7 Tips to Save You Time and Improve Office Productivity

By | 2020-04-25T06:58:30-06:00 May 1st, 2018|

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Achieve even more with all 15 Top Productivity Tips for Office

TIP #1 (OneNote) – Take notes on any device or platform, and access from anywhere, with OneNote

OneNote is a digital notebook that’s perfect solution for creating, organizing, searching, and sharing notes online.

  • It stores your notebooks in the cloud, so you can access your work from anywhere and share it with your colleagues any time.
  • OneNote works on any device or platform.
  • Available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and web.

Create your way: Write or type anywhere, clip from the web or drop in content from your Office docs.

Work together, or collaborate with anyone: Shape ideas with a team or plan meals with your family. Stay on the same page and in sync.

Think with ink: Scribble notes by hand. Express your insights with shapes and colors. A stylus or fingertip is the only tool you need. Take handwritten notes and convert them to typed text later. Highlight what’s important and express ideas with colors or shapes.

Better with Office: OneNote is a member of the Office family you already know. Shape notes with points pulled from Outlook email, or embed an Excel table. Export notes as PDF, or send notes attached to an Outlook email. Get more done with all your favorite Office apps working together.

TIP #2 (PowerPoint) – Share and Collaborate with PowerPoint on shared projects, from anywhere In PowerPoint 2016 for Windows, it’s easier than ever to share and collaborate on your presentations.

  • When you share your files by using OneDrive or SharePoint Online for Office 365, you can invite people to the presentation directly from within PowerPoint, or send a PDF or PowerPoint file as an email attachment.
  • Co-author with your team on the same presentation at the same time, from anywhere, and at a glance see who’s working and where.

Here’s what you do:

Share your presentation via OneDrive or SharePoint:

  1.  Open your PowerPoint presentation, and choose the Share tab on the far-right side of the menu bar (ribbon).
  2. If you haven’t saved your presentation to OneDrive or SharePoint Online for Office 365, you’ll be prompted to do so now.
    1. Choose Save to Cloud, enter a file name, and choose a location to save your presentation.
  3. Once your presentation is saved to a shared location, you can invite others to work on it.
    1. In the Invite people box, enter the email address of the person you’d like to share to.
    2. If you already have the person’s contact info stored, you can just enter their name.
    3. To share with more than one person, use semicolons to separate the names or email addresses. Note: You can also send your presentation as an attachment as a copy or as a PDF to an email message.

TIP #3 (Skype for Business) – Collaborate in real-time with Co-author, right from within Skype for Business

Collaborate with others when creating documents, spreadsheets or presentations.

  • Use Office 365 and Skype for Business 2016 to co-author and edit while in a meeting or instant message (IM) conversation (Figure 1.4.1).
  • You can chat with collaborators in real time by using Office 365 and Skype for Business, and you can view presentation activity, all from the top-right corner on the ribbon.
  • Everyone who participates in the coauthoring session sees changes being made to the document in real time.

TIP #4 (Skype for Business) – On the move, easily Transfer your Skype for Business call to your smartphone

You can transfer a Skype for Business call to another person or number.

  • For example, if you need someone else to handle the call, you can transfer to them. Or if you need to leave your office, but want to continue your conversation, you can transfer the call to your cell phone.

Here’s what you do:

Transferring a Skype for Business call:

  1. Click the Call Controls button in the call window.
  2. Click Transfer, type the number, or enter the number in the text box. The Transfer Call window appears.
  3. Click one of your numbers, such as your mobile phone, (these are the numbers that were added to your Skype for Business account).
  4. Click Transfer.

TIP #5 (Excel) – Quickly split column data with Flash Fill

When you need to enter a lot of repetitive information in Excel, such as dates, the AutoFill feature can help. But, when you need to quickly split a single column of data into multiple columns, just by typing, Flash Fill can do the work for you. Flash Fill recognizes patterns in your data, and completes the data accordingly.

Here’s what you do:

For example, if you have a list of names that is not formatted the way you need it, or that you want to split out (like he first name from an email address):

  1. Start by typing the first name the way you want it (into the First Name column).
  2. Then, start typing the next name into the next cell down, and Excel provides a preview of the names formatted the way you want.
  3. Press Enter and Flash Fill will fill-in the names for you.

