September news: Microsoft 365 Apps for Productivity

Unlocking Microsoft 365: The Hidden Gems You’re Already Paying For

As a business leader, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Microsoft 365. It’s the software suite that offers the ever-reliable Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Teams. You already have Microsoft 365 licenses throughout your business. What if we told you there’s more to this digital treasure chest than meets the eye…

You wouldn’t pay for a Swiss Army knife and only use the main blade. You’d be missing out, right? Similarly, Microsoft 365 is packed with overlooked gems that can enhance your business operations significantly.

TL;DR – download Clearsky’s guide on the best underused apps for productivity.

The Unsung Heroes of Microsoft 365

Let’s dive into the underexplored depths of Microsoft 365 and some of the most underutilised tools. Each of these has the potential to dramatically streamline processes, foster collaboration, and save time.

1. Microsoft Planner

Tired of sticky notes and whiteboards cluttering up your office? This handy online tool lets your team easily organise projects and tasks in one central digital space. No more scrambling to find the latest to-do list or figure out who’s doing what.

With Planner, you can create plans, assign tasks, set due dates, and update status with just a few clicks. It’s  robust enough to make your resident IT expert happy with features like file attachment and integrations with other Office apps. Perfect for managers juggling various responsibilities, like having a digital personal assistant.

2. Microsoft Whiteboard

Level up your brainstorming with Microsoft Whiteboard! This digital canvas lets your team collaborate and get creative together in real time. No more fuzzy photos of wiped-away ideas or lost flipchart sheets.

Whiteboard saves everything in the cloud automatically. You can fire it up on any device and pick up right where you left off. With intuitive inking, sticky notes, images, and templates, it’s as easy to use as a real whiteboard. Your team will be generating brilliant ideas in no time!

3. Microsoft Forms

This handy digital tool makes it a breeze to create forms, quizzes, and surveys—and gather responses all in one place.

Creating a poll, questionnaire, or registration is super simple. You can customise it in minutes with different question types, branding, themes—all with a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface. Distributing your form is just as easy, with real-time response gathering and automatic analysis. No more chasing people down for info! Even your most tech-shy team members will have no trouble using Forms.

4. Microsoft Stream

This handy video sharing platform makes it simple to upload, share, and watch videos securely across your organisation. Think of it as your business’s private YouTube. Ideal for training content or important communications.

Uploading videos is a breeze, with options to record a new video right in Stream, upload existing files, or even live stream events. Sharing and permissions are handled with a few clicks. Playback is optimised for any device, so your team can watch training videos, webinars, meetings, and more from anywhere.

5. Microsoft Bookings

Tired of the endless back-and-forth of scheduling appointments? This nifty online booking tool makes it a cinch for customers to schedule appointments or resources right from your website.

Set up is simple – just create and customise booking pages for services, staff, and assets. Your customers can check availability, pick a timeslot, and book their appointment in just a few clicks. Everything is synced automatically across your calendar and email.

6. Microsoft Sway

Move over, PowerPoint! This handy digital tool makes creating engaging, interactive reports, manuals, newsletters, and presentations a breeze.

Forget about fussing over formatting and layouts. Sway lets you focus on content while it handles design using neat animations, transitions, and responsive formatting. Drag in text, images, video and let Sway work its magic! With just a few clicks, you can make beautiful, professional-looking visuals.

Even the shakiest computer user on your team will be a Sway expert in no time. But it also packs powerful features to please experienced users, like custom branding, data integration, collaboration tools, and integration with Office apps.

7. Yammer

This social network tool streamlines team communication by providing a private, ad-free platform right within your organisation.

Even new social media users on your team will quickly embrace Yammer’s simple, familiar interface. But it also offers more robust options to satisfy expert users, like integration with Office 365, data compliance, admin controls, and API access.

Yammer makes it easy to share ideas, post questions, provide feedback, and collaborate across departments. You can create groups, host project discussions, share files, and more. It’s the perfect virtual water cooler for your business!

8. Microsoft To Do

Transform your to-do list into an accomplished list. Organise tasks, set reminders, and streamline your day.

Sick of scribbled sticky notes and misplaced to-do lists? To Do is a handy digital task manager that makes it easy to create, assign, and manage tasks and lists across your business.

To Do’s intuitive interface lets you quickly capture what you need to get done and add details like due dates, reminders, and notes. Lists and tasks sync seamlessly across devices and apps. No more tracking down that rogue sticky note—your tasks go wherever you go!

9. Microsoft Lists

Lists makes data management a delight. Easily build lists to catalog contracts, assets, issues, contacts, inventory…you name it! Customise views, rules, and forms to streamline work. Share and collaborate in real time, on any device. No more hassling with error-prone spreadsheets!

Even non-techie types on your team will find Lists intuitive to use. Simplify data management with the flexible power of Lists – ditch the spreadsheets and make Lists your go-to for taming data.

10. Microsoft Power Automate

Automate workflows, save time, and reduce errors. It’s like adding a touch of magic to mundane tasks.

Spending too much time on repetitive administrative tasks? Automate the work and increase productivity with Microsoft Power Automate! This handy digital tool makes it simple to create automated workflows between apps and services.

Implementation for Optimal Adoption

Education First: Familiarise your team with these tools. Consider organising a weekly “Microsoft 365 Hour” where you deep dive into a tool’s features. By making it an event, you encourage collective learning.

Pilot Projects: Implement new tools in smaller team projects first. Successes here can encourage wider adoption.

Feedback Loops: Encourage feedback. If an app isn’t fitting into your workflow, it might just need a tweak.

Mix and Match: Microsoft 365 apps often complement one another. Discover the combinations that work best for you.

Stay Updated: Microsoft frequently updates its suite with new features. Clearsky IT’s blog keeps you informed about these updates, ensuring you’re always ahead of the curve.

A Final Thought: Making the Most of Microsoft 365
Remember, these tools are like the spices in a gourmet dish. On their own, they’re interesting, but when combined correctly, they can transform your business operations into a delectable feast of productivity. Don’t just settle for the usual fare; explore the full menu that Microsoft 365 offers.

Got questions or need advice on using a particular tool effectively? Our friendly team at Clearsky IT is always on standby to offer a hand.

Access a digital version of our free guide on the link below. Save, share or print!

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