First of all, I am sure we are all familiar with a large portion of the office 365 apps, as they have featured as part of the MS Office suite since its conception, just in offline format, some since the 90’s, back when we called them programs.

In contrast to the original Office on a disk, Outlook; which would also encompass Calendar, People (formerly contacts) and Tasks, are now 4 independent apps that still work in the same harmonious way as they did when they all lived within the Outlook program.

This collaborative functionality is still utilised with the apps we are looking at today. They are now even more versatile in what can be achieved when combining them together.

 

So, the 5 Office 365 apps you should already be using are:

 

Teams – This app is the home of collaborative working, or more aptly as the name suggests, Teamwork! Simply add users to whichever teams they need to engage in.

Chat, share files and stay on top of things in Teams

  • Start a new conversation

Chat with the whole team or use the @ function to get someone specifics attention.

  • Share a file

Sometimes words aren’t enough, and you need to post a file to a channel conversation. Upload files directly from the OneDrive app too all within your browser!

  • Stay on top of things

Notifications let you know when someone @mentions you, likes something you’ve posted, or replies to a thread you started. The Activity feed helps you stay on top of all your notifications.

  • Powerful search function

Searches cover your entire organization—all the teams and channels that you’re part of including all messages, people and files.

 

Staff Hub – Manage your work schedule online. Request time off, swap shifts and communicate directly with your colleagues and supervisors.

This great app makes it easy for managers to create, update and manage shift schedules for their team, streamlining what has been a labour-intensive process.

With its own app available on iOS or Android, Staff Hub makes Managers and Employees lives so much easier and allow for even more efficiency in the day to day running of operations.

The app home screen provides a summary of upcoming shifts as well as any important notes. Employees can also see who else is scheduled for the day, which is useful if they want to know who they’ll be working with or if they want to swap shifts.

Employees have access to all their shift information, including the ability to easily swap shifts with others right from the Microsoft StaffHub mobile app. No more having to go into the breakroom at work to look at the bulletin board.

When schedule conflicts come up, Microsoft Staff Hub makes it easy to swap a shift or offer a shift to someone else. Requests are always routed to the manager for approval, and updates and notifications are automatically sent to the team.

Microsoft are now talking about merging this app with Teams to create an even more powerful Teams app!

 

Project – The home of project execution!

In Project, you can:

  • Create project plans.
  • Build project teams and allocate resources.
  • See different views of task and resources.
  • Measure progress.
  • Manage budgets.

A very powerful app! It can be used collaboratively, with other Office 365 app, to ensure a smooth and efficient project delivery each and every time!

With a powerful reporting function, as a result it is super easy to check the progress of your project at any time, as well as using it to review results and efficiency during and after completion of your project!

 

Forms – Create surveys, quizzes and polls in minutes. Send them to anyone and easily see results in real time.

The forms app does exactly what it says on the virtual tin!

  • Quick forms – Add questions to your form, define settings, share your form, and check results in just a few easy steps!
  • Teamwork – Collaborate with colleagues on quizzes, surveys, and polls. You can also share your form as a template for others to use independently.
  • Feedback – Collect customer feedback, measure employee satisfaction, improve your product or business, or organize company events.

Office 365 subscribers can create up to 200 forms and each form can receive up to 50,000 responses!

 

Planner – Currently my favorite app, not just on Office 365 but in general. Life has never been so well organised! Start using the planer app today!

Again, this app has full integration with all other Office 365 apps, meaning it allows employees to collaborate in real time with complete traceability!

  • Create new plans, assign tasks, and share files with others.
  • Organise teamwork and collaborate on projects in a simple, visual way.
  • Chat with others to make sure you’re on the same page.
  • Keep track of your team’s progress and stay on top of your work—from anywhere, on any device.

Likewise, this app is also available on iOS and android, meaning users can stay fully up to date and on top of their workload.

Users even receive an email from the app each day to give them an overview of whats coming up.

 

Summary

If you already have an Office 365 subscription, then you already have access to these apps.

Never miss a deadline! Instantly see where your team is up to on their workloads! Find out what your clients are saying about your service! Plus, as always, emails, contacts, calendars and all the tools we could possible need to complete a productive days work!

Take a moment to look into how much time you could be saving by making use of the brilliant collaborative tools available on Office 365.

Don’t have time for that???

Not a problem, just contact your IT provider!