Efficiency Best Practices for Microsoft 365

Efficiency Best Practices for Microsoft 365

Everyone wants to grow. We are continuously striving to optimize processes, reduce errors, improve quality, and increase efficiency – in every aspect of business (and life) – except for one technology, Microsoft Office.

Over 1 billion people use it for a few hours every day. So why don’t they try to improve their efficiency in using Office apps? Well, the work is getting done and the output is correct. Everyone seems to assume that because their method is working, it must be the best and only way. Maybe that was true on day one when you discovered it by trial and error.

But Microsoft has been adding thousands of features and apps to the Office platform over decades. Not every user has kept pace with it. Having worked with over 400,000 professionals over 30 years, I can confidently say that most processes are inefficient.

I feel sad that so many people are wasting precious time and effort every day because they do not know that there is a better, smarter, or faster way available to get the work done. The result? Without realizing it, they are wasting the most precious resource – time. This has a lot of side effects – overwork, stress, work-life imbalance, and burnout.

You cannot purchase time. But you can create time by working more efficiently. If you have extra time, I am sure you will use it constructively to drive your growth.

My objective is to gift every Office user with at least 20 minutes of extra time every day. You cannot reach 1 billion people by conducting live sessions or videos. That is why I wrote this book.

The Office platform is now known as Microsoft 365, and it consists of 25 apps. I selected the most powerful features across all these apps that every user should be aware of.

Conducting a live session is easy. That is what I have been doing for 3 decades. Writing a book is tough. I realized it the hard way while writing this book. I have spent 1 year refining the content.

This is not a user manual. The book teaches you how to learn while you work. It will help you work smarter and grow faster.

Who this book is for

If you use Microsoft Office on a regular basis, this book is for you. MS Office is no longer just Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. It is a collection of 25 useful apps. It is now known as Microsoft 365.

You will learn about the benefits each app has to offer. This will help you use the right tool in the right situation. That is efficiency.

Just read the book. Each topic starts with a need and then shows the efficient solution. While reading the book, do not worry about performing each activity hands-on. As long as you know the feature is there, you can always use it when needed. Focus on reading the entire book from a need-solution point of view. That will give you more ideas about where you can use the relevant features in your own context.

What this book covers

Chapter 1, Fortunately, You’re Inefficient!, covers the concept of inefficiency and helps you identify areas of improvement.

Chapter 2, Components of Work, introduces all the apps available under Microsoft 365. It also covers some efficiency boosters that are applicable across multiple apps.

Chapter 3, Creating Content for Effective Communication, shows how to create documents, web pages, emails, flow charts, and presentations efficiently.

Chapter 4, Intelligent Data Analysis, is about data. It covers how to import and clean up data and how to analyze data in Excel and Power BI.

Chapter 5, Managing Files Efficiently, explains why it is important that we keep our files on OneDrive for Business. We explore the benefits as well as security advantages of cloud storage.

Chapter 6, Time and Task Management, highlights how to manage your task list and block time to execute work efficiently. We also cover work delegation and monitoring.

Chapter 7, Efficient Teamwork and Meetings, explains how to enhance teamwork and project management using the Teams platform. The efficient meeting life cycle is also included.

Chapter 8, Automating Work without Programming, covers how to automate workflows using Power Automate and how to create mobile apps using Power Apps.

Chapter 9, Putting It All Together, explains how to use these apps in an integrated manner. Also included is the Needs-to-Solutions library. This is a list of common needs and the most efficient solutions.

Chapter 10, Maximizing Efficiency across the Organization, shows how to expand the efficiency transformation to your entire department or organization.

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