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Top 20 Tips for Office 365 Productivity


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This is a "Best Of" presentation of materials from my webinar/session collaboration with Tom Duff (@duffbert) in which we share our favorite productivity tips from Office 365 and the Microsoft Office productivity suite. This presentation was shared at the Digital Workplace Conference NZ (#DWCNZ) in Auckland, New Zealand on May 1st, 2019 at the Cordis Hotel.
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Top 20 Tips for Office 365 Productivity

  1. 1. Top 20 Tips for Office 365 Productivity Christian Buckley CollabTalk LLC
  3. 3. Christian Buckley Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC Microsoft Regional Director & MVP @buckleyplanet
  4. 4. Christian Buckley @buckleyplanet Tom Duff @Duffbert For more content like this subscribe on YouTube –
  5. 5. Let’s get started!
  6. 6. 1. Finding the keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams
  7. 7. Finding the keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams This one is useful for anyone using Microsoft Teams. You can quickly get a pop-up list of all the keyboard shortcuts that might save you a few seconds every time you do something out in Teams. In the Microsoft Teams client application, place your cursor in the search bar at the top, and press ALT + / at the same time:
  8. 8. Finding the keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams This keystroke combination causes the following pop-up screen to appear with a number of keyboard shortcuts you can use in the Microsoft Teams client:
  9. 9. Finding the keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams At the bottom of the pop-up screen, you'll see a link for See Shortcuts For All Platforms. This gives you the same information as above, but it covers both the Microsoft Teams client application as well as the web application:
  10. 10. 2. Text annotations in Office Lens
  11. 11. Text Annotations in Office Lens  Office Lens trims, enhances, and makes pictures of whiteboards and docs readable. You can use Office Lens to convert images to PDF, Word and PowerPoint files, and you can even save images to OneNote or OneDrive.  You can now  add text to highlight a part of a document  add a watermark of your brand text before sharing  add a caption that stays intact with the image wherever it goes and communicates your idea to your colleagues  After taking your image, simply tap on the ‘T’ icon and easily add text while on the go and in the moment. You can select a style/template, change text color and position, and then share!  Currently available on both Android and iOS, but no word about support for Windows Phone, Blackberry, Palm OS, or Kin (fun article on why Windows Mobile failed that’s worth a read)
  12. 12. Text Annotations in Office Lens
  13. 13. 3. Editing your video transcript in Microsoft Stream
  14. 14. Editing your video transcript in Microsoft Stream This tip is the result of someone asking me yesterday whether they could edit a transcript once a video had been uploaded to Microsoft Stream. Much to my surprise, you *can* edit a video transcript, and it's pretty easy! First, call up the video you want to edit. This does assume you are an owner of the video and/or have owner rights to it. At the bottom of the Transcript panel, you should see an Edit button. Click it to put the Transcript into Edit mode:
  15. 15. Editing your video transcript in Microsoft Stream Once you're in Edit mode, you can click a Transcript snippet to allow editing for that section. If you click on the black circular arrow icon, the video will start playing at that point so you can listen to what was actually said:
  16. 16. Editing your video transcript in Microsoft Stream Once you're done, you can continue editing snippets, or you can click Done and get on with your workday:
  17. 17. 4. Create a Flow to follow up on important emails
  18. 18. Create a Flow to Follow Up on Important Emails We are constantly filtering and cleaning up our email inbox, but sometimes we may forget to follow up with emails we’ve sent to other people. If you’ve ever marked an email as “Important,” you can create a Flow that will remind you to follow up IF the recipient has not responded. The Flow team at Microsoft has provided an easy template, or you can create your own Flow, and then set up your preferences for notifications (via mobile). By default, the Flow will notify you if the email IS read, so you need to set the flag to notify if NOT read. Read more at us/blog/fotw-remind-sent-high- importance/
  19. 19. 5. In analysis in PowerPoint
  20. 20. Ink Analysis in PowerPoint Announced in April 2018, Microsoft has expanded the inking capabilities in Windows and the Office suite, now leveraging shape and text recognition in PowerPoint, allowing you to more quickly markup and edit your presentations using handwritten notes and touch screens to write, select, and convert text and shapes into clean, professional images and drawings. April 2018 announcements
  21. 21. New AI-Powered Inking Features As of October 2018, there are several new AI-powered Inking capabilities in Word and PowerPoint. You can now use a touch-enabled device and digital pen to ink your ideas and transform them into perfectly formatted content. You can also choose from 30 new 3D models with built-in animations to bring your content to life.
