Embracing Microsoft 365 Apps: Why Your Organization Needs Them

Microsoft 365 Apps

Many organizations have transitioned to Microsoft 365, yet often, they stick to the familiar classics.

Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook, what I refer to as the “core 4” of Microsoft’s suite. These apps  have stood the test of time and remain incredibly valuable.

However, there’s a whole array of additional Microsoft 365 Apps – at least 10 of them – that can bring indispensable value to any organization or business.

Let’s explore these Microsoft 365 Apps and show you why your organization should be using them!

What on Earth are Microsoft 365 Apps?

Beyond the trusty core 4 of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, Microsoft steps it up with many more applications.

The magic here? They don’t just work together; they’re also cloud-based, which means you can access them from practically anywhere. It’s like a whole new world of tools created to supercharge productivity and make teamwork a breeze.

So, what’s included in Microsoft 365 that can help your organization? Let’s find out…

Teams: The Collaboration Hub

Let’s start with Teams, which is more than just a chat and meetings app.

Most people have started using this app for the chat feature – real-time one-on-one and group conversations. And another reason organizations switched to Teams was for the meetings option– you’ve got video calls and virtual meetings, which really come in handy when you’re working remotely.

But there is more to Teams than just these two features.

What’s cool is that Teams makes file sharing and working together a breeze.

It plays super nicely with OneDrive and SharePoint, so you can collaborate on documents and always have the latest version on hand.

Teams is also your go-to for project management. You can create special channels just for your projects and even use it with Planner to keep track of tasks. Plus, it links up seamlessly with other Microsoft 365 apps, making it the central hub for your digital workspace.

And here’s the fun part – Teams isn’t just about work. It brings your team together, whether it’s celebrating milestones, hosting virtual get-togethers, or just having a chat.

Teams houses not only your information but all the tools that you use with your team. It’s where you chat, share files, manage projects, and hang out with your team.

OneDrive and SharePoint: Your Data's Safe Haven

When it comes to secure file storage and sharing, OneDrive and SharePoint are your go to destinations. They function as digital vaults that ensure easy access to critical data.
OneDrive cloud storage

OneDrive: Your Personal Digital Safe within Microsoft 365

OneDrive is like your personal digital safe tucked into Microsoft 365 Apps. It’s where you stash all your important files, documents, and even those cherished photos.

Another bonus to OneDrive is that it syncs everything across your devices, from your computer to your smartphone. It’s like having your stuff follow you around.

And if you ever mess up (who hasn’t deleted a file by accident?), no worries! OneDrive keeps track of versions, so you can dial it back if you need to. It’s the ultimate peace of mind – your data is safe and always there when you need it.

Learn more about OneDrive in our blog on Why Choose OneDrive.

SharePoint: Your Collaborative HQ within Microsoft 365

Think of SharePoint as your organization’s secret HQ for collaboration. It’s where you and your team come together to work, share, and store all your important docs.

But it’s not just a document dump – it’s got some slick features. You can control who sees what with access permissions, and if things get messy, you can see who changed what, and when. It’s like your secret weapon for keeping everything organized.

Plus, when you tie it into Microsoft Teams, it’s a game-changer for working together smoothly. SharePoint isn’t just about files; it’s your go-to for teamwork, security, and productivity – keeping your data safe and your projects moving like clockwork.

Planner and To-Do: Supercharging Your Projects and Tasks

Alright, let’s talk about Planner and To-Do. They’re like your trusty sidekicks for tackling projects and getting stuff done Just imagine having a clear plan in place, easily assigning tasks and seeing your projects progress seamlessly.

Planner is all about managing your tasks in an organized way. It’s like having a blueprint for your project, and everyone knows what they need to do. No more missed deadlines or confusion – it’s a game-changer for staying on top of things.

To-Do, on the other hand, is your personal task manager. It helps you stay focused and remember what needs your attention. With these two on your side, your projects will run like a well-oiled machine. It’s the secret to a more organized and efficient workflow for any organization.

To do list just like Planner in Microsoft 365

Microsoft OneNote: Your Digital Notebook within Microsoft 365

Microsoft OneNote is your digital notebook, always at your beck and call.

Whether you’re brainstorming, taking meeting notes, or jotting down ideas, OneNote offers a flexible canvas for capturing free-form notes. Rather than using Microsoft Word to document your company procedures or employee manuals, create a digital notebook and share it!

What’s more, it seamlessly integrates with other Office apps, such as Teams and Outlook. This makes it even easier to share and record pertinent information or notes.

Learn more about OneNote in our blog on the Beginners Guide to OneNote.

Microsoft Lists: Master of Structured Data within Microsoft 365

OneNote notebook sections and pages explained

Let’s chat about Microsoft Lists. It’s like a superhero in the world of organized data. You can create lists for anything, from tracking problems to managing stuff in stock, making it a perfect fit for your organization.

The cool part? You control who sees what, and you can customize how you view your lists. This means your data stays tidy and easy to access. It’s like a secret weapon for your team’s teamwork, making sure everything runs smoothly in your projects.

So, if you want to keep things in order, Lists is the way to go.

Microsoft Lists screenshot

Microsoft Bookings: Streamlined Scheduling

Microsoft Bookings is a game-changer for businesses reliant on appointments and schedules.

Whether you run a small service-oriented outfit or manage appointments for a bustling team, Bookings streamlines the entire process.

It enables clients to book appointments directly, getting rid of the tiresome back-and-forth of emails and phone calls. This not only saves time but also elevates the customer experience.

