Recently I wrote an article on how to install genuine Office365 without any key or crack which got a good response from the audience so I thought of talking about few applications which Office365 provides free of cost and how they can make our lives much easier. I am using enterprise license so these applications might not come free with your outlook account. In case you want to try any of these, you can, of course, go for trial version or log in through your company ID. Let’s do it. I am a big fan of Microsoft and their products. I think they are more innovative than Apple or Amazon. Of course, I own an iPhone but I always prefer Windows products. Let it be a Surface tablet over iPad or Windows laptop. In the technology side also, I prefer Windows products like Azure over AWS, Office365 over G suite etc. The obvious reason is most of these products come free of cost with an enterprise license and they have better connectivity options.
Here is my list of O365 products which you should give a try. Please do share your comment if you are already using any of them or try them after reading this article. I won’t consider the basic applications like word, excel as they are requisite for our work and most of us interact with them on daily basis. So here we go!
1. Flow – My first choice is “Flow”. You don’t need to be a programmer to develop an application with this feature. Just pull and plug and your connection is ready. So, what is it? With ‘Flow’ you can automate your daily activities. For example – downloading email attachment to a particular folder; creating to-do list from your outlook, getting a notification every time someone updates SharePoint and many more. I am using this application for many reasons and believe me, it differentiates you from others.
Check yourself and make some cool connections.
2. PowerApps – My second choice is ‘PowerApps’. To work on this application, you need basic knowledge of .NET but you can always check their free templates. Why do I use it? So, being a project manager, I need to deal with more than 150 projects having hundreds of stakeholders including owners, managers, and leadership. It was a very extensive mechanical work for one person to coordinate and synchronize. Earlier, I started with an Excel hosted online and gave everyone access but there were many faults so I was exploring to develop one mobile app. I don’t remember how but I came across this platform and developed a mobile app within 2 weeks which really impressed my leadership teams and getting bigger now. I developed another application for asset management for our IT team.
There are many other templates which you can explore and they are really very easy to develop.
3. PowerBI – As being Data Scientist, you always deal with data and dashboard. I have earlier explored Tableau and Qlik but PowerBI seems much easier when it comes to building a basic dashboard. You can also connect it to SharePoint, OneDrive and build a nice looking, interactive dashboard. Also, other dashboard tools are very costly and a company doesn’t want to invest money to develop and maintain these platforms so you can quickly build one on PowerBI which comes free and impress your team. Good luck!
4. Planner and Team – Next important applications are very much related to project management and team communication stuff. We all have heard about Slack, JIRA or Trello but very few know about Planner and Team which comes free and guarantee enterprise-level security services. The other tools either give limited access with the free version or too costly to be used by a larger team. Also being Microsoft tool, you can easily integrate them with your OneDrive and SharePoint. I am very much impressed by the functionality of Team and Slack is nothing compared to what Team provides to you. Please give it a try and judge yourself.
5. Stream – Sometimes we record a webinar or meeting but don’t know how to share with our colleague. As these are huge files, we can’t share through Outlook so we mostly put in SharePoint and share the link with them. What if, instead of sharing a SharePoint link you build a story using “Sway” and host your videos on “Stream” and share the story with the audience. Just give it a try.
These are my top 5 picks. I am yet to explore other applications like Dynamic, Delve but I am already overwhelmed and can’t think of any better package than Office365. Thanks a lot, Microsoft team. Keep up the great work. Please comment if you think you have a better alternative.