Microsoft Office suite of software (which includes Excel, Word, Outlook and more) has been a major part of improved productivity since it launched for Windows in 1987.

Today, it’s near-impossible to imagine an office without it. Creating reports, desktop publishing tasks and even communications all run seamlessly with this easy to use software package.

Speed up your work with Office 365

The addition of Office 365 also added the option of collaboration. With this latest installment, you get all of the power of your standard office productivity software combined with the ability to put documents in front of lots of eyes.

Here are a few ways you can make the most of your software.

1. Using the Tell Me feature.

Take a look at the ribbon in Office 365 and you’ll see a prompt that says, “Tell me what you want to do.” This software is so powerful and feature-rich it can take a while to get to specific functions.

This text box acts as a quick shortcut. Want to add a checkbox? Simply type that into the box. Want help with something? You can run a help search query from that same text box.

It’s a type of all-in-one helper.

2. Stop the tabbing madness.

Tired of switching tabs every time you need to add an image or run a search?

Bing is integrated into Office 365, so you can instantly run an image search and embed the pictures into your working document. That means no more wasted time managing tabs in a different browser and fiddling with Copy/Paste functions.

3. Automatic email filing.

The average office worker receives 121 emails per day, according to a report published on LiveWire. That’s a lot of reading, sorting and filing to handle.

With the new Focused Outlook inbox, you can avoid the spam and get right to your most important communications. You can even schedule an email to disappear and reappear for later reading.

Plus, the administrator can set up automatic backups to prevent one of the more common causes of data loss—employee error.

4. Superior scheduling.

With new Outlook plugins, your schedule can be more seamless than ever.

Add the Starbucks plugin to schedule your coffee meetings and arrange for easy payments using the gift card feature. The Uber plugin makes location transfers painless by scheduling a ride automatically and securely for selected calendar events. You even get reminder emails, so that’s one less thing to keep on your to-do list, even when you’re on the go.

5. Streamline project management.

Office 365 now integrates project management into your collaboration tools.

You can set up work groups, upload documents, schedule milestones and track progress, all in your office productivity software platform.

6. Skype integration.

Since the focus of Office 365 is collaboration, it shouldn’t surprise you that Skype works seamlessly with this software. Not only can group members see edits happen in real time, but they can also chat as the edits happen.

That means no more patchworking together different versions of the same document.

Final thoughts on Office 365

These are just a few of the ways that Office 365 can help streamline your processes.

From faster scheduling to real-time virtual communications to accountability options, Office 365 is becoming a single source solution for all office operations. When used well, this platform can offer a lot of functionality.

Still, it’s worth your time to explore all of your other options for streamlining your network. Even with this powerful software package, ERP, CRM and other operational software can expand your capacity beyond simple (or even complex) spreadsheets. We recommend talking to your IT support provider for specific recommendations.