3 min read

Time-Saving Microsoft 365 Features

Time-Saving Microsoft 365 Features

The world of Microsoft applications has grown exponentially over the past 10 years. Odds are that you are using more than a few Microsoft apps in your daily business activities – and likely in your personal life. The most widely used are Microsoft office products such as Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint – and of course Dynamics 365 for CRM. And as many of us have migrated to work-from-home environments, Microsoft Teams is now a top online collaboration application. But, with our growing queue of emails, back-to-back meetings, and important to-dos, we often never have the time to dig-in to learn productivity hacks. In this blog, we’re diving into four time-saving Microsoft 365 features that will save you time each and every day.

Microsoft 365: Dictate

We use Siri multiple times a day to transcribe text messages while we’re in transit, yet we haven’t explored how this type of feature can impact our business lives. When you open Microsoft applications such as Outlook, OneNote, Word, and PowerPoint, you’ll find a microphone button in the top menu bar. That’s the Dictate feature in Microsoft 365 that offers highly accurate speech -to-text capabilities for times when you’d prefer to talk vs. type.

We highly recommend you try it the next time you’re in a meeting and taking notes, drafting to-do lists, or sending emails after a long day.


Microsoft Teams: Quiet Hours

The Teams app has changed the way most of us work. We’re able to stay connected without our laptops and join meetings from anywhere, at any time. Unfortunately, the constant pings and notifications pull us back into work-mode during our non-working hours. But there’s an easy way to set up work boundaries using the Quiet Hours feature.

Teams Quiet Hours allows you to customize quiet hours by day of the week. For example, on Wednesdays you work until 5 p.m. but you work until 7 p.m. on Thursdays. Setting Quiet Hours in the Teams mobile app will keep your phone from blowing up with meeting notifications and chats when you’re trying to unwind and relax. As such, you can also block entire days like Saturday and Sunday by setting Quiet Days. Wonderful, right? Here’s a screen shot of the settings panel where you can customize your availability.

Teams-Mobile-Quiet-Hours-Settings Teams-Mobile-Notification-Settings

Image Source: Microsoft

Please note: The quiet hours feature applies to the Teams mobile app only, so if you’re primarily on your desktop, you can use the Focus Assist feature (formerly Quiet Hours) in the Windows 10 action center to eliminate or reduce your Teams meeting notifications in a similar manner.


Image Source: Microsoft

Microsoft Add-In: Boomerang

Boomerang won several Microsoft 365 App Awards in 2017 for its ability to optimize email productivity. The features of the app include scheduling emails and sending them later, tracking responses, setting up meetings, and other email shortcuts like sending recurring email messages. This is a fee add-in from Microsoft App Source, which may require your Network Admin’s approval before using. Some features may require an upgrade to the Boomerang Premium.

We suggest you test it out especially if you need help with these scenarios:

  • Following up with leads
  • Communicating with those in different time zones
  • Scheduling birthday/holiday emails in advance
  • Sharing your availability as a visual grid embedded into email

Dynamics 365: Sales Usage Reports

As a licensed D365 Sales Premium or Sales Enterprise user, you have access to Sales Usage reports without any additional configuration or cost. These Power BI-based reports were released earlier this year and provide extra visibility into your sales teams performance, operational metrics, and KPIs giving you all the right data to improve performance and increase sales.

Here are a few examples of Sales Usage charts are available to you and  allow you to drill into user and metric data:

  • Converted Opportunities
  • Converted Leads
  • Qualified Opportunities
  • Qualified Leads
  • Conversion Ratio
  • Status
  • Top Users

Image Source: Microsoft

Thanks for reading. Drop us a comment if you’re going to try any of these features and tell us how they worked for you.

About TrellisPoint

TrellisPoint is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Consulting firm with locations in Cleveland and Cincinnati. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, TrellisPoint is dedicated to helping customers drive digital transformation by implementing and integrating Microsoft Dynamics 365, the Power Platform and related customer experience applications. Additional services include on-premises to cloud migration, software development, and managed services including Dynamics 365 Support.

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