  22. 22. 6. Finding a file location
  23. 23. Finding a File Location Ever wonder where you just saved your file? Now you can readily see the location AND the file history. It’s located at the top of your file, and you can also quickly open at it’s location or share the content, and see the complete history of the file.
  24. 24. 7. Automating Microsoft To-Do with your smart speakers
  25. 25. Automating Microsoft To-Do with Amazon, Apple and Google Devices  Households are increasingly using smart speakers and IoT devices to automate various aspects of our lives and increase productivity, but did you know that you can sync these services to Microsoft To-Do?  To use Siri with Microsoft To-Do, you begin by connecting your or Exchange account.  Go to your iPhone's settings, select Accounts & Passwords and then Add Account. Then select Exchange or and simply follow the prompts to add your account.  Once you’ve added your account, enable Reminders for that account by selecting Accounts & Passwords once more and then either Exchange or Then make sure that Reminders is toggled on for that account.  Once your Microsoft Account has been connected, set your default Reminders list to one in your Outlook or Exchange account by opening your iPhone's settings, tap Reminders > Default List and then select the desired list.  Once set up, all you need to do is say 'Hey Siri, remind me to...' and it will be synced to your Microsoft To-Do list. Using Siri and Reminders with Microsoft To- Do on iOS11 and iOS12
  26. 26. Automating Microsoft To-Do with Amazon, Apple and Google Devices  For more details, check out the following:  Using Siri and Reminders with Microsoft To-Do on iOS11 and iOS12  Using Ok Google with Microsoft To-Do  Using Apple Watch with Microsoft To-Do  Additionally, there are many many many integrations available through services like IFTTT (If This Then That) and Zapier to help connect your smart speakers and smart phones to Microsoft apps and services, such as  Connecting Amazon Echo To-Do to OneNote
  27. 27. 8. Closing original emails in Outlook when replying or forwarding
  28. 28. Closing original emails in Outlook when replying or forwarding… As I get older, I find that my mind is much more… "efficient" when it comes to "erasing" short-term memory… such as "why did I have this particular email open on my screen, and did I already respond to it?" Well, I just saw an option in Outlook that closes the original email when you do a Reply or Forward, eliminating all the screen clutter. Here's how it works… Here's an example of how Outlook was working before. I'd click on an email message to make it appear in a separate window, and then I'd click Reply, Reply All, or Forward:
  29. 29. Closing original emails in Outlook when replying or forwarding… You can see that I get a new email window, but my original email window is still there:
  30. 30. Closing original emails in Outlook when replying or forwarding… My Task Bar in Windows also has two items there for my original and my new emails: However, by going out to my Outlook options and selecting Mail > Replies and forwards > Close original message window when replying or forwarding, I can get Outlook to "declutter" my screen by closing my original email before showing my new email screen:
  31. 31. Closing original emails in Outlook when replying or forwarding… Much cleaner, and I don't have to remember later why I had a particular email open for reading:
  32. 32. 9. Making quick video recordings in OneNote
  33. 33. Making quick video recordings in OneNote Let's say you want to create a quick video of yourself, either to let your team know something, or perhaps just as a reminder to yourself to take care of some items. OneNote has a basic video recording function built in, and it's perfect for those basic types of videos (not screen captures… just whatever your vidcam is picking up). Here's how it works… First off, go to your OneNote Options (File > Options), select Audio & Video, and make sure you have the right audio and video devices selected to record yourself:
  34. 34. Making quick video recordings in OneNote Once that's done, go to the Insert tab, add a new page, place the cursor where you want the recording to be, and click Record Video:
  35. 35. Making quick video recordings in OneNote The video will start recording immediately, and you'll have a Recording tab in the Ribbon Bar that will have the controls to Pause and Stop the recording:
  36. 36. Making quick video recordings in OneNote When you're done, just click Stop and everything is stored automatically. If you want to replay the recording, click Play:
  37. 37. Making quick video recordings in OneNote What's also a nice touch is that you can also right-click on the video icon and save it to a different location if you need it to reside outside of OneNote:
  38. 38. 10. Adding interactive Microsoft Forms to PowerPoint
  39. 39. Create Internal or External Polls with Microsoft Forms While not brand new, Forms is an underutilized resource that allows you to quickly and easily publish surveys and snap polls within your organization – or to external users and partners. Creating your surveys is easy, as is changing the question types, adding or removing answers, and rearranging the layout before or after you push it live. Additionally, as the survey author, you have access to real-time stats, and can share the results with your management team or respondents.
