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Microsoft 365 Apps & Tools for Productivity

Posted in Articles on 22/6/2020

Microsoft 365 is the productivity cloud that brings together best-in-class Office apps with powerful cloud services, device management, and advanced security. It infuses new artificial intelligence (AI), rich content and templates, and cloud-powered experiences to empower you to become a better writer, presenter, designer, and worker amongst other things. Microsoft 365 is packed full of productivity tools that can make you a more efficient and productive.

While each app that comes with Microsoft 365 has it's own value and place, there are also certain tools within some of the applications which are worth exploring! We're going to go through a bit of both so you get a well-rounded idea of what you can find in the Microsoft 365 suite, and how your business or workers can use them beneficially.

Don’t have Microsoft 365 yet? Check out the different options here.

Five apps to simplify processes and streamline your workflows

There are a number of apps in Microsoft 365 business plans that make capturing, tracking, and acting on data and requests easier with built-in apps and tools designed to simplify and manage processes. 

1. Microsoft Forms

Easily collect customer or employee feedback and insights with Microsoft Forms. You can quickly gather data with easy-to-create surveys, polls, and questionnaires that can be distributed online and accessed from any web browser. You'll be able to track responses in real-time or export results into several Microsoft and third-party tools to share and act on findings.

2. Microsoft Planner

Streamline intake and management of your teams' tasks with Microsoft Planner. Planner makes it easy for you to create, assign, and track tasks and work items to completion. A visual layout makes it easy to know who's working on what and quickly understand the status of items to ensure everyone is on the same page. 

3. Microsoft Power Automate

Take productivity to new heights by automating business processes across your entire organisation. Microsoft Power Automate allows you to turn streamline repetitive tasks and paperless processes, enabling you to focus your attention where it's needed most. 

With Power Automate, you can boost productivity when you build time-saving workflows into everything from individual tasks, to large-scale systems with seamless integration using hundreds of pre-built connectors. With a no-code guided experience, anyone can do it! Automate time-consuming manual tasks with built-in AI capabilities, and you'll have more time to focus on strategic, high-value opportunities. 

4. Skype & Microsoft Teams

Microsoft 365 comes with Skype and Microsoft Teams. There's a new feature in Skype called Meet Now which makes creating video meetings super easy - it can be done in as little as three clicks, and no sign-ups or downloads are required making it quick and easy for meeting attendees who aren't on the same platform.

Microsoft Teams has been updated making it easier for you to connect, stay organized, and collaborate with family, friends, and co-workers. You can create groups and include selected people. You can connect in a group chat or video call, and collaborate over shared to-do lists and assign tasks to specific people. Co-ordinating schedules, and sharing photos and videos is also easily done in Microsoft Teams. 

5. Microsoft MyAnalytics

While the last few apps are focused on working within teams and business, MyAnalytics gets a bit more personal. With Microsoft MyAnalytics, you can explore your work patterns and learn ways to work smarter - improving your focus, wellbeing, network, and collaboration. These are some MyAnayltics elements that can provide useful insights into how you work.

  • MyAnalytics dashboard: See how you spent your time over the past month, productivity insights about your work patterns, helpful suggestions for improvement, and information about your network, top collaborators, and collaboration activities.
  • Insights Outlook add-in: The Insights add-in for Outlook presents you with activity cards based on your recent work experience with options to respond or follow up on based on the activity.
  • Digests: Receive a weekly digest that gives you highlights about your previous week.
  • Inline suggestions in Outlook: Contextual, data driven recommendations to improve your work patterns.
  • MyAnalytics adoption materials: These adoption materials help teams and individuals reduce stress and burnout, increase productivity and creativity, and make work more enjoyable.
    • Individual adoption: Individuals learn how to use MyAnalytics to build and sustain healthier work patterns.
    • Team adoption: Team members learn how to set and track goals and build new habits to change the way the team collaborates.
    • Habit resources: The learning modules and habit playbooks in this section help you build positive new habits and show you how to use MyAnalytics more effectively.

Awesome tools that bring out your best

Bring Out Your Best Writer With Microsoft Editor

Microsoft Editor – an AI tool which helps users write better sentences (in more than 20 languages) – has seen a major expansion with Microsoft 365. It is now accessible across Word and Outlook.com, and as a standalone browser extension for Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome.

While anyone can access the basic Editor capability, such as spelling and basic grammar, Microsoft 365 subscribers will have access to advanced grammar and style refinements to write with more clarity and conciseness. Advanced features include Rewrite Suggestions, Plagiarism Checking, Style and Language Critiques, and more.

Become a Better Presenter With PowerPoint’s Presenter Coach

PowerPoint’s Presenter Coach is a great took that can help you improve your public speaking. While you’re rehearsing, Presenter Coach uses AI to detect if you’re talking too fast, saying “ummm” too much, or reading off your slides.

Microsoft 365 subscribers get exclusive access to additional AI-powered features such as monotone pitch and speech refinement. With monotone pitch, Presenter Coach will listen to your tone of voice and give feedback in real-time to suggest adding some variation where needed. With speech refinement, Presenter Coach will give grammar suggestions including how to better phrase your speech.

These are just some of the awesome tools you'll have access to with a Microsoft 365 subscription. Head over here to learn what else is included!

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