equipped with rich, pre-defined content that can be used time and again to streamline document creation – including preformatted headers, footers, and text boxes. Building blocks are also flexible and programmable, meaning you can tailor them, restrict them to particular documents, or distribute them to others for wider use.

Efficiency, productivity, and collaboration have become crucial in the modern workplace – not least for teams with geographical differences and hybrid structures in place. That’s why mastering the intricacies of Microsoft 365 is a game-changer, to say the least.
Every ounce of time you spend exploring the software will help save future frustrations and squeeze more value out of your subscription – in the workplace and beyond.