Sometimes our tools don’t function quite how we’d like them to. Sometimes they could be optimised or augmented to fit our behaviour. It’s only natural. It’s why we buy roof racks for cars. In the same vein, Microsoft’s add-ins let you extend the functionality of 365. Here are some of the best ones.
This helps fight the noise and headache created by email. There’s a lot to it. But notable functions are as follows. In no particular order; the ability to schedule emails to send at a later date. An “inbox pause” function preventing your computer pinging with notifications all day. And the option to create a visual grid displaying your availability for the week. Now you can take charge of your calendar a little more, with a stand against unnecessary meetings.
Switching to a Google image search mid-PowerPoint or Word doc can be quite the time suck. Especially when you need 20 of them in half an hour. Enter Pickit. A library of high quality, royalty-free images. Browse them by category from within your document. Pickit is free but for an extra $1.99 you can work with a library of HD images too.
This creates a scheduling experience slightly more cohesive than Boomerang’s availability grid. Find time shows users optimum calendar openings for team meetings. It gives all users the ability to view multiple slots and vote on their preferred time. The winning time will have an invite sent out immediately.
Promoted as a tool for legal documents this tool lets you create templates from Microsoft Word. Don’t let the legal aspect scare you. Its functionality stretches far and wide. Letters, emails, you name it. Create documents, highlight the areas you’d like to be edited and lock what needs to remain constant.
Some honourable mentions
Firstly, email recovery. We all enjoy an email deletion fest every once in a while. But that can go awry when you hit delete on the one email you actually need. With Email Recovery, you have peace of mind. Unless you decide to hit purge, no email is gone forever. Secondly, Priority Matrix does exactly what it says on the tin, it helps you to prioritize. Using a quadrant system, it lets you set due dates, prioritize accordingly and turn emails into action items.
On the whole, the above tools create two results. Firstly, the minimization of task switching. When your emails ping less you can maintain your focus. When you spend less time switching from an image search to your document, your attention remains stronger for longer. Secondly, they eliminate arduous tasks. Unnecessary meetings are history. Rewriting that same contract every time? Never again. Both these benefits funnel back into our master commodity; more time. And as we know, more time equals more money.