When you talk about productivity in the office, the conversation will most likely lead to a discussion of Microsoft 365. It has become the most popular office productivity software on the market, with 48.8% of the global market share.

From individuals to large enterprises, it provides solutions that every modern business needs – a platform with over 20 apps at your disposal.

Yet, with such a large number of apps, it can be easy to miss some of the more helpful features that can make your day to day tasks more efficient.

Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneDrive, Teams, Defender, Sharepoint…the list goes on. The apps you gain access to depend on your subscription, however, whatever subscription you choose there is always a way to get more value.

Here are a few helpful apps and features in the M365 ecosystem that you may not even know about.

Get More Out of M365 With These Tips

1. Use Search to Find Functions – Leave the Menu Behind

It happens. We know there is a way to do something, but just can’t find it. It gets lost in the multitude of layered options in the menu bar. Need to change margins? Now where did I see that?

No need to waste time trying to find it. Simplify the process. No tab clicking needed.

Just use the search box at the top. Yes, you can use this to search help topics, but it’s so much more.

Quickly jump to the setting you need – just like that.

Search

2. Take Advantage of the Free Stock Images, Icons & Videos

There may be times when you are in need of some professional looking images – perhaps for a presentation, website, marketing material or business proposal.

Buying stock images can get expensive and you can’t just use any image found in a Google search for fear of copyright violations.

So where do you find images that look great and can be used for business purposes?

Microsoft 365 has you covered with it’s very own stock image feature in Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

Find them by going to Insert > Pictures > Stock Images

Browse through the different media types, find one you like, and insert it right into your document!

Stock Images

3. Save Time With Data Types In Excel

Researching data can be a time consuming task. Did you know that Excel gives you access to several databases of information, right from within the app?

Take advantage of all the facts and figures that are stored within “data types” in Excel. Populate data on a variety of topics within seconds. Here’s how:

  • Add your list (e.g., a list of menu items)
  • Highlight your list.
  • Click the Data tab.
  • In the Data Types window, choose the type of data it is (e.g., Food, Plant, etc.).
Excel Data Type
  • Click the small database icon that appears at the top of the list.
  • Choose the type of data you need.
  • The details will populate into the next open column on the right for each list item.
Excel Data

4. Use Customer Surveys To Save Time

It’s probably one of the most under-utilized apps from Microsoft, yet one that is worth taking note of. It is Microsoft Forms – a cloud-based survey and form builder that makes sending surveys and collecting data simple and easy.

Send the survey and download the results right into Excel. It is as easy as that.

Microsoft Forms

5. Use PPT’s Presenter Coach to Improve Your Skills

Giving a presentation to your team, clients or potentials prospects can make you feel a little uncomfortable. It’s not everyone’s favourite item on the to-do list.

Let Powerpoint help. It has a helpful AI-powered feature known as Presenter Coach. Turn it on when you are practicing a presentation and it will give you tips on your use of words, pacing, repetition and more!

You will find it under the slide show menu. Just look for “Rehearse with Coach.”

6. Save Time with Outlook’s Quick Parts

Quite often you may find yourself sending emails that have the same paragraphs of text. For instance, sending instructions to clients.

No need to re-type – that’s not efficient at all.

Save time and use the Outlook feature known as Quick Parts. This feature saves and inserts blocks of text right into your emails so you do not have to retype them.

  • Create a Quick Part by highlighting the text you want to save.
  • On the Insert Menu, click Quick Parts.
  • Save Quick Part.

When you are ready to insert that text into another email, just use the same menu.

Outlook Quick Parts

7. Create Keyboard Shortcuts

Want another great feature that will save you time? Keyboard shortcuts.

Shortcuts are great, but sometimes you may come across a task for which their is no shortcut available. One such task is pasting unformatted text in Word – this is the pasting feature that pastes text with no formatting to avoid messing up your document.

It is used often so create a shortcut for it. Here’s how:

  • In Word, click File> Options.
  • Click Customize Ribbon.
  • At the bottom of the panel, next to Keyboard shortcuts, click Customize.
  • Scroll in the left pane to All Commands.
  • Look for “PasteTextOnly”
  • Type your keyboard command, then click Assign.
Keyboard Shortcut
PasteTextOnly

Need Help With Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 comes with an abundance of security and time-saving features. Make the most of it in your business – we can help.