“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, focused effort and intelligent planning.” – Paul J Meyer
How true? We all strive to be a bit more productive and look for new methods to be more productive. When we operate at maximum efficiency, we get more done and achieve goals faster. But getting an entire team to be productive is certainly a challenge.
Today, most of the managers and business professionals struggle to make themselves more productive, improve time utilization, get flexible, inspiration inducing workplace and collaborate with each other faster, anywhere, anytime.
So, the question arises how to increase productivity and collaboration at work or what’s the best way to increase productivity? The answer lies in the phrase- “Work smart not hard”. So, how to go about it?
To stay competitive in this digital age, a business needs game-changing online productivity tools that meet the demand of a diverse workforce and its goals.
With millions of active users worldwide, Office 365 productivity suite, the cloud-based communication software empowers individuals, teams and entire organizations with the broadest and deepest toolkit for collaboration and productivity.
Office 365 business plans are designed for all-sized business needs. All plans come at a price point that makes buying Office 365 an easy decision.
Microsoft Office 365 – Business collaboration facilitator
Office 365 is designed to address the unique needs and work style of different business verticals. It offers a broad set of purpose-built apps and services that gives its users flexibility and choice in how they connect, share, and communicate.
You get Outlook for enterprise-grade email; Skype for Business as the backbone for enterprise voice and video conferencing; OneDrive for storage and now Planner for work management; Flow for workflow automation; PowerApps for web and mobile app development; Microsoft Teams, the new chat-based workspace in Office 365, Sway for web expression of ideas and Forms, the new assessment tool and more. However, the tools offered may vary from one plan to another.
These apps together bring new ways to work smart and improve efficiency levels dramatically – a better bottom line for the organization.
6 fantastic features of Office 365, you might not have tried
No time to read? No worries, take a super- quick review of the six fantastic features through this video:
1. Microsoft Planner – Task management software to organize teamwork
With this work management app of Microsoft Office 365 online business, schools and organizations get a visual way to stay organized and improve their teamwork easily. It enables its users to work with their team without any chaos and keep a track on their team’s progress from anywhere and on any device.
The Planner app uses “boards” and “cards” to organize volume of work and structure tasks into buckets – larger columns.
Features of Microsoft Planner
- Easy and organized teamwork
With Planner, one can plan projects, build teams and assign tasks to the team. Further can attach files, photos, or links; add a checklist to a task, set a preview picture for a task, add comments to tasks; flag his/her tasks with labels; and set and update task progress.
- Transparency & visibility
Planner gives a chart view of all the tasks and plans and thus enables greater visibility into progress of assigned tasks and more accurate client communication. All team members can view task progress and know who is working on what.
- Effortless collaboration
Microsoft Planner also helps it users in file sharing and updating statuses, and have conversations around tasks.
2. Forms – online assessment and survey creator tool
Microsoft Forms allows educators and business organizations to create surveys, quizzes, and polls, and view results as they come in. This assessment solution saves time and provides all the quiz takers with real time personalized feedback and automatic grading functionality.
Features of Microsoft Forms
- Simple to use
With Forms, you can organize team events, collect customer feedback /responses in real time and measure employee satisfaction. It also enables its users to create quick quizzes and measure knowledge, evaluate progress, and focus on topics that need improvement.
- Flexible and easy to customize
This quizzing platform adapts to every screen and works on any web browser, with different themes and question branching and can be used to create surveys, requisitions, assessments and so much more
- Built-in analytics
It offers data visualization capacity to its users with the help of charts and allows its users to collect and evaluate responses by using powerful and simple analytics.
3. Sway- Digital storytelling tool for interactive reports, presentations.
Designed on the theme “Reimagine the way your ideas come to life – Sway, a new Office 365 app gives its users a new way to create and share interactive, engaging and presentable web-based expression of their ideas, either from phone or browser or tablet.
Features of Sway
- Interactive web-based canvas
With just drag and drop, create and share anything that is web-based – reports, presentations, newsletters and more. Sway is cloud native and thus, it makes it easy to collect and add content from different sources within it like OneDrive, social networks or other sources.
Best part about it is, it fits in the device on which it is viewed on either large or small screen, making your ideas always engaging and interactive.
- Effortless design
Its built-in design engine handles all the hassles that arise out of formatting with the help of a cohesive layout when you create it. Also, Sway is designed in such a way that you do not need to worry about exact pixel heights and widths or design chops that you need to keep things looking good.
With Sway, you get different layouts – traditional linear, scrolling vertical and horizontal layout, high level concepts, flashcard and more for different requirements.
Sway also makes it easy to adjust and customize the formats and for your adventurous ideas, it offers Remix. Remix! button helps you quickly find a design and layout of your choice.
4. Microsoft Teams- digital workspace to empower the art of teams
Microsoft Teams is a group chat software that enables teams to collaborate easily and achieve more. It enhances collaboration capabilities of teams – brings people, content and conversations together and offers tools to collaborate.
Features of Microsoft Teams
- Persistent and threaded chat
Microsoft Teams enables its users to remain engaged and informed and gives private chat capabilities.
- Extensible & customizable
It enables users to customize teams workspace, include key cloud services and get updates from the apps that your teams use daily. Create custom channels, add Bots, build custom integrations to your current processes and more.
- Enterprise security
Microsoft Teams encrypts data, in-transit or at-rest, and includes multi-factor authentication to enhance identity protection.
5. PowerApps- SAS solution to build fast and efficient business apps
PowerApps is a forms and app platform that allows businesses to create, connect and share their business apps that run in a browser or on any device (Mobile, Laptop, Tab).
In PowerApps, you can generate an app automatically, customize it as per requirement or if required you can create an app from templates, and share and run the apps- it doesn’t require deep technical knowledge or programming skills.
This enterprise service combines visual drag-and-drop concepts from PowerPoint with Excel-like expressions for logic and working with data.
Features of PowerApps
- Built-in advanced data service
Get inbuilt secure business data platform with PowerApps. It comes with hundreds of defined business entities meaning that now all your apps will share the same definition of “customer,” “product,” “lead,” and more. You also get workflow automation with Microsoft Flow with PowerApps.
- Publish apps to the web or mobile without delay
Publish your apps as soon as they are ready, no app store is required. You can run on web and mobile. Laptops, tablets, and phones. Android, iOS, and Windows.
6. Flow- Automation of tasks and processes
This service of Microsoft office 365 business essentials help you build automated workflows across apps and services, without the need of coding. This automation thus helps you spend less time on mundane and repetitive tasks, and focus more on business acceleration activities.
What you can do with Flow?
- Covert your repetitive tasks into multistep workflows.
- Respond quickly to process requests.
- Connect securely to on-premises data and cloud-based services,
- Use built-in or customized data loss prevention policies and prevent your sensitive data.
How Flow works?
Thus, cloud services like Office 365 are not only easy to deploy and affordable but they prove to transformational for business.
So, keep getting better with Office 365 Subscription plans
Lipika Is a fun loving person who enjoys writing. She loves learning about all things technical and loves guiding others about it. In her free time, she likes dancing and listening to music. You can catch her at Google+.