If you’ve been looking for sets of software for your employees to use at your company, or just a suite of software for your home office, even, you might have done some searching around. If you did, you probably came across Office 365 as one of the first options.
You might have some questions, so this article is here to answer that.
What is Office 365?
Office 365 is a line of subscription services and a series of tools that Microsoft offers as a monthly or annual subscription, that you can use to get work done. There are a huge number of options for what’s available, but generally, things like Word, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint, etc, are all available, and come with an annual subscription. The prices are generally cheap, especially for an individual or just for a household, and are useful in many different ways and situations. If you wanted software to get almost any kind of work done, Office 365 has you covered for any situation.
Let’s discuss some of the most major features of Office 365.
1: Real Time Collaborative Work/Co-Authoring
If you’ve ever done any kind of group work, you’ll be aware of how frustrating it can be if you have to constantly share files over emails, tell people about changes, and direct everyone in a rather tedious way that could just be solved if everyone could work on it at the same time. The kind of cloud computing services that Office 365 offers solves this problem. Everyone can work on a particular project at the same time, all giving their input, and there isn’t any outdated hassle of sending emails, exchanging file versions, etc.
2: Office 365 Planner Helps You Organize Your Team/Your Own Work
Another really great, meaningful feature that Office 365 happens to possess is a planner. Now, it’s not just a normal day planner or a calendar feature like you might see on Windows 10; it’s a little bit more advanced than that. It doesn’t work for just only you, either—what Office 365’s planner does is plan workflows, organize collaborative/team efforts, share files, assign tasks and dates, create plans, and even provide a bunch of status updates about how well the work is doing and how close to completion someone is. It’s a really handy, nifty tool to keep things productive and moving, as it assists in organization and division of labor so much.
3: Automatic Data Reformatting on Excel
This one may seem like more of a minor feature, but I promise that it’s not. Over time, something like this may save a lot of time/effort for you in the workplace, especially if you’re working with a lot of data/numbers in your day to day activities. The way it works is that Office’s new versions of everything have something called Flash Fill: and they use this feature in order to detect and monitor the kinds of changes you’re doing to any kind of file/project. Once Flash Fill understands what kind of changes you’re making, it will do the rest for you. It cleans up tedious, reptitive tasks and makes them go from minutes to seconds. Huge time saver.
4: Cloud Backup/Cloud Computing Technology with Your Applications
It’s less common these days to have to physically carry backups with you everywhere for your data. That’s something that was a lot more common maybe five or ten years ago, before cloud computing started to become mainstream and used more by different companies, applications, and software.
With Office 365, they don’t offer the most up-to-date cloud technology, but they do offer what’s a bit more standard and common these days: being able to update your files and such remotely, while not having to physically carry around some kind of storage, in order to always have your files up to date. Other users may also update files and and do some convenient remote work through OneDrive, which is part of Office 365 and is available in any of the packages besides the one-time purchase.
5: Constant Updating/Support from Microsoft
Office 365 is a subscription-based service and not a one-time paid license, this means that you’ll never have an oudated version. You won’t ever be denied features because you bought a license three years ago and now there’s a newer, updated version that you have to purchase again—once again, for full price. This is the biggest upside to a subscription-based service like Office 365 is. They constantly patch, add new features, sometimes even add new programs and software, and continue to improve the service as time passes.
6: Optimized Applications for Mobile Usage
Microsoft is a company savvy to modern times. They would never design software or applications these days that couldn’t be used on mobile devices. It would be commercial suicide: because these days, people use their phone and their tablets as much or more than their computers. It’s common knowledge and doesn’t take someone who studied marketing or business in school to realize. Excel, Word, Powerpoint, and all of their other popular softwares work across smartphones, tablets, computers, laptops, and everything in between, so you can always get things done no matter where you are or what you have at hand.
7: Work Across Different OS Systems
This is similar to the above point, but a bit different. It’s common to support mobile usage. What’s not as common, and is more impressive, is having the technological ability to support usage of a software or system or application across different OS systems. It’s a rather difficult task to design something to work for systems which are different from one another, but even here, Office 365 doesn’t fail. You can perform your tasks on a Windows machine just as well as on an Apple one, for example.
Office 365 is a well-made, useful group of software that’s worth your time, attention, and money if you’ve been needing something to boost your production in the office, or just something that’s more convenient and modern than you usually use. Look into it more on Microsoft’s site for the full rundown if you’re interested.