About ten years ago the first introduction of mainstream mobile apps blew my mind. Suddenly, we had the capability to connect to virtually any service in the palm of our hand. Today, companies are developing for a mobile-first world. However, my mobile phone isn’t the only place I can find apps. I now find that I can be even more productive daily within Outlook and Office by using apps.
Why do you want Apps in Office?
If you haven’t dabbled in Office Add-ins yet, you may be wondering why you would even want this. You have other ways off accessing the information that you need – why build something in Office to provide redundant information? The simple answer is that we spend a lot of time in email. While organizations have introduced new collaboration methods and other portals for employees to work, email is still king. So how do you make it easier for your employees to use a new platform or service? You integrate that solution into their email experience.
Office Add-ins (Apps)
There are a number of ways to gain more value out of your Office 365 subscription by using Office Add-ins. Any commercial Office 365 subscription gives you the power to start using apps – as long as your Office 365 administrator allows it. Some examples of useful app functions in Outlook include:
- Recognizing a street address and showing you a map to get directions
- Identifying a phone number
- Helping you to find the time zone when you’re communicating with people around the world
- Offering to schedule a meeting when someone requests one in an email
These types of apps can increase your productivity and efficiency. It is simple for an administrator or an end user to add these apps in Outlook. For end users, in the top ribbon of your Outlook window you should be able to find the Office App Store or the Manage Add-Ins icon in the File menu.
Once you’ve clicked on one of these links, a browser window will open to the Office App Store – an area that you can search and add new applications and add-ins to your Outlook. Some other examples of helpful apps include:
- Package tracking
- Mail management applications
- Meeting scheduling applications
- Custom applications
New applications are being added regularly – many are connected to free services, but others may rely on the user or organization having a subscription with that third-party service.
That’s What’s App-ening
There are many efficiencies that can be used with Office 365 to make life easier and more productive for administrators and employees alike. These applications are simple ways to try to get more out of what you own. For more information about how to get the most out of your Office 365 subscription just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Peters & Associates is always available to help.