Microsoft Bookings screenshot

Microsoft Forms and Polls: Data Collection Maestros

Need to gather feedback, conduct surveys, or collect information from your team or customers?

Microsoft Forms and Polls are your trusty companions.

Create your own custom forms or surveys. Distribute them easily, and collect responses instantly. The data you collect can be analyzed in real-time so you have insights for informed decision-making. It’s a great way to engage your audience and make data-driven choices.

Microsoft Polls screenshot

Power BI: Data Magic

Turn raw data into actionable insights with Power BI. It’s like having a data scientist on your team – but in software form.

With Power BI, you can connect to various data sources, such as spreadsheets, lists, forms, and most of the other Microsoft 365 apps. It’s not just about collecting data; it will make connections with your data and provide with instant reports, lists and more.

Say goodbye to manual tasks that usually require Excel or other programs because Power BI automates them effortlessly.

Security and Compliance: Your Digital Fort Knox

Your data’s safety is paramount. Microsoft 365 Apps come with robust security and compliance features, including threat protection, data loss prevention, and information governance.

Why Microsoft 365 Apps Are a Must-Have

1. Turbocharged Productivity and Collaboration

With Microsoft 365 Apps, collaboration and productivity become effortless. Whether your team is in-house, remote, or all over the map, you’ve got real-time collaboration, chats, and video calls at your fingertips.

2. Flexibility and Scalability

Microsoft 365 Apps can grow right alongside your organization. Whether you’re a small startup or a corporate giant, you can choose the perfect subscription plan and adjust licenses as you expand.

3. Work from Anywhere, Anytime

Say goodbye to the confines of the office. With cloud-based apps, your team can work from virtually anywhere with an internet connection – crucial in today’s dynamic business world.

4. Data Fort Knox and Compliance Assurance

In a world of data breaches and ever-evolving regulations, Microsoft’s got your back. Their top-tier security features and compliance tools ensure your data remains in lockdown.

5. Effortless Updates and Support

Your Microsoft 365 Apps are like fine wine; they get better with time. Regular updates bring fresh features and security patches, and you get top-notch customer support for those rare hiccups.

6. Cost-Effective Solutions

Microsoft 365 Apps bundle a wide range of tools and services under a single subscription. This often proves more cost-effective than buying standalone software and services.

Your Go-to Toolbox

In a nutshell, Microsoft 365 Apps are your go-to toolbox for getting things done, working together, and keeping your stuff safe. It doesn’t matter if you’re a small startup or a big player – these apps can adjust to your needs. In this digital age, choosing the right tools is crucial, and Microsoft 365 Apps are like a rock-solid foundation for your organization’s success. So, why wait? Jump in and discover the awesome power of these apps today!

The Benefits and Features of the Microsoft 365 Apps

Microsoft 365 apps make work easier and teamwork smoother. They offer a variety of helpful tools like creating presentations, organizing tasks, and analyzing data.

You can access your work from anywhere and collaborate with others in real-time. Plus, they always get better with updates and work on different devices.

Check out the table below to see what each app can do for you.

ApplicationMain FunctionalityCollaboration FeaturesOther benefits
Microsoft TeamsThe communication and collaboration hubChat, video calls, file sharingHub for any of the other Microsoft 365 apps.
SharePointDocument management and intranetVersion control, access controlWorks hand-in-hand with Microsoft Teams
OneNoteYour digital notebookFree-form notes, integrates with other Office appsEasy add-on to Microsoft Teams
OneDriveCloud file storage and sharingSecure file storage, automatic syncYour personal cloud!
PlannerTask and project managementTask management, integrates with TeamsA perfect add-on to Microsoft Teams
ListsStructured data management and collaborationCustom list creation, data trackingUse within Teams and generate with Power BI.
BookingsSimplified appointment schedulingTies in with your Outlook calendar.No need to pay a subscription for other schedulers.
Forms and PollsQuick data collection and surveysCustom forms and surveysUse internally or externally. Can tie into Microsoft Teams

Learn More About Any of These Microsoft 365 Apps by Checking Out Our Courses

If the benefits and features of the Microsoft 365 apps did not sell you on their importance, then let’s look at how this translates into why your organization may need these apps.

The table below gives you a simple explanation of each application so you can see how it can  help your organizaton.

Why your Organization needs the Microsoft 365 apps

I’ve created this table for you to explore the essential Microsoft 365 apps and show why they’re a must for your organization’s success.
AppWhy your Organization Needs It
Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OutlookNot sure how you would function without the core 4… Create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and email.
TeamsTo chat, meet, share documents and any other kind of information you need.
SharePointFor sharing files, document management, securing permissions and more. SharePoint stores the files that you see in Teams.
OneNoteTo record notes for meetings, manuals, research, projects and more.
OneDriveFor replacing the local drives of your staff and securing files within your organization’s infrastructure.
PlannerTo help keep track of who is doing what. A task management system that you alone can use or you can share within a Team. Ensuring you are on top of everything and that no deadlines are missed.
ListsFor creating a place to list information others need to see (or edit). To be used with Teams and/or SharePoint.
BookingsTo allow others to schedule an appointment with you. This app connects to your Outlook calendar and lets you customize your availability and type of appointments.
Forms and PollsFor gathering feedback and insights from your staff or externally with others that you deal with.
Now I hope you see that these Microsoft 365 apps cover everything from productivity to collaboration. They’re crucial for your organization to excel in our new digital world.

Check out this Video on one of the Microsoft 365 Apps

What is Microsoft Lists is a popular video we have about one of the Microsoft 365 apps. Please click on picture to watch this video or others on our channel.

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