Released in 1990, most professionals have been using this suite of desktop productivity applications for years, creating text documents in Word, managing budgets in Excel and creating beautiful presentations in PowerPoint.
Office Online, included as part of a Microsoft account, allows users to create and edit files using lightweight, browser-based versions of Microsoft Office apps. The most current desktop version is Office 2016 for Windows and macOS.
Office online can be used to complete most daily office tasks:
The popular choice for word processing and content development to produce any number of business documents: proposals, reports, briefs and mail merges in combination with Excel.
Possibly the most versatile program within the Office suite, Excel is an excellent platform for sorting and analysing data for planning, modelling, tracking or reporting, with simple and easy graphs to visualise your data. Project financials, campaign results, member databases, cost estimates and receipt tracking… the applications are almost without limit.
For those who require visual persuasion, be it for client proposals, internal presentations or creative mock-ups, PowerPoint is your go-to. Import images, resize, move, add shadows, create flowcharts, adjust colour schemes with “Themes” and then add animation effects with ease. The “Design Ideas” function can turn the most heinous collection of bullet points into a slick production.
Having been around for so long, the bugs have been ironed out of Office, with the main issues around opportunity costs where users stick to what they know instead of using more sophisticated applications in O365.
Rather than saving meeting minutes in Word documents and emailing them around, try sharing via OneNote. If you must use Word documents, save them in a project SharePoint site, or Team space to ensure everyone can find and edit the correct version.
It’s tempting to use Excel for absolutely everything, but there are often better solutions. Planner can help you manage tasks, Dynamics 365 is purpose-built for customer data and Power BI can pull in data from multiple sources to produce persuasive analytics.
Death by PowerPoint
PowerPoint must be used with sensitivity and caution. We are all guilty of many PowerPoint sins, trying to fit a million words on one slide, reading directly from the slide, including many and varied sound effects/slide transition effects… the list goes on. For dynamic presentations that can be easily shared online, try Sway.