3 Top Office 365 Productivity Tips (Part 1)

There are two types of Office 365 users:

  1. The majority of Office 365 users continue to use Office applications as they did before they were moved across to Office 365.
  2. A growing minority of Office 365 users who embrace the new functionality and applications that Office 365 provides.

If you’d like to learn how to make full use of Office 365, why not attend one of our Office 365 Courses.

This is the first in a series of blog posts that we will be writing explaining how to make the most of Office 365.


1. Rollback To A Previous Version

We’ve all worked on a file only to realise that something has been missed and we need to roll back to a previous version and start again.

Before the advent of Office 365 if you wanted to rollback any meaningful amount you would have to have saved that document.

Office 365 automatically saves previous versions of your files. These files can be viewed and restored through OneDrive.

If you’d like to see a previous file version you simply go to File – Info and select Version History.


The Version History Option In Office 365


This will open your document but with a new menu in the right-hand margin.

This will show you the versions of the document that are saved, and when they were saved. It also contains arrows that allow you to click between various versions of your document. If it is a file that has been intensively worked on by a number of people this can be extremely useful.


The Version History Righthand Margin In Excel


When rolling back previous versions, keeping certain data the same can be beneficial. For information on how you can do this, read our guide on How To Embed An Excel Chart in a Word Document.


2. Co-Authoring

Co-authoring allows more than one person to work on a document or Excel workbook at the same time. This can offer huge benefits over the traditional linear way of working.

In order to do this for a new document (Microsoft Word) or workbook (Excel) simply look for the ‘Share’ button that you’ll find in the top right of your screen.

As your file isn’t yet saved anywhere it will prompt you to save your workbook to somewhere that makes is available on the internet – the obvious place being your OneDrive or SharePoint.


The Share option in Excel


Once you have done that if you open the document in the Desktop App you will be able to click the ‘Share’ button and it will open a you will be able to click the ‘Share’ and it will bring up a ‘Share Link’ dialogue box which will prompt you to send the relevant link to the people you would like to be able to also access the file.


The dialogue asking who you would like to share your file with .


3. Use Quick Steps To Automate Recurring Tasks

Although Quick Steps have been around since before Office 365 many people have never learned how to use them. We’ve found that when people move to Office 365 it is a good time to show them this as invariably people can’t believe that they haven’t heard about it sooner.

Quick Steps allow you to apply multiple pre-defined steps to a message with one click. Outlook contains a few basic ones as standard like:

– ‘Done’. This Quick Step marks the mesage as read and complete and then sends it to a pre-specified folder all with one click of a button.

– ‘Reply & Delete’: This opens the message that you currently have selected and will delete it automatically when you send you reply to that message.

If you use a particular Quick Step regularly you can also assign it its own hotkey for added convenience.

You can find the Quick Steps menu in the centre of the ribbon on the Outlook desktop application.


Finding the create new option in the Quick Steps menu


This will show any existing Quick Steps that you have already created and also offers the ability to create new Quick Steps as is highlighted above.

If you click ‘Create new’ then this will open a new window where you will name you Quick Step and specify what it does exactly. If you would like to assign it a shortcut key you can do this at the bottom.


Creating Your Own Quick Step in Outlook


There we have it our first top 3 Office 365 tips. Mastering these tips will help increase productivity across the board – helping you get down to the important stuff! If you want information more on specific Office 365 Software, read our guide here on Creating and Using Named Ranges in Excel.

Find Part 2 of these Office 365 Tips here!


About Ben Richardson

Ben is a director of Acuity Training which he has been running for over 10 years.

He is a Natural Sciences graduate from the University of Cambridge and a qualified accountant with the ICAEW.

He previously worked as a venture capitalist and banker and so had extensive experience with Excel from building financial models before moving to learn SQL, Microsoft Power BI and other technologies more recently.