5 Microsoft 365 Hacks to up Your Office Game

October 9, 2020

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From Word, Excel and PowerPoint to Outlook, OneDrive, and Teams, thanks to the ubiquitous nature of Microsoft office, you will probably have used one of these apps, if not all of them, at some point in your life.


Are you looking to transition your business to Microsoft 365 but don’t know where to start? Get in touch with Elite Group IOM.

For many of us, most of our day-to-day work will involve using a Microsoft product or service. Indeed, Microsoft seems to have achieved near total domination of the office market, with over 200 million active users every month. Microsoft 365 takes all the applications that we know and love and rolls them into one, integrated productivity suite. With its user-friendly interface and sleek design, Microsoft office provides your business with everything it needs for daily operation, including cloud-based document storage and business emails. With that being said, we’ve decided to explore 5 Microsoft hacks to help you get the most out of your applications and to supercharge your productivity. If you use Microsoft everyday, this one is definitely for you!


1.Share documents with colleagues for co-editing and joint projects

With Microsoft 365, it’s easy to share documents and files with colleagues via Outlook, Teams or SharePoint. When you email an individual copy of a document, any edits made will only be made on that document only. This means that you’re constantly sending multiple copies and versions of the same document to everyone working on the project, making the process inefficient and confusing.

By sharing the link to the document with your colleagues, you can collaborate on projects in real-time and co-edit documents jointly, ensuring everyone working on the document can see the changes and easily keep track of the latest version. With SharePoint, you can even enable the ‘Alert’ function to notify you when something changes in a document or file. Thanks to Microsoft 365’s streamlined design, you can easily share Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents, as well as OneNote pages, allowing you to easily share content, collaborate on documents or suggest amendments.


*Bonus Hack-Editing files in Teams*

If someone shares a document with you via Teams, there are three ways to view and edit it:

  • Open in desktop app
  • Open in browser
  • Edit in Teams

When you choose to edit in Teams, you can chat with your colleagues whilst editing your document. This trick makes it even easier to collaborate and exchange ideas on joint projects or documents.


2.Use Outlook’s functionalities to organise your inbox

If you use Microsoft Outlook for emailing, we’ve got some handy tips to improve your inbox workflow and keep on top of your emails. With Outlook’s ‘Rule’ functions, you can automatically file emails into folders depending on the recipient or subject contents. This helps you better organise your emails and group them together accordingly.

To support this organisational structure, you can prioritise your inbox with ‘Flags’ to highlight important or urgent emails, which colour them yellow to ensure they stand out from the rest. With Outlook’s ‘Categories’ function, you can further colour code your emails, helping you to organise correspondence by sender, subject or importance, as well as assigning emails to individuals in a shared inbox.

When it comes to keeping on top of your emails, you can right click and select ‘Quick Steps”, which allows you to easily forward emails to managers and teams, as well as moving the email to  ‘Done’ status or selecting ‘Reply and Delete’ to clear out completed tasks or correspondence. To help you keep your inbox clean, you can also click ‘Assign Policy’ and put a retention policy in place to delete the email after a specified time period.


*Useful Outlook Shortcuts: *

  • Ctrl+Shift+M to open a new email
  • Ctrl+Shift+A to create a new appointment
  • Ctrl+F to forward an email
  • Ctrl+Shift+B to open address book
  • Ctrl+O to open a received email



3.Utilise OneNote as your office planner

While OneNote has been around for a while now, many Microsoft users can often overlook this gem. With the ability to create notebooks with subsections and pages, OneNote can act as your dedicated work planner. With OneNote’s range of functionalities such as to-do lists, draw functions and easy file insertion, you have everything you need to keep track of tasks, jot down ideas and collaborate with colleagues.

Like the rest of the Microsoft suite, OneNote integrates with other application such as Outlook and Teams, providing you with a consistent organisational presence across your virtual workspace. By syncing your OneNote with Outlook and Teams, you can import emails and attachments, as well as scheduled meeting information to take minutes and notes. You can then easily email or share these pages with colleagues, adding password protection or setting an expiration date for the link.


Other OneNote Functions:

  • Insert videos/audio and pictures into your notebook
  • Add stickers to your notes for extra fun
  • Add rule lines to your notebook



4.Explore the full potential of Teams

Thanks to COVID-19, more people than ever are working on Teams. For those of you yet to be acquainted with Microsoft Teams, it’s a collaborative platform that integrates video, audio and chat functions, providing something to suit everybody’s communication style. In true Microsoft fashion, Teams is integrated and synced with Outlook, allowing you to schedule meetings on either application and automatically add these to your Microsoft calendar. With multiparty video and audio calling, you can add up to 250 users on your call, allowing you to host virtual meetings and conferences whilst working from home or across multiple offices.

Using the chat function, you can easily share files, highlight important or urgent messages and schedule meetings, as well as adding a fun touch to online working with functions like stickers and gifs. For further personalisation, you can also add and integrate additional apps into your Teams to tailor the platform to your business needs.


*Bonus Teams Tips*

  • For presentations or training, you can record and store meetings
  • To brighten a colleague’s day, you can show your appreciation by sending praise badges
  • For a bit of office banter, you can personalise gifs with your own text
  • To include people from outside your organisation, you can invite guest users who don’t have a Microsoft account



 5.Enable OneDrive for automatic syncing

Perhaps the pièce de resistance of Microsoft 365, OneDrive offers sophisticated cloud-based storage that unifies Microsoft’s office applications. By saving documents to the Cloud instead of your computer’s hard drive, you can access your applications and files from anywhere, on any device, including portable devices such as laptops and smart phones. This flexibility ensures you have everything you need to seamlessly transition to remote working, allowing you to pick up where you left off at the office.  With remote working never more important for business productivity, moving your documents and files to the Cloud gives you the flexibility you need to work from anywhere.

For an added bonus, OneDrive also provides protection against damage or loss of data. Imagine losing your laptop or having it stolen. Without cloud storage, you not only lose an expensive bit of kit but also potentially years’ worth of documents and files, not to mention the latest projects you’ve been working on. By uploading your files to OneDrive, you have the peace of mind that your work is accessible and recoverable 24/7/365.


Are you looking to transition your business to Microsoft 365 but don’t know where to start? Get in touch with Elite Group IOM. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we have the expert knowledge needed to smoothly implement Microsoft 365 across businesses just like yours.


Elite Group IOM is one of the island’s leading IT and unified communication providers, supplying reliable and business IT organisations seeking Connectivity, UC & Voice, Cloud Service, IT Software and Security solutions.

For more information on how Elite Group IOM can help your business flourish through technology, contact us today.