  40. 40. Engage your audience with interactive forms and quizzes in PowerPoint  Microsoft Forms is now integrated with PowerPoint for Office 365, providing a seamless way for speakers, trainers, and educators to connect and interact with participants. As shown in a Microsoft Tech Community blog post, presenters can get real-time audience feedback via forms and quizzes without asking them to leave PowerPoint.  To get started, in PowerPoint under Insert, click the Forms icon to create a new form/quiz or insert one you’ve already created.  Please note that this feature is currently only available for PowerPoint Windows 32
  41. 41. Engage your audience with interactive forms and quizzes in PowerPoint To see the responses to your form or quiz, sign in to your Office 365 account at Open the appropriate form from your My forms page, and then select the Responses tab at the top of the page.
  42. 42. Engage your audience with interactive forms and quizzes in PowerPoint To create a quiz, check out the article at us/article/create-a-quiz-with-microsoft- forms-a082a018-24a1-48c1-b176- 4b3616cdc83d
  43. 43. 11. Connecting your cloud storage to Microsoft Teams
  44. 44. Connecting Your Cloud Storage to Teams Did you know that you can connect multiple SharePoint lists and libraries to Microsoft Teams through Files and Tabs? But did you also know you can also connect to your other cloud storage apps and services the same way?  Provides an interface into relevant content  Surfaces sites and tools in context to conversations  Removes (or reduces) the “which tool do you use when?” argument
  45. 45. Connecting Your Cloud Storage to Teams – as a Tab ybridguy/2017/10/28/microsoft-teams-use- an-existing-sharepoint-library/
  46. 46. Connecting Your Cloud Storage to Teams – as a Tab sharepoint-lists-microsoft-teams/
  47. 47. Connecting Your Cloud Storage to Teams – in Files ybridguy/2017/10/28/microsoft-teams-use- an-existing-sharepoint-library/
  48. 48. 12. Reuse existing slides in new PowerPoint presentations
  49. 49. Reuse existing slides in new PowerPoint presentations Instead of recreating slides from scratch, quickly find and reuse slides from your files or from others in your organization with the help of Microsoft AI in PowerPoint. Simply click the Reuse Slides button on the Home tab to surface existing PowerPoint decks in the sidebar to browse through recommended PowerPoint decks that you have access to, view the slides in each presentation, and insert them into the deck you are creating. This feature will be available in January for all Office 365 subscribers.
  50. 50. 13. Using the Read Aloud feature in Outlook
  51. 51. Using the Read Aloud feature in Outlook Have you ever gotten an email from someone that looks more like a novel than a request? Have you wished you could just have someone read it to you while you focus on something else? Well, with the Read Aloud feature in Outlook, you can now do that! Here's how… First of all, you need to turn the feature on in your Outlook Options panel. Go to Ease of Access and select the Show Read Aloud setting:
  52. 52. Using the Read Aloud feature in Outlook Now when you open an email, you'll see the Read Aloud Speech option. When you click that option in the Ribbon Bar, a speech toolbar will appear and you'll start to hear the email being read aloud. The toolbar allows you to Rewind, Pause/Start, Fast Forward, set Options, and Stop:
  53. 53. Using the Read Aloud feature in Outlook With the Options setting, you can alter the speed of the narration, as well as the voice used. David is a lower-pitched male voice, while Mark has a higher-pitch. Zira is the female voice: While this isn't something I'd necessarily use all that often, I can see it being useful for long emails with a ton of text. It could also be extremely useful in the case of people who have vision issues that make it hard to read and/or digest longer emails.
  54. 54. 14. Change your Outlook mobile swipe options
  55. 55. Change your Outlook mobile swipe options If you use the Outlook mobile app, you have some options available for how you manage your email experience. Personally, I don’t want to deal with folders and multi-step actions within my phone, and prefer to manage more complex actions through the desktop app. My preferred swipe actions are to Delete and Mark as Read/Unread. To change the swipe options, go into the gear settings for your account and select Swipe Options, and select from the options for left and right swipe.
