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If you use Office applications for most of your working day, chances are you’re super familiar with the ins and outs of its basic functions. However, Office 365 comes with an intriguing set of handy tools and features that can maximize your work while saving you time and money.

1. Microsoft Flow

This tool allows a user to automate workflows, called Flows, across applications. You can use Flow to connect email and instant messaging alerts, synchronize files between applications or copy files from one service to another.

It's not limited to Microsoft services either. You could just as easily pull information from Facebook or push files into Dropbox using Flow. The key feature is connecting systems to enable your business to work.

2. Microsoft Forms

Forms allow you to create surveys, quizzes and polls and see results as they come in. It works with up to 5000 recipients. So, if you want a company-wide vote on where to host that end-of-year function, Forms is the tool for you.

3. Microsoft MyAnalytics

This tool shows you how you’re spending your work time: everything from how much time you’re spending on email to who you collaborate with the most, along with other schedule hogs like how many meetings you attend a week. The tool is broken down into a few sections: Your Time, Network, Meetings, Email, Focus Hours, After Hours. Now you can see just how much time you’re spending in those ‘weekly meetings’.

4. Microsoft Planner

Is your team distributed across the globe with many simultaneous projects and deliverables due at the same time? This tool can quickly move your current task management process into the digital age. Planner gives users a visual way to organize teams. It provides four primary functions:  an information hub, flexible categorization, communication and insights. Users on a team can create plans, assemble and assign tasks, share files, communicate with other users on the team and receive progress updates.

5. Microsoft PowerApps

Build your own app with predefined templates Microsoft provides. Even better, you can connect that newly created app to other services such as your CRM, SharePoint, an Oracle database and more. You can share your PowerApps with a coworker by just typing in their email address.

6. Microsoft StaffHub

This app lets workers and their managers use a mobile device to manage schedules and keep in touch. Employees can use the tool to request time off, trade shifts and communicate with co-workers. Messages can be sent to individual members of the team or the entire team.

7. Microsoft Delve

This nifty data visualization tool incorporates elements of social media with machine learning. Delve discovers content across four Microsoft-integrated platforms — Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint and Yammer. But it doesn’t just aggregate data points. Instead, it looks for relevance in the information such as past interactions and activity between users.

8. Microsoft Advanced eDiscovery

In the law field? This tool allows you to be even more productive. The ediscovery tool supports easy search through Exchange Online mailboxes, SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business sites in a single search. Ediscovery allows organizations to process thousands of files and to quickly and efficiently find pertinent data. In the most recent upgrade, Microsoft added in machine learning, predictive coding, the ability to recognize 'near duplicate' files (documents with similar content to others), email threading which identifies only new, unique messages in an email thread, and an export for review function. Export for review allows you to export all data to a CSV file which retains all of the document properties and metadata.

Get Office365

Sign up for Office365 via Vodacom, and work from anywhere. You only pay for what you use, so it's a perfectly scalable solution for your business. 

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