Microsoft Office 365 integrates your Microsoft apps and services. So, your business can grow in a collaborative, seamless way — no matter where your employees are based. The apps and services included in your business’s subscription to Office 365, depending on the plan you choose. And you can easily know that you’ll get automatic monthly updates, so you never miss the best features and security settings of Office 365.
These 22 Microsoft Office 365 tips and tricks will get your employees on board — excited. Even the benefits of Office 365 and push them to use each program to its full potential. Focusing beyond PowerPoint and Word, these Office 365 tips and tricks will give you insights into how you can manage your business. Outlook tips, Teams tips, SharePoint tips, and OneDrive tips are just some of the topics we’re about to delve int.
Office 365 Business Tips
1. Use productivity tools on any device
With Microsoft Office 365, your team can stay focussed and productive no matter where they are or what device they’re working from. Encourage employees to use Office 365 apps on their mobiles and tablets. They’ll be able to edit documents, check out visuals, and watch presentations on the go. Teams within your organisation will stay connected no matter who is in the office, on-site, or working from home. Another one of our Office 365 tips and tricks is that if your company has Business Premium, you and your team can access all of the apps available, so it might just be the best investment for your business’s productivity.
2. Stay in sync
Our Office 365 tips and tricks offer the answer to staying in sync — no matter what different time zones employees are in. Having various versions of documents saved to different places can lead to major business inefficiencies. Whether it’s a group document or an individual project, multiple file versions can cause unnecessary confusion and stress. More than one version of a ‘final copy’ may even appear — this means more last-minute work for your team as they scramble to make sure one version has all the correct edits before submitting or presenting the project.
Using Office 365 and SharePoint means that everyone will be working on the same document. With Office 365, updates always being flagged and saved so that the final version is the same across the board and no edits are missed. This also cuts out the middle man (in this case, email). You go back and forwards emailing the document and risk a copy getting lost along the way or coworkers accidentally downloading an outdated file attachment.
3. SharePoint’s Alert Me function
Ever spent way too much time manually checking a file for updates? Or have you been reading from a file mid-meeting only to realise Office 365 had updated it since you last went over it? These are avoidable productivity and accountability workplace hurdles. If you activate SharePoint’s Alert Me function, you’ll automatically email or text when changes are made to a file or library. This is one of our favourite Office 365 tips and tricks to increase the accessibility of changes to files across all staff member’s devices.
To set up an alert for an entire library or list, select Library or List, Alert Me and then Set Alert on This Library. To set an alert for a single document, go to Files or Documents, Alert Me, and Set Alert on This Document. Lastly, you can even set alerts for list items. Following the same system, select the item you’d like an alert for. Then click the Items tab, Alert Me, and then Set Alarm on This Item.
Microsoft Office 365 User-management tips
4. Microsoft Office 365 Disable old accounts
Office 365 encourages your team to be collaborative and functional. However, it’s important not to get lazy when it comes to account management and risk jeopardising information and document security. Who wants an unnecessarily cluttered system, anyway!?
Even small-to-medium-sized businesses need to ensure streamlined user-account management. Remember always to disable the accounts of past employees, even if they left on great terms. This ensures company documents can only be accessed by those currently working there and who hold the correct permissions. Also, remove all dormant accounts, such an old account of current staff members. They’re just taking up unnecessary space and cluttering the network.
5. Microsoft Office 365 Keep track of your licenses
It sounds simple, but keeping track of your licenses is a necessary part of our Office 365 tips and tricks list as it’s often neglected. If an employee leaves, transfer their Office 365 license to the person taking their position (or to anyone yet to be issued a license). Assigning this current license to a new person will save money in new license costs. If you make a mistake and need to reactivate an account, it can be restored for 30 days after being removed.
Microsoft Office 365 Excel Tips
6. Learn the keyboard shortcuts
It’s often second nature for your employees to use shortcuts when working in Word or PowerPoint. They may not realise, however, just how many useful shortcuts Excel has to offer. This is why it’s on our list of Office 365 tips and tricks. Excel keyboard shortcuts save time (less staring at spreadsheets!) and make using and navigating Excel that much simpler. This is a Godsend for those of us who find spreadsheets a bit intimidating. Shortcuts can be handy for employees who have limited mobility or vision impairments, as they won’t have to navigate a mouse or touchscreen constantly. There is a list on Microsoft of all the Excel shortcuts, which is a handy link to direct your employees.
