3 new Office 365 tools and how to use them

Most organisations get started with Microsoft Office 365 in order to be able to access the classic Office applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook and Publisher from the cloud. But there’s more to Office 365 than just these.

Here are three bonus tools within Office 365 you might not know about, and how to use them.

For more on how to get started with Office 365, see our blog post here.

 

Sway

Microsoft Sway logo

Introduced as part of Office 365 in 2015, Sway is an app that helps you and your colleagues express ideas using an interactive, web-based canvas. Sway’s design engine helps you quickly and easily produce professional, interactive, and visually appealing designs such as newsletters, presentations and documentation.

The main draw of Sway above tools like Publisher or PowerPoint is that it’s very easy and quick to use – you can automatically add your content such as images, text, video, social media posts or even entire PowerPoint presentations, and it creates an impressive design for you to tweak as you wish. Alternatively, start with one of many blank templates and use the Sway editor.

Microsoft suggests it as a tool for creating internal communications such as training resources and newsletters in double-quick time. It also dynamically adapts to different devices and screen sizes, for slick looking mobile-responsive communications. Unlike PowerPoint it’s all stored online so you can access your sway from anywhere and share the link with whoever you choose.

Check out Microsoft’s article for more information on getting started with Sway.

 

 

Teams

Image of Microsoft Teams logo

Microsoft Teams is a chat and collaboration platform for Microsoft Office 365 customers designed to simplify group work. Last year, Microsoft announced that it would be replacing the Skype for Business online app with Teams, so that Office 365 users would have single hub for their voice, video conferencing and meetings.

As well as the chat-based comms, Teams’ integration with other Microsoft services allows for shared files and calendars, collaborative editing, and easy switching between voice, video and text chat.

With teams you get group chat rooms called channels in which different teams can talk and collaborate through text, voice or video chat. It’s also integrated with the other apps in the Office 365 suite such as Word and Excel, so Team members can view the latest versions of documents and collaboratively edit them.

Integration with Groups allows users to seamlessly switch between editing documents, shared dashboards and planners, and group chats and conference calls (the Groups feature let you choose a set of people that you wish to collaborate with in Office 365 and easily set up a collection of resources for those people to share.)

Go to Microsoft’s blog for more information on Teams.

 

 

Forms

Microsoft Forms logo

Launched as part of Office 365 in July 2018, with Microsoft Forms you can create surveys, quizzes and polls, and easily see the results as they come in.

It’s simple to set up and all your data is in one place, with question types including rating, multiple choice and freeform text. This way you can easily measure supporter interest, solicit input from your service users, organise team events and undertake internal surveys.

The app is simple to use and works on any web browser, so it can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. With real time responses and automatic charts built in, Forms makes it easy to understand the data right away. And for organisations that want to custom brand their surveys, Forms supports the addition of themes, logo, and images.

Users can collaborate in teams on a single form, and Forms can be used within other Office 365 applications such as Excel, SharePoint, Teams, Flow, and Sway.

For more on how to use Forms, see the Microsoft blog.

 

 

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