6 Microsoft 365 Productivity Tips & Tricks

Microsoft 365 is one of the most popular productivity tools in the world. Over 651,000 companies in the U.S. use the platform for its core business tools (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint) as well as collaborative features like Teams.

However, we find that many companies leave a lot of productivity-saving potential untapped in the SaaS tool. They do not understand what all of the apps in the platform can do and have not taken the time to explore the potential for inter-app automations.

If you do not take full advantage of your cloud services, it can cost you money through loss of productivity and through purchasing app subscriptions that you don’t really need. 

The 2020 SaaS Trends Report by Blissfully found that cloud spend increased by 50% in 2019. However, cloud waste ballooned by nearly 100%.

If you use Microsoft 365 for your business, we have several tips and tricks below to help you get more productivity out of the platform and possibly allow you to replace other apps that you are using in the process.

Use Outlook for Scheduling Rooms & Equipment

How do you track who has the company projector or which conference room is being used by which department? Companies often do this manually (time consuming!) or use a scheduling app.

You have the ability to easily schedule rooms and equipment through Outlook in Microsoft 365. The trick is to set up a resource mailbox that is then added to scheduled meetings in Outlook.

Do this by:

  • Going to the Exchange admin center > Recipients > Resources
  • Choose to add a new Room or Equipment mailbox
  • Fill out the mailbox information you desire
  • Save to create the mailbox

Now, when anyone in the organization wants to reserve one of your rooms or an equipment resource, they create a meeting in Outlook and add that resource as an attendee just as they would any other user.

This is an easy system to keep track of resource scheduling and keep everything viewable on the meeting schedule calendar.

Replace Spreadsheets with Microsoft Lists

One underutilized app in Microsoft 365’s business subscriptions is Microsoft Lists. This tool allows you to turn manual spreadsheet lists into sharable and automated cloud-based lists.

The tool is so powerful that it can also be used to replace several other SaaS tools that you might be using in your Connecticut office to do things like track customer tickets or handle an employee onboarding process.

Just a few of the built-in templates are:

  • Event itinerary
  • Issue tracking
  • Onboarding checklist
  • Asset manager

Automatically Email Project Notes to OneNote

OneNote in Microsoft 365 gives you one centralized place to keep digital notebooks about projects and tasks that you are working on.

By adding this particular tip to your workflow, you can both keep your project notes more organized and easier to find and remove excess clutter from your email inbox.

OneNote has a feature that allows you to email directly into a designated notebook. So, you can immediately save project or task related emails to OneNote by just emailing “[email protected]” once you have set up the feature.

You can set up email to OneNote here.

Record Your Meetings in OneNote

Another handy feature of the OneNote app is that it can keep meetings nicely categorized along with a project.

Have you ever been furiously jotting down notes in a meeting only to miss part of the conversation? You can both join in and make sure that not a single thing is missed by using the meeting recording feature in OneNote.

On the Insert menu, just click the Audio link to begin recording an online meeting that you are having. You can also click Meeting Details (the next link over) if you want to jot down any quick bullet points.

Get Details for Posting a Job from Word

A few years back, Microsoft joined forces with LinkedIn to add the Resume Assistant feature to Word. However, this feature can be used for more than just sprucing up a resume.

If you are putting together a job posting to hire for a new position, you can save a lot of time by using the feature to view a variety of different job descriptions for ideas.

Just open Word and click the Review tab. You can find Resume Assistant to the far right.  Add the job role and industry (if pertinent) and you will see multiple LinkedIn profiles that match what you need.

Use Microsoft Forms for Customer & Employee Surveys

How long does it take you to create, send out, follow up with and collate the data from your customer satisfaction surveys?

Microsoft Forms is a free app that is available to anyone with a Microsoft account and it significantly shortens the form/quiz/survey process.

Quickly put together a form in the interface and then send out the link digitally by email, QR code or embedded in a website. As the answers come in, you can view them online and click to export to Excel where it is already collated for you.

Get Help Making the Most of Your Productivity Tools!

Sound Computers has an expert cloud services team that can help you set up, customize and make the most out of your cloud solutions.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Call 860-577-8060 or reach us online.

January 5, 2021
Sound Computers Admin