  56. 56. 15. Find the right meeting time with FindTime in Outlook
  57. 57. Find the Right Meeting Time with FindTime Stop the endless email chains to try and find the right time for a group meeting, and don’t pay a cent to 3rd party services! Use FindTime Add the app to your Outlook application, and scheduling the right meeting time becomes a breeze (although you may have to still chase people to respond). Once installed, restart Outlook and create a new email, and on the right of the ribbon, select New meeting Poll. Works with Outlook 2013, 2016, Office 365 (Outlook Online), and Outlook for Mac
  58. 58. 16. AI-powered To-Do tracking in Word
  59. 59. AI-Powered To-Do Tracking in Word Editor—Word’s AI-powered writing assistant— is an indispensable tool for the written word. But sometimes you need to leave a placeholder in your document and come back to it later to stay in your flow. Word now helps users create and fill in these placeholders without leaving the flow of their work. For example, type TODO: finish this section or <<insert closing here>> and Word recognizes and tracks them as to-dos. When you come back to the document, you’ll see a list of your remaining to-dos, and you can click each one to navigate back to the right spot.
  60. 60. AI-Powered To-Do Tracking in Word Once you’ve created your to-dos, Word can also help you complete them. If you need help from a friend or coworker, just @mention them within a placeholder. Word sends them a notification with a “deep link” to the relevant place in the document. Soon, they’ll be able to reply to the notification with their contributions, and those contributions will be inserted directly into the document— making it easy to complete the task with an email from any device. Over time, Office will use AI to help fill in many of these placeholders. In the next few months, Word will use Microsoft Search to suggest content for a to-do like <<insert chart of quarterly sales figures>>. You will be able to pick from the results and insert content from another document with a single click. Currently in preview with Office Insiders.
  61. 61. 17. Insert data from picture into Excel
  62. 62. Insert Data from Picture into Excel With Insert Data from Picture, you can take a picture of a printed data table with your Android device and convert that analog information into an Excel spreadsheet with a single click. New image recognition functionality automatically converts the picture to a fully editable table in Excel, eliminating the need for you to manually enter data. Insert Data from Picture will be available in preview for the Excel Android app soon. No dates for iOS devices just yet. 365/blog/2018/09/24/bringing-ai-to-excel-4-new-features-announced- today-at-ignite/
  63. 63. 18. Edit documents with a digital pen
  64. 64. Easily Edit Documents with a Digital Pen  Using the new gestures in Ink Editor, you can now edit documents with a digital pen while in tablet mode using familiar shorthand.  Using these new gestures, you can insert new lines, add missing words, and delete and highlight content quickly and naturally while on the go.  These capabilities are available with a Microsoft 365 or Office 365 subscription when using a touch- enabled device and a digital pen. Read more
  65. 65. 19. Viewing your recent edits in OneNote
  66. 66. Viewing your recent edits in OneNote With the amount of work we do on a daily basis, it's often hard to remember just exactly where you updated or changed information. You know you did it in the last couple of days, but you can't specifically remember where it was done. If you're using OneNote to store information, OneNote makes it easy to find everything you changed and where exactly it was updated using the Recent Edits feature. Here's how that works… Go to the History tab in the Ribbon Bar and click on the Recent Edits icon. You'll see a number of date options that OneNote will use to show you your changes. In my case, I want to see everything that's been changed Since Yesterday:
  67. 67. Viewing your recent edits in OneNote When I click the Since Yesterday option, my Search Results pane appears on the right side of the page, and lists every page that's been updated since the date option I selected. In addition, I can click on the links to the page to go directly to that location, plus I'll also see the changed page and content highlighted in yellow:
  68. 68. Viewing your recent edits in OneNote By default, it searches the notebook that I'm currently viewing. However, I also have the option to have it search just the section I'm in, an entire grouped section, or all the notebooks I have in my OneNote client: I also have options on how I want the data sorted. By default, it's by date modified, but I can also go by section, by title, and by author:
  69. 69. 20. Export PowerPoint to video
  70. 70. Export PowerPoint to Video You’ve spent time creating your presentations with animations and transitions to tell a story, and want to save your file in a more consumable format. Export, Save as Video You have the ability to create a quick video using set timing, or create custom timing and transitions, and even annotate with video so that you can walk through each slide and talk about the content that is being shown.
  71. 71. That’s 20, folks!
  72. 72. Our next bout: Thursday, June 20th, 2019 “Summer Scuffle” Register at
  73. 73. Christian Buckley @buckleyplanet Thank you very much! For more content like this subscribe on YouTube –
  74. 74. +1 425-246-2823 Contact Us Strategy. Influence. Amplification.