7. Visualise your data
Different people prefer reading data in different formats. For some, big data may be hard to navigate, and graphs really help to break this up. While the office cannot put everything in a graph, you may want to use a Data Bar to set out Excel data visually. Easily add a data bar to an existing table by selecting the data and cells you’d like to generate a bar for. Then navigate to Home, Conditional Formatting, and Data Bars. You’ll then be asked to choose between a gradient fill or colour fill. This is an easy, simple way to make your Excel documents visually appealing. It also draws attention to important information.
8. Use the Status Bar
The Status Bar appears at the bottom of your Excel spreadsheet when you highlight a range of numbers. You can see information about the sum, average, and total number count. Many of us know the Status Bar is there, but not how useful it is. For example, you can actually add even more features to the Status Bar as you work on the document. Do you want to see the minimum and maximum values in the range you’ve highlighted? Just add it to the Status Bar! To add more features to the Status Bar, right-click it. This can save precious time trying to find the information as needed when working on a document. It will be right in front of you.
9. Don’t forget you Can ask Excel for help!
Feeling a bit overwhelmed by Excel, or can’t remember a function or formula? Our next Office 365 tips and tricks pointer remember the in-built help system at your team’s disposal. Users often forget this is right at their fingertips, and instead of spending time scouring the internet for answers to their spreadsheet queries.
To get help within Excel, click the Search bar and type what you want to do, such as ‘insert graph.’ Options will then come up, and you can select what one applies. You can also type ‘Help’ into the search bar, and a list of common search items will appear. Another useful feature is the new Take a Tour functionality. Simply open Excel, go to Home and, instead of selecting Blank Workbook, select Welcome to Excel. You’ll be able to navigate through helpful tutorials covering all the Excel basics and more.
Microsoft Office 365 Outlook tips and tricks
10. Convert a note in OneNote to items in your calendar
Next up in our line of Office 365 tips and tricks is that Office OneNote lists can easily transform OneNote lists into a series of tasks within your calendar, complete with deadlines and reminder notifications. You can also convert OneNote items into meetings in your calendar, so you never miss an important date. Use the drop-down menus in OneNote to schedule a meeting, add contacts directly to your contact list, set up meetings or appointments in Outlook, share or discuss the items with an entire group (or with select members) even mark to-do items as critical.
11. Never miss a meeting again
Office 365 tips and tricks are not limited to the organisation of documents, with appointments, emails, and contacts all synced with Exchange Online. For small-to-medium businesses, the best Outlook tip to guarantee you’re getting the most out of this synchronisation is to send all recipients updates. This will ensure everyone sees the same view of the meeting and no lines are crossed, such as people skipping updates they think they’ve already viewed. If you’re not the event organiser, make sure that you get into the habit of accepting or declining every meeting invitation, not just deleting them, in case there are any changes.
12. Microsoft Office 365 Quicker, better performance
While Outlook is running, it will synchronise all of your calendars across your devices. To improve performance, move any shared calendars that aren’t used much to the Other Calendars folder. Limiting the calendars in your My Calendars folder results in a streamlined experience and fast performance. These may be the simplest yet most effective, Outlook tips yet!
13. Recall an email after pressing send
At some point, we’ve all hit Send only to realise the email was sent to the wrong person, was missing an attachment, or had errors. An absolute favourite of our Office 365 tips and tricks is the ability to get that email back before the recipient sees it. To recall an erroneously sent email, open the Sent folder and the email you wish to recall. Select the Move option and click on the Actions button. Choose Recall This Message. To completely delete the message from the recipient’s inbox, choose Delete Unread Copies of This Message. If you only need to make a quick change and then resend, choose Delete Unread Copies and Replace With a New Message. Then click the OK button, and all is right with the universe once again.
Microsoft teams tips and tricks
14. Use Teams and stop relying on emails
You can post and forward emails directly to Teams for your entire team to read. Just select the channel you’d like to post the email to, press the ellipsis icon, and choose to Get Email Address. Copy and paste this address into the email you’d like everyone in that channel to view, and it will populate to Teams. This is so quick compared to writing out individual staff email addresses and possibly missing someone (this can be especially awkward if they’re sitting across from you in the office!). From here, you can use Teams to have an open discussion about the email with everyone in the channel.
