Microsoft 365 apps you need to know about
If you’re doing business in 2021 (and working with a Managed Service Provider), you’re likely harnessing the power of Microsoft O365 via Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Teams. But chances are you haven’t dug past the basics of Microsoft 365.
Get to know the right Microsoft 365 apps and you can save time, add a little rocket boost to your productivity, streamline workflows for everyone in your organization, and create more powerful customer experiences.
But there are hundreds of apps to choose from, and the ones that best suit your business aren’t always in plain sight.
No worries. The Level5 Management tech team is here to share a guide to the best hidden apps in 365. Here are the 10 Microsoft 365 apps we think every business should have on their radar.
Looking for an easier way to make appointments and schedule meetings with your colleagues, clients, collaborators and prospects? The Bookings app allows you to schedule appointments with anyone. You can send invites that allow the recipient to select a time and date that works best for them. Customize the booking to fit your needs, and autosync it to your Outlook calendar.
Bookings can also be used to add Teams meeting links. And by integrating it into your website, prospective clients can access your sales team’s live calendar.
There’s no shortage of project planning apps on the market. Among the likes of Trello, Asana, Basecamp, and Monday, the simply-named Planner stands out.
As comprehensive as this Microsoft 365 app is, we like it for its ease-of-use. From setting a quick task reminder to managing entire multi-layered projects, Planner is a powerhouse. For each task you can create a team and compile to do lists, assigning tasks to members along the way. It even plots charts so you can get an overview of where you are on the road to project completion.
The icing on the cake? Robust integration with other apps to allow direct file sharing and easily add tasks to your calendars.
What can we say? We’re IT service nerds. We love automation. If you’re spending too much time performing the same actions over and over again, Power Automate can automate these tasks for you, taking a bit of the drone out of your day.
Power Automate connects to a ton of the other Microsoft O365 apps you’re likely using, and creates workflows for the actions you use most often. It can also inform other apps of changes you’ve made, sync files, and even post messages to Teams when a new task is created in Planner.
Less redundancy means a happier team. And (big bonus) the risk of human error is removed.
Power Apps lives up to its name. It democratizes the process of building business apps by enabling users with no code-writing experience to create feature-rich, custom business apps. You no longer need a pricey app developer to transform your manual business operations into automated digital processes and workflows.
The Power Apps tool can take away the manual entry of data, and push out updates to your team’s smartphones, so they stay updated wherever they are.
Like Power Automate, Power Apps has the ability to create automated workflows, but it’s much more robust. You can implement the logic and workflows created in Power Automate, create your own templates, or build it yourself. The best part? Applications built using Power Apps have a responsive design and can run seamlessly in browser and on mobile devices. You can even embed them in Teams or SharePoint.
Just think: anyone in your organization can create or use a custom app for your company.
Essentially, Sharepoint is an intranet for your organization. It’s become one of the most prevalent ways to share resources, webpages and news on an organizational scale.
Add your company logo and branding kit and customize it precisely to your company.
You can think of SharePoint as Teams without the project work focus. Actually, the two apps can work together in tandem to make keeping everyone updated easier than it’s ever been.
Imagine Discord, but with a Facebook-style feed — for business.
Yammer enthusiasts love how familiar it feels. It’s applies all the function and familiarity of a social networking tool and applies the concept privately to your company. It also integrates with Teams, allowing you and your coworkers to dip in and out of conversations easily. But it’s more of a company-wide sharing platform.
It’s the best of what social networking can be — create polls, shares news and updates, start discussions — but without your opinionated uncle. In other words, Yammer can be excellent for creating camaraderie in your workplace. Which is especially useful for enterprises or any businesses that have several offices.
Sway is almost like a Lite version of PowerPoint, but with the features of Canva thrown in for good measure.
Create presentations, newsletters, and almost any other kind of document quickly and easily, then share them within the business.
The thing we love about Sway is that it allows you to pull content from any online source and produce something that looks like it’s been sent off to the graphic designer.
Excellent for presentations that the viewer guides themselves through, but maybe not for one that you would present.
Plus, Sway is fully optimized for mobile.
Stream is an internal video-sharing platform. Upload, share, create… it’s basically YouTube for your business.
Like YouTube, you can sort content into channels, share content with anyone who needs to see it, and take advantage of an enormous allotment of storage space. t’s an internal video sharing platform, where you can upload, share, and create videos.
Again, integration is key. Stream works great with SharePoint, Teams, Yammer, etc to make it all even more seamless.
If there’s something we love as much as technology here at Level5, it’s regimented To-Do lists.
You may recognize the To Do app as the former Wunderlist. The crowd favorite allows users to organize each different area of business by creating lists, and tracking and prioritizing tasks.
Team members can check in in real time on who has been assigned what, and what’s been completed versus what still needs to be done. Everyone can add notes, give teammates a nudge, and add information and attachments as needed. And in the collaborative spirit of all that Office 365 stands for, share your lists with anyone you need to.
As always, To Do works great with the other Microsoft 365 apps, and it’s available on both desktop and mobile.
After working through beta versions, the well-anticipated Clarity app is finally what we knew it could be. Your marketing team will have fun with this one.
Every business needs insight on how people are using your website. What are visitors clicking on? Where do they spend the most time? What are they engaging with? And more importantly, what are they steering clear of?
Clarity uses heat-mapping to give you a peek at how your users are interacting with your site so can make targeted changes to boost performance and conversion. You can even replay videos of visitor sessions to see exactly what people did on your website.
This information is invaluable when you consider that your website is usually the first impression you give to your prospective customers.
So there it is. The Level5 team’s top 10 current favorite 365 apps. Some of these are included in your subscription, and some you’ll need to pay for. You can usually get a free trial on them before you make a commitment. And if you use the apps as they’re designed to be used, you should find they’re an investment rather than a cost.
Want to discuss getting Microsoft 365 to work for your business? Ready to discuss a better way to do IT? Get in touch with us today.
Level5 Management brings enterprise-level security solutions and managed IT services to SMBs across South Florida and the United States. From the legal industry to the healthcare sector and professional service businesses along the way, Level5 protects your business from making the news for the wrong reasons. For a no-obligation network assessment and consultation, call our Boca Raton cybersecurity experts at (561) 509-2077 or Livechat us on our website at level5mgmt.com