Microsoft 365 has transformed the way we work. Much more than a suite of siloed applications, 365 is an end-to-end productivity engine designed to improve efficiency and encourage collaboration—and built into this powerful tool are valuable shortcuts to streamline your experience. In this blog, we will discuss five productivity hacks to help you get the most out of Microsoft 365.


1. Search/Smart Lookup

Search/Smart Lookup is a feature available in many 365 apps that allows you to look up information on a specific term or topic without leaving the document or application you are working within. To use this feature, simply highlight the word or phrase you want to know more about and right-click on it. Then, select Search (or Smart Lookup) from the dropdown menu. This will bring up a panel on the right side of your screen that displays information from a variety of sources, including Bing, Wikipedia, and more.

2. Alert Me

Alert Me is a handy feature in Sharepoint that allows you to receive notifications when changes are made to a document or file. This feature is particularly useful when working on collaborative projects with other team members. To set up an alert, simply locate the document or file you want to track, click the three dots to the right of the file, and select “Alert Me” from the dropdown menu. From there, you can choose how you want to receive email or text message notifications.

3. Search Bar

If you’re not sure where a specific function is located in Microsoft 365, the search bar is your best friend. Whether you’re using Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or any other application in the suite, you can quickly find the function you need by typing a few keywords into the search bar. For example, if you’re looking for the “Insert Table” function in Word, simply type “Insert Table” into the search bar, and the function will appear in the results.

4. Presenter Coach

Want to up your presentation game? PowerPoint’s presenter coach feature provides real-time feedback on your presentation skills, including your pace, tone of voice, and use of filler words. To use presenter coach, simply start your slideshow and click on the “Rehearse with Coach” button in the toolbar. From there, you can practice your presentation while receiving feedback from the coach.

5. Quick Parts

If you find yourself typing the same email responses over and over again, Outlook’s Quick Parts is a feature you’ll want to explore. Quick Parts allows you to save blocks of text, such as a signature or a commonly used message, and insert it into your emails with just a few clicks. To create a quick part, open a new email, type and select the text you want to save, then click into the Insert menu, click into the Quick Parts menu (you may have to click the three dots at the end of the Insert toolbar). Then click “Save selection to Quick Parts Gallery.” Now, you can save the text as a new quick part and insert it into your emails whenever you need it.

Interested in learning how you can get the most out of Microsoft 365? Contact our experienced IT consultants for a workflow assessment.

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