Office 365 has probably completely changed your view of Microsoft's world-leading productivity suite. For starters, tighter integration and more tools mean using much more than Word and Excel, it is a proven solution for streamlining your business and there are pleanty of good reasons to consider moving to Office 365 if you haven't already.
But for those who are into the Office 365 experience, there's always something new to learn; one of our favourite things to do with the software is to find ways to make it work even better for us. Check out these four epic hacks which have made Office 365, easier, better and faster.
1. Keep track of anything (and everything) with OneNote
Into lists? Go to conferences and attend a lot of presentations? Keen to keep track of what’s happening in board and other meetings? You’re going to love OneNote. With a simple interface and making use of the cloud to synchronise information across devices, OneNote is a powerful tool for capturing multimedia records of just about everything you might be doing.
Installed on your mobile, it allows capture of typed notes, photos ‘in line’, video and audio recordings. You can even scribble rather than type if that’s what you prefer. It all synchs to your desktop, so when you’re out of the presentation and back at your desk, your notes are right there waiting for you. For busy people, OneNote is a seriously useful tool – and if you’re anything like us, it will quickly become your favourite Office 365 mobile app
⇒ New to OneNote? Check out this training workbook
2. Sway your way to better presso
One of the things about Office 365 is that is has expanded the tools available in, well, Office. OneNote is our top pick of those new applications, but Sway runs a close second. It’s Office 365’s answer for creating better presentations, faster. Sure, you can still create or upload traditional PowerPoint presentations, but Sway boosts creativity while also incorporating all the ‘new media’ which characterises the office of today. That makes it easy to embed images or videos, as Sway integrates Bing, YouTube, PicHit, Flickr, Twitter, and OneDrive.
While editing a presentation, click ‘Insert → Suggested’. The drop down menu will list ‘Bing, PicHit, YouTube’, etc. Search within Sway for the artefact you’re after, add it and done. Our bet is that your desktop is going to be a lot less cluttered.
3. A personal guide to show and "Tell me"
Probably the greatest drawback of powerful software is the sheer number of features available. That means the things you might need could appear frustratingly ‘hidden’. And that is what makes the ‘Tell Me’ feature in Word Online, Excel Online, and PowerPoint Online, so valuable. It helps save time as you don’t have to turn to a web search or forum to learn to use your new software. With a search box square in the middle of the Ribbon, you can’t miss it.
Enter a simple search term and Tell Me will, well, tell you. Try entering ‘list’ check out the options for bullets, numbering, text styles, and more. Even better, once you spot what you’re after, click it within Tell Me and you’ll go right to it. At last!+
4. Scratch the attach
Attaching documents to emails has always been a bit of a pain (although Office 365 greatly eases this by making available the latest files you’re been working on when you click ‘attach’ on a new email). An even better option is available for users of SharePoint and Onedrive. With documents living in Microsoft’s cloud, each with a unique URL, just click ‘Share+’ and a window with the shareable link pops up – and you can manage permissions, too, so depending who is on the receiving end, they can either ‘view link’ or ‘edit link’. It works internally and externally, too, for maximum convenience.
Need more detail? Here's a helpful tutorial