7 Productivity Tools Baked Into Microsoft 365

7 Productivity Tools Baked Into Microsoft 365

A lot of Sydney area businesses subscribe to Microsoft 365 because they’ve been using Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint for years and want to have cloud access to those services, plus automatic updates with new features.

But if you stick to just those basics, you’ll be missing out on a lot of the productivity tools that Microsoft 365 has to offer.

The platform is a full suite of tools that can power everything from VoIP calls to online surveys and quizzes.

We’ll go through some of the many productivity tools baked into this cloud suite below that can set you up for a productive 2021.


OneNote is a platform that allows you to organise information into digital notebooks. Whatever planning you may be doing, you can collect all data in a single place that can be shared with others for online collaboration.

For example, if you have a team working on a project, each website, email, image, or other content they collect that relates to the project can easily be deposited into a OneNote notebook and separated according to page.

You can even take audio meeting notes in the program at the click of a button and forward emails to a specific OneNote notebook.

Microsoft Forms

Companies use forms for several reasons. You may do a year-end customer satisfaction survey or need to quiz employees on a cybersecurity training. If you typically do this by sending an email with a Word attachment that has to be filled out and sent back, you can shave hours off the process by using Forms.

Forms is one of those hidden gems in Microsoft 365 that many businesses don’t realise they have. It allows you to easily make and send online forms, surveys, and quizzes in just a few minutes.

Users can fill out the form online using any device, and you instantly receive the data. No following up with people to send their manual survey back!

Microsoft Planner

If you’re using an expensive task planning tool, you may be able to replace that with a tool that comes with Microsoft 365, called Planner.

Microsoft Planner is an easy-to-use app designed to help you manage multiple people doing multiple tasks. It includes a familiar Kanban board interface and visualised status insights, and integrates fully with Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Teams & VoIP

Teams is a powerful universal communications platform that also acts as an online workspace. From Teams, you can generate a lot of daily productivity, including:

  • Team chat, organised by subject
  • Video and voice calls
  • File sharing
  • Launch & collaborate in Microsoft programs
  • Launch & collaborate in 3rd party programs
  • Access corporate Wiki or team file storage

You can also use Teams as a full-featured VoIP phone system with an add-on service. Microsoft Teams Calling allows you to keep all communications in a single platform, reducing the need for time-consuming app switching. It streamlines your business communication workflows.

Data Types in Excel

If you’re creating a spreadsheet that includes geographical information, such as the population of towns in Queensland, you can save a lot of time looking up information by utlising data types in Excel.

Using the data type for geography will fill in all types of details based upon the city you input. Including:

  • Population
  • Area
  • Description
  • Latitude/longitude
  • Time zone
  • And more

Just highlight the cells you want the information for and choose Data > Geography. You’ll then get a dropdown to choose information that will fill in for you in the next available column.

Editor in Word

Help with spelling is a function that’s been in Word for quite a while, but a new productivity feature Microsoft added fairly recently is Editor.

This is a grammar checker right inside Word, which eliminates the need to copy past your content into an online tool for checking things like clarity, formality, and conciseness.

You can review recommendations without even needing to leave the program, making creating great documents much less time consuming.

Microsoft Lists

Microsoft 365 business accounts have another often missed productivity tool called Microsoft Lists. What this does is give you a way to move manual and spreadsheet-based lists into the cloud making them sharable.

For example, say you normally use a paper-based visitor sign-in sheet that then has to be filed away somewhere – not very easily searchable. You could replace this process with a cloud-based list created in Microsoft Lists that could be used on a tablet at the front desk.

Not only would your visitor log be digitised and easy to search, you could also add things like ID photos and an automation that triggers an email to a particular person when a visitor arrives.

Are You Getting All You Can from Your Microsoft 365 Account?

GKM2 offers expert Microsoft 365 customisation and management. We can help you get the most out of your subscription for a more productive team workflow.

Contact us today for a free consultation. Call +61 2 9161 7171 or reach out online.