12 Microsoft Office 365 Tools for Productivity You Need to Be Using

microsoft office 365 tools productivity software

Microsoft Office 365 tools have become ingrained in business culture. With more than 200 million active monthly users as of October 2019, it's understandable why many new businesses would think about incorporating it into their daily workflow. 

But how do you get the most out of Microsoft Office 365 when you decide to turn the key? In the following article, we're going to show you how to do just that by focusing on a dozen productivity tools that are baked right into the pie. But first, let's explore why it's the first choice among business owners.


Why You Need Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft's Office 365 is readily available in an array of industries ranging from transportation and public service to charitable and commercial organizations. There are several reasons for such widespread adoption. Let's examine.


It Is Based in the Cloud

Being cloud-based and cloud-accessible, Microsoft Office 365 tools can be accessed, edited, and shared from any compatible web browser. It doesn't matter which device you're on. As long as you have an Internet connection, you're able to work. 


It Contains Numerous Options

As you're about to see when we get into the heart of this article, you can do a lot of things with MS Office 365. Write emails, craft multimedia presentations, and share with either a select group or your entire organization. It's up to you. 


It Is Universally Accepted

Two hundred million business professionals! That's a lot of people. With the Microsoft label, it's a suite of tools that the most successful business owners in the world have learned to love and so will you. 


It Facilitates Teamwork

You can work for yourself your whole life without hiring someone and do just fine. But if you really want to grow your business, you will eventually need team members and thinking that you can all work the same hours from the same location in the 21st Century is a bit unrealistic.

Office 365 tools enable you to maintain productivity as an individual and a group by creating flexible virtual environments in which to do your work. That's teamwork!

Now that you know why Microsoft Office 365 is important, let's get to the main event. These are the 12 productivity tools that make it successful. 


1. OneDrive

The Microsoft Office 365 tool OneDrive is a godsend for any company that's had to work with large files and is finally tired of passing thumb drives to share information. OneDrive is a cloud-based hard drive that also allows you to create links to the content and control with whom you share. It's also constantly adjusting to the business environment with one of the latest feature add-ons being the option to request files from a document custodian.


2. Access

For the typical office environment, this is one of the lesser-used Microsoft productivity tools. But it's no less important.

See, Access allows you to create end-user software. And it's gotten quite intuitive in its old age. If you have an internal software development team, Access can open doors that make the Office 365 suite more business-friendly and customized to your end-users' experience.


3. Excel

Excel is probably second only to Word in usefulness among the Microsoft Office productivity tools on this list. MS Excel is a spreadsheet platform that allows you to create simple or complex databases that help you group information, track data, and sort by a number of variables.


4. Word

Another of the most widely-used Office productivity tools, perhaps the most widely-used, Microsoft Word has gone from being a simple word processor to a feature-packed desktop publishing program where word processing is only part of the benefit.

MS Word allows you to create great-looking content for external use. It contains several quality-control features for policing typos and bad writing. And it can bring in other types of media for a more professional-looking final product.


5. Outlook

Microsoft Outlook is another of the longest-established Microsoft Office 365 tools. With it, you can send and receive emails, attach or receive documents or images, and plan or get reminders for upcoming events. 

Outlook also gives you the power to organize important emails. And it will quickly store and bring up contact information with just a few taps of the keyboard. 


6. PowerPoint

PowerPoint gives you the ability to create a sleek-looking presentation. One that incorporates images, video, and animations. Beyond what the final product looks like, it also gives the presenter confidence in the content of his presentation and helps him to focus more on building a relationship with the audience.


7. Publisher

Apple has some very intuitive and sleekly-designed applications that'll allow you to do some bang-up business cards or brochures with ease. But no graphic design program that serves the gang in Cupertino has ever been able to surpass the options and the execution of Microsoft Publisher. 

There are no limits to the publications you can pull off with this gem. From future social media memes to full-color newsletters, complex logos, magazines, and print-ready books, Publisher has it all.


8. Planner

Microsoft Planner is great for bringing together a team on a project. You can use it to assign responsibilities, get progress reports, share information and content, and collaborate with others. 


9. Teams

Microsoft Teams is another tool that gives you the opportunity to coordinate and communicate projects among a specific number of people. You also can use it for audio and video calls while splitting off into private channels and separate tabs. 


10. OneNote

Got a project with tons of useful information but the data are spread out in screenshots, drawings, handwritten notes, and more? OneNote can help. It compiles all that information into a seamless, shareable experience for sharing on the web or through an internal network.


11. Skype for Business

Instant messaging, audio calls, video calls. Skype puts your people in one room together even if they're miles apart. And it can be used on mobile phones, tablets, and desktop or laptop computers. 


12. InfoPath

Need to make a fillable form and keep the formatting where it needs to be when you send it to others for their signatures or to add data? InfoPath has your back. It also integrates with SharePoint for easier accessibility near and far.


These Microsoft Office 365 Tools Will Optimize Productivity

Putting these Microsoft Office 365 tools to use in your organization will help you get the most out of your team, whether they're part of the same office or they all work remotely. Use one or all, it's up to you. And for more software and tech business tips, check out some of our additional blog posts.