Software is consistently changing and updating, including the Microsoft Suites, a system of applications that around half of the business worlds use. Applications are often updated or patched to allow them to work more proficiently as technology advances, but some updates can include cool new features or new applications designed to make your business work more efficiently. As 2022 is beginning to wrap up, we wanted to bring some attention to some handy details in Microsoft applications that you may not even know you have access to! We’ll go over some new tricks in Microsoft Teams, and we’ll go over the free added application Microsoft Forms, and some new features being added to our favorite programs like Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint.
Microsoft Forms: Get Rid of Your Survey Applications
Has your Marketing and Operations departments gotten used to sending out surveys using paid tools such as Survey Monkey? Or taken yourself out of the MS suites to use Google Forms? Every survey tool has it’s pros and cons, but there is very little talk about Microsoft Forms, an application that is included in a Microsoft 365 subscription. But if you only have recently discovered MS Forms, you’ll be pleasantly impressed by the compared functionality to other survey applications (even the ones that are paid). The fact that we found it to be very comparable to the functionality of Survey Monkey, but at not additional cost since it’s included in my 365 subscription, has many finding it provides tremendous value. It’s easy to learn, easy to use, easy to send out, and easy to compile responses. On top of that, it included various settings so I can setup various parameters related to security, audience, dates and times, and reminders. We’ll excerpt the Microsoft website for you:
“With Microsoft Forms, you can create surveys, quizzes, and polls, invite others to respond to it using almost any web browser or mobile device, see real-time results as they’re submitted, use built-in analytics to evaluate responses, and export results to Excel for additional analysis or grading.
If you have a Microsoft 365 account already, just visit forms.microsoft.com to start creating your own today! If you have further questions on how to implement Microsoft Forms on your website, feel free to visit our contact us page to get in touch with a tech that can walk yo through the capabilities.
Microsoft Teams: Now You Can Pay for an AI Notetaker
It’s quite obvious that MS Teams has been a big winner coming out of the COVID pandemic. Although it existed previously, it certainly wasn’t seeing as much use until employees went remote. While other video providers like Zoom caught fire, as did chat providers such as Slack, Microsoft Teams really combines the functionality of both of those programs and does even more. It provides ways to organize people into (obviously) “Teams” and fosters collaboration between calls, chat, sharing of files, and even adding external application functionality. The fact that it is a Microsoft application gives it native functionality into other important applications such as SharePoint and Outlook. Microsoft announced an update for all normal Teams users that included several new features, while also rolling out Teams Premium which has even more advanced features, including making the automated creation of meeting notes and to-do tasks even easier to accomplish!
Let’s quickly go into these new updates: Teams will now let you assign “seats” to different meeting invitees, can recall different calls in a new call history, expanded suggested replies to group chats, allows short video clips in chats, has a new AI interpreter that can be invited to meetings, will record and transcribe a meeting as needed, has a speech coach that will give feedback on presentations in practice mode, has a new feature that allows users to chat with themselves, and you can annotate or close caption a meeting live.
As for Teams Premium, what’s the advantage for upgrading your subscription? There are a ew unique features that can’t be found on other chat platforms – a new “meeting guide” that can customize settings for common meetings in your organization. There’s also customized branding for the meeting lobby, and the ability to upload a virtual background for the whole organization. What’s probably most impressive in the new features for Teams Premium is the AI, who can assign action items during meetings for follow-up, and it’ll have an “intelligent recap” for recordings which can pull out when someone in particular was mentioned, helping an organization catch up. Teams Premium also has additional security measures to insure confidential meetings stay entirely private, including watermarking shared screens and take advantage of any sensitivity labels that already exist in your Microsoft environment.
Tips for Microsoft Outlook: Did You Know?
- Outlook has an automatic feature that allows users the ability to pause before sending if they forgot to attach a file – if you mention “attachment” in your email and there isn’t one, Outlook will ask if you forgot to attach it!
- If you receive booking information via email, Outlook “will automatically add those to your calendar along with much of the associate information like your tracking numbers, and even links.”
- Did you know you can silence a conversation chain? Much like how iPhone allows users to silence one person or group in iChat, Outlook also has an Ignore feature that can silence all replies in an email chain, and it will be automatically added to the delete folder and bypass your inbox entirely.
- Outlook has an “important message” tool that can bypass the normal alert system to do a popup in your working window, but only if the message follows certain criteria.
- There is a “Clean Up” button that will remove all duplicates of any messages to leave your inbox with only one copy of each message – saving a user tons of time manually going through email chains.
- If you ever wanted to view an email and your calendar simultaneously – it’s easy enough with a quick right-click and “Open in New Window” to find it’s easy enough to toggle between the two.
- Want to call out a particular person on a chain with many people? Use the new mention feature – use the @ symbol, followed by their name, and a couple things automatically happen: they are added to the email, their name is highlighted in the message body, and they’ll get a special flag saying they were mentioned.
Tune back in soon to see the tips and tricks for the rest of the Microsoft 365 suite of applications, but we hope that the new tips and tricks we went over here were enough for you to take back and share with your team. Why not use each application to the fullest extent – especially if your organization is already paying for it! Make the most of your work day, and save yourself and your coworkers time in the future with Microsoft Tops and Tricks, shared to you from KPInterface, the IT holistic IT services company. Powering Technology, Empowering Business.
Have any questions on how to set up or roll out these features to the whole team? Contact us directly to see what we recommend for your organization!