Top productivity-boosting tools that add hours to your day

Top productivity-boosting tools that add hours to your day

It’s hard to imagine how anyone can stay on top of everything they set out to do. There are too many meetings to plan, projects to complete, and calls to coordinate. People also go through dozens of documents and apps every day, so it’s easy to see why everyone thinks there are not enough hours in the day to get things done.

“It’s fine, I like working until 11 p.m. …”

Fortunately, there’s a much better way to work. These baked-in Office 365 apps are guaranteed to increase your productivity and make your life much easier.

Flow

Microsoft Flow is one of the most underutilized gems in Office 365 that lets you automate tasks across multiple applications. The types of workflows you can automate can be as simple as push notifications to your sales staff when a new lead is added to your Dynamics CRM software or as complex as logging receipts and work hours to your business management system.

Also, Flow isn’t limited to Microsoft apps. You can create workflows that connect to Facebook, DropBox, RSS feeds, and more. By automating the most tedious tasks across all your apps, you and your employees will be freed up to do more worthwhile (and interesting) projects.

OneNote

Any of the popular Microsoft Office apps could have taken a spot in this entry, but OneNote gets a special mention because of its serious note-taking features. In addition to standard word processing, it allows you to create pages, add topical sections for better organization, and even tag specific notes so you can retrieve them quickly.

For more interactive notes, you can draw images using a stylus or add audio/video recordings directly into the digital notebook. It even comes with text-to-speech functions and optical character recognition that essentially transcribes scanned documents onto a page.

These features make OneNote incredibly versatile — use it for conducting interviews, taking down meeting minutes, processing receipts, creating itineraries, and much more.

Planner

If you normally track people down to follow up on projects, you’re wasting a lot of time. The better alternative is Office 365 Planner, a hub where users can assign tasks and track the progress of projects. It’s essentially a more sophisticated version of a to-do list that makes it easy to coordinate your team.

Planner is the ideal tool for managing employee workload. For example, if you notice the lion’s share of tasks is being done by one employee, you can assign tasks to employees with more bandwidth to spread out the workload more evenly. You can even add specific instructions, task-related documents, checklists, and due dates to each card, so employees know exactly what they’re supposed to do and when.

“Oh, that’s what I had to do? I’m gonna need to start over then.”

Teams

Though there are plenty of chat-based apps available, Microsoft Teams is the ultimate collaboration tool of choice for increasing productivity. For starters, it has an intuitive chat function that lets users tag one another and schedule meetings within the app.

It also provides HD audio/video conferencing powered by Skype for when teams need immediate feedback. Additionally, employees can grant third-party access to customers with a Microsoft account to cut down the time they spend on email.

But what truly makes Teams a productivity-booster is the fact that it seamlessly hooks into Microsoft’s apps like Word, Excel, and Outlook, so members can collaborate without leaving the Teams app. This may not seem like much, but the fewer tabs and windows you and your employees have open, the more focused your staff will be.

MyAnalytics

MyAnalytics gives you some useful insights on productivity levels. Everything, from how much time you spend on meetings to your team’s email habits, is tracked, analyzed, and laid out in one screen.

From there, the app will suggest how you can cut unproductive use of your time. For example, if you’re spending too much time answering emails, MyAnalytics will recommend strategies to better manage your inbox and write emails that get straight to the point.

It’s clear that Office 365 is the best cloud platform for businesses that want to get more out of their day. But this is merely a small portion of what Office 365 is capable of. To learn more about the different apps and productivity benefits you get with an Office 365 subscription, contact the experts at Red Key Solutions. We’re one of New York’s leading managed services providers!