11 WAYS to help your staff get more done in less time Part one

They say time is money, and anyone who’s serious about Getting Things Done knows all about the importance of time management. Most of us find ourselves struggling to keep up with our to-do lists, especially in this digital age of information overload.

Following these simple tips can make a huge difference to your productivity, but you’re still only human. Thankfully, our friends at Microsoft have come up with many ways to get people working more efficiently, all nicely tied up within their Office 365 suite of products. The benefits of moving to Office 365 have been well-documented for a while now. This all-singing, all-dancing business software now has more than 120 million active users around the world, with 50,000 small businesses signing up every month.

Fans love it because not only does it allow them to use all their familiar Office packages on the go, it can do wonders for productivity. But just like all new bits of tech (go on, be honest – when was the last time you really studied every article in a help centre?) you probably won’t know about all of its productivity boosting powers.

1. Write and share notes with OneNote

Take notes on any device or platform, wherever you are, with this smart digital notebook. Because notes are all stored in the Cloud you’ll never lose your 3am Eureka moments, and can share your ideas with colleagues whenever they spring to mind. And if you’re not a big fan of typing, there’s a handy scribble option which allows you to write your notes with a stylus or your fingertip

2. Save anything to your phone with Office Lens

This handy capture app is an add-on that turns any mobile device into a pocket scanner and works in perfect harmony with OneNote so all your notes and images are in the same place. Snap diagrams, sketches, labels, info from whiteboards, menus – if you can photograph it, you can use it to compliment your written documents.

3. Share and collaborate on PowerPoint presentations

Instead of emailing presentations to your colleagues and waiting for feedback, you can now collaborate instantly with OneDrive or SharePoint Online for Office 365. Invite people to comment and edit directly from within PowerPoint and access your presentation wherever you are.

4. Take and transfer business calls on the go with Skype for Business

We’ve all felt the pain of being stuck in meetings that over-run, making us late for the next. Skype for business allows you to leave the boardroom and continue the conversation on your mobile, so you can keep to your schedule without any drama. You can also transfer calls to another person or number if you need to delegate. Skype for Business is slowly being phased out, to be replaced by Microsoft Teams.

5. Speed through Excel data with Flash Fill

Auto fill can already help ease the monotony of completing repetitive data like dates and postcodes, but Flash Fill takes things one step further. Because it recognises patterns in data it allows users to whizz through laborious entry and instantly splits appropriate columns of information.

6. Co-ordinate projects with Microsoft Teams

Hailed by Microsoft as “the hub for teamwork”, Microsoft Teams is a complete chat and online meetings solution that allows users to collaborate on tasks and projects in real time. If you’ve heard of Slack, this is Microsoft’s version of it. And we love it.

7. Use Sparklines to show data trends

Excel’s Quick Analysis tool enables you to instantly visualise your data in just a few steps – simply select the cells that show the information you want to present and the software will do the rest.

8. Discover geospatial patterns with 3D Maps

Previously known as Power Map, this handy visualisation tool allows you to discover patterns in your data related to location, time and demographics. It’s a great way to look at information in new ways, adding real meanings behind the numbers in just a matter of minutes.

9. Arrange meetings instantly with Skype for Business Web Scheduler

Gone are the days when it took half an hour for everyone to look through their diaries and agree the next meeting date – Skype for Business does it all by checking Outlook calendars and sending automatic invitations.

10. Attach files in Outlook without searching

Simply looking for the correct fi le to attach in emails adds minutes to your day that could be better spent on other tasks. OneDrive and SharePoint both allow for faster data sharing by scouring your recent items for you, so you can provide all key recipients with the right fi le without having to leave the app.

11. Quickly and format documents with Styles in Word

Dealing with different formats between documents has been a source of frustration since the dawn of fi le sharing. Styles in Word eliminates the hassle by allowing for fast, consistent formatting from one fi le to another.