Note: Flash Fill works best on consistent data, and doesn’t work on text that’s mistyped (e.g. inconsistent capitalization, like “nAnCy”).

Once the data is filled-in, Flash Fill provides a drop-down box with various options you can apply to your data.

Note: In Excel 2016, the Flash Fill feature is turned on by default and automatically fills your data when it senses a pattern. But if it’s not working as expected, you can turn it on by clicking File tab (Backstage menu), then Options. Click on Advanced and check the Automatically Flash Fill box.

TIP #6 (Excel) – Need to visualize your data? Use the Quick Analysis tool in Excel

It used to take a bit of work to analyze your data, but now it only takes a few steps. You can instantly create different types of charts, including line and column charts, or add miniature graphs (called Sparklines). You can also apply a table style, create PivotTables, quickly insert totals, and apply conditional formatting.
Here’s what you do:

Select the cells that contain the data you want to analyze

  1. Click the Quick Analysis button image button that appears to the bottom right of your selected data (or press CRTL + Q).
  2. In the Quick Analysis gallery, select a tab you want. For example, choose Charts to see your data in a chart.
  3. Pick an option, or just point to each one to see a preview.

You might notice that the options you can choose aren’t always the same. That’s because the options change based on the type of data you have selected in your workbook.

Which analysis feature should I use?

If you’re not sure which analysis option to pick, here’s a quick overview:

  • Formatting – lets you highlight parts of your data by adding things like data bars and colors. This lets you quickly see high and low values, among other things.
  • Charts – Excel recommends different charts, based on the type of data you have selected. If you don’t see the chart you want, click More Charts.
  • Totals – let you calculate the numbers in columns and rows. For example, Running Total inserts a total that grows as you add items to your data. Click the little black arrows on the right and left to see additional options.
  • Tables – make it easy to filter and sort your data. If you don’t see the table style you want, click More.
  • Sparklines – are like tiny graphs that you can show alongside your data. They provide a quick way to see trends.

TIP #7 (Excel) – Discover geospatial patterns with 3D Maps

With 3D Maps, get access to the popular 3D geospatial visualization tool that allows you to discover patterns in your data as it relates to location, time, and geopolitical context.

The popular 3D geospatial visualization tool, previously named Power Map, has been renamed 3D Maps and is now available to all Excel 2016 customers.

Here’s what you do:
Access 3D Maps and other visualization tools by clicking 3D Map on the Insert tab.

Creating your first 3D Map in Excel…

When you have Excel data that has geographic properties in table format or in a Data Model—for example, rows and columns that have names of cities, states, counties, zip codes, countries/regions, or longitudes and latitudes—you’re ready to get started. Here’s how:

Preparing your data:

  1. In Excel, open a workbook that has the table or Data Model data you want to explore in 3D Maps.
    • For information about using your own data, see Prepare* your data for 3D Maps.
    • If you don’t have data to explore yet, try downloading one of our sample data workbooks.
  2. Click any cell in the table.
  3. Click Insert > 3D Map,
    • (Clicking 3D Map for the first time automatically enables 3D Maps.)
    • 3D Maps uses Bing to geocode your data based on its geographic properties. After a few seconds, the globe will appear next to the first screen of the Layer Pane.
  4. In the Layer Pane, verify that fields are mapped correctly and click the drop-down arrow of any incorrectly mapped fields to match them to the right geographic properties.
    • For example, make sure that Seattle is recognized as a City in the drop-down box.
  5. When 3D Maps plots the data, dots appear on the globe.


  • For best results with 3D Maps
    • Use data in an Excel table or (preferably) a Data Model you created in Excel.
    • or by using Power Pivot (read more here).
    • If the data you want to use in 3D Maps is stored on external servers, you can connect to it from Excel and add it to the Data Model.
  • 3D Maps doesn’t support hierarchies (groupings of data fields) that you create in the Data Model.

Achieve even more with all 15 Top Productivity Tips for Office

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