15. Give your group chat a relevant, unique title
Do you have multiple group chats in your history that are hard to distinguish? You can name each chat to make it easy to find later. Plus, you’ll remember exactly what you were talking about! To name your chat, select the pencil beside the chat members’ names and write in the desired title, such as ‘EOFY Meeting Prep’. You and the team members can then search this chat within teams using this title. If the chat is used frequently, or you know you’ll need it soon, another great Teams tip is to pin the chat so that it appears at the top of your chat bar. So, your conversations will sort into topics, with the most relevant ones to your current workload being the most accessible.
16. Use connectors to keep up to date
Connectors let you keep updated on your frequently-used programs that are separate from the Office 365 suite. Some popular connectors used in businesses are Twitter, Facebook, Bing News, and Trello, but there are so many more, too! Using connectors will stream information into your selected channels and populate it in your conversation tab. The result? A dynamic feed and an in-sync team.
When you’re in Microsoft Teams, add a connector, select the More Options, Connectors, and Choose Connectors. The available connectors will appear as a list. Add the ones you’d like to use in your channel. This is an integrative, user-friendly part of our Office 365 tips and tricks that you don’t want your workplace channels to miss out on.
17. Let Teams transcribe for you
Our most time saving yet underused, Teams tip is here! Teams can not only record team meetings but transcribe them for you, too (halleluiah!). The best part is that you can go back and transcribe past recordings now that you know this. To do this, open the recording and go to the Edit option. Under Video Language, select English, click Auto-generate a Caption File and then Apply. Next time you open a video, you’ll see a transcript of the meeting that has been created for you. This is just another example of how Teams can empower your business.
18. Create multiple libraries
Remember, there is no extra charge for additional document libraries on SharePoint. You might just be trying to avoid an overcrowded document library, but there are also other significant reasons to consider. Let’s take site and company security, for example. You may want documents to be on SharePoint and not a completely separate site, but want this group of documents viewed by a certain department — such as HR. Creating another library for this team’s documents is a great, streamlined solution. This library will able to view those with unique permissions to it.
19. Don’t spend money on a template
In 2019, your goal was most likely centred around creating a modern, up-to-date site. Our next bit of advice from our Office 365 tips and tricks is for anyone with this vision. Most SharePoint templates are frozen in time to keep the original look and feel of SharePoint. We doubt this is the style you envisioned for your 2019 website. Even more importantly, templates don’t have taxonomy (Team Store metadata has to be created and mapped separately) or built-in security (since the template cannot replicate security and permissions, you’ll end up having to put them in manually). Buying a template can be a huge time waster and make for a less efficient SharePoint experience. Plus, it’s an unnecessary expense. Sharepoint makes it so easy to create your own template, anyway!
Microsoft Office 365 OneDrive Tips
20. Add expiry links and passwords to sensitive files
If you want to share confidential information with a team member for a certain period, it’s beneficial to add an expiry link to your file. Expiry links allow you to add a date and time to the link you’re sharing; the link will not work after this period. To do this, select Share, Link Settings and Add Expiry Date. You can also add a password to your link when sharing sensitive information so that you’re sure only the person with your generated link and password can open the document. To add a password to your link, go to Share and Set Password. Once you’ve chosen a password, you’ll be able to copy the link and send it to your colleague — just let them know the password you set for the file.
21. Download the OneDrive for Business sync app
Sometimes — even though the thought is terrifying — you may not be able to get internet coverage. Don’t worry; we have Office 365 tips and tricks for this very situation! Even though OneDrive for Business’s main purpose is to work from anywhere using the Cloud, it does offer a great measure in case you can’t connect — the Sync App. Once you’ve downloaded the app, sign in to Office 365, go to OneDrive, select the library you want to be able to access offline, then hit Sync. If needed, you can always pause or stop the syncing process. OneDrive for Business lets each user sync up to 20,000 files and folders, so Office 365 can access multiple projects offline.
22. Quickly save attachments to Microsoft Office 365 OneDrive
If you get emailed attachments, you can easily download them directly to OneDrive instead of saving them to your computer’s Downloads folder and scrambling to find them later. This is a great trick to save time and know exactly where your files are. To save all the documents attached in an email, select Save All to OneDrive. If you want a certain number of the attachments, you can click them individually and choose Save to OneDrive that way. From here, you can move the files within OneDrive. Another great OneDrive tip is that now you’ll even be able to send these on as Cloud attachments.