With so much of the business world working remotely now, and probably beyond the foreseeable future, some things have become more challenging. One of the most obvious is the challenge companies have faced in ensuring their teams have all the hardware they need to work effectively from home. The second is ensuring they are up to speed on using the apps and services that make up the software side of things too.

Many of us are familiar with Microsoft 365 and aware of the benefits the right features can deliver. As a Virtual Assistant, well used to collaborating with teams off-site; I have been using various tools within the 365 environment for a long time.

When it comes to productivity, security and user-friendliness, here are some of the best ‘once used, forever relied upon’ 365 applications that empower users to work safely and securely from home.

OneNote

OneNote is a personal information management application with all the functionality you need at your fingertips (or stylus). You can organise notes exactly how you need to, share them and sync them with other devices.

OneNote even has the useful ability to translate text. The Translate feature has the potential to be incredibly useful for businesses in multilingual markets.

OneDrive

As compliance laws around data become more robust and the need for remote access grows, OneDrive delivers a secure, effective solution that works.

With an impressive amount of cloud-based storage available on 365, OneDrive provides users all the space they’ll ever need to store and share files and collaborate with the people they need to, even on mobile devices.

Files are synced in real-time and thanks to features such as SSL encryption and Personal Vault, you can rest assured they are always safe. Users can set up password protection for shared files and folders and, if any account is compromised, there is a restore option to roll back the entire drive to any previous date within the last thirty days.

Microsoft 365 Teams

Teams has become a vital part of the 365 environment in a world where many are now working remotely. Much like its competitors such as Zoom and Hangouts, it has gone from occasional use to essential business tool in recent times.

One-on-one conversations, group messages, video and audio calls are all vital features of Teams, along with game-changing integration into other 365 applications such as Word, Outlook and SharePoint.

Microsoft 365 Planner

Managing teams and projects can prove impossible when the team itself is spread far and wide. Planner delivers a centralised hub for every one of them; to share files safely, make plans, oversee progress, and assign and organise tasks to other users.

The big selling point of Planner, over similar task management apps, is 365 integration.  Microsoft 365 Planner has all the efficiency for which the 365 ecosystem is well known and works together with other 365 features like Outlook, SharePoint and Teams.

The interface is intuitive and paired back but still shows all the information users need on projects completed, and those in progress.

To Do

Task management and productivity are both big parts of keeping professional and personal lives balanced and organised. Microsoft 365’s To Do is a simple app designed to make both easier and merge them if needed.

Available for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, To Do helps users monitor outstanding tasks and tick them off when needed. It’s also cloud-based and conveniently synched on any connected device.

To Do focuses on the individual user. Tasks can be arranged into handy lists or grouped together to be completed simultaneously. The useful ‘My Day’ function allows users to focus on the important tasks on any pre-determined day.

To Do integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Planner to keep users up to date on tasks or events they are a part of. It has the potential to organise both personal and professional tasks in one, incredibly convenient place.

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f you are thinking about ways to empower your team to work safer and more efficiently off-site or if you want to learn more about the right Microsoft 365 tools for you, why not book a slot for a free discussion with me here.

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