10 Productivity Increasing Microsoft 365 Hacks


Businesses that adopt Microsoft 365 into their technology ecosystem don’t just get the benefits of a few nice tools; They gain access to an expansive and collaborative environment specifically built to help their team work, well, better.  

But what if we told you there was a way to skip better and head straight to best? 

Whether your organization already uses Microsoft 365 or you’re just doing your research, we’ve got the information you need to know to make the most out of this incredible suite of cloud-based tools. From the EMPIST experts, the following is a list of automated processes, easy-to-use shortcuts, and more that can take your use of M365 from sufficient to efficient in no time fast.  

No need to thank us; Setting your business’s technology up for success is kind of our thing, after all.  

Here are ten productivity-boosting Microsoft 365 hacks your business should start using today:  

1. Put Your Email Folders on Auto-Pilot 

Organization can make or break the efficacy of any professional team, it’s true, but with Microsoft 365, you don’t have to do it all alone. In fact, the entire M365 suite offers smart organizational tