Want to get more value from your Microsoft 365 subscription? Here are 7 productivity tips to help you get the most out of Microsoft 365.

How to get more out of Microsoft 365

Did you know Microsoft 365 accounts for nearly 50% of the office suite technology used worldwide? It’s an incredibly powerful suite of tools, and most of us just barely scratch the surface of the total value. Here some tips to get even more value from your Microsoft 365 subscription.

1. Skip the menu bar and use search instead

We’ve all been there at some point. You know there is a way to do something in one of the Microsoft Office apps like Word or Excel, but you can’t find it in the menu. For example: changing your margins in Microsoft Word to give you more space on the page.

Instead of wasting time clicking through one tab after another, use the search box at the top. It’s not just for searching for help topics! You can use a search to quickly jump to settings like margins, page orientation, and more!


2. Leverage the free stock images, icons & videos

Finding nice looking business images for your websites, brochures, and presentations can be expensive, and just using images from a Google search result could be a copyright violation. You need to have images that you can use commercially without any problems.

Word, Excel, and PowerPoint has a treasure trove of images that are free to use in your marketing materials. You even have access to videos, icons, and 3D models!

Find them by going to Insert > Pictures > Stock Images. Use the tab at the top to switch between the different media. Then, click to insert it directly into your document, spreadsheet, or presentation. It’s that easy!

Stock Images

3. Save time by using data types in Excel

Did you know that Excel provides access to several databases by default? You can leverage facts and figures stored inside Excel’s “data types”. This includes topics on everything from chemistry to yoga poses. Use data types to populate tons of data in seconds for various topics.

  • Start by adding your list (e.g., a list of menu items)
  • Highlight the list.
  • Click the Data tab.
  • In the Data Types window, choose the type of data (e.g., Food, Plant, etc.).
Excel Data Type
  • Next, click the small database icon that appears at the top of the list.
  • Choose the type of data you want.
  • The details will populate into the next open column on the right for each list item.
Excel Data

4. Collect customer surveys with Microsoft Forms

Microsoft Forms is one of the best-kept secrets of M365. This cloud-based survey and form builder makes it simple to send out surveys and see the results in real-time. You can even download the results directly to Excel!

Microsoft Forms

5. Use PowerPoint’s Presenter Coach feature to improve your skills

Do you worry when it comes time to give a presentation to clients or your own team? Not everyone feels comfortable about public speaking, even if it’s virtual.

PowerPoint can help with a handy AI-powered feature called Presenter Coach. Turn this feature on when practicing your presentation to get tips on your pacing, use of filler words (e.g., umm), repetitive language, and much more!

Look for the “Rehearse with Coach” option on the Slide Show menu.

6. Save recurring email text with Outlook’s Quick Parts feature

Do you have certain emails you send to customers that have the same paragraphs of text in them? For example: directions to your building or how to contact support.

Stop retyping the same information every time by using the Quick Parts feature in Microsoft Outlook.

  • Create a Quick Part by highlighting the text to save in an email.
  • On the Insert menu, click Quick Parts.
  • Save the Quick Part.

When ready to insert that text into another email, just use the same menu. Then click to insert the Quick Part.

Outlook Quick Parts

7. Create a keyboard shortcut to paste as unformatted text

Keyboard shortcuts are great for saving time. One handy keyboard shortcut to add for Microsoft Word is to paste as text only. This method removes any formatting that copied text might have had so your document isn’t messed up.

Here’s how to make a keyboard shortcut for this:

  • In Word, click File > Options.
  • Click Customize Ribbon.
  • At the bottom of the panel, next to Keyboard shortcuts, click Customize.
  • Scroll in the left pane to All Commands.
  • Look for “PasteTextOnly
  • Type your keyboard command, then click Assign.
Keyboard Shortcut

Do you need help getting more value from Microsoft 365?

Microsoft 365 has many security-enhancing, time-saving, and dollar-saving features. Schedule a free 15-minute discovery call with someone from our team. If you’re an existing client, we’d love to just say “hi” and have a virtual coffee, and if you’re not, we’d love to see if we’re a good mutual fit!

P.S. if you’re looking for a new IT service provider, check out our guide that covers how to choose your next IT service provider for some quick tips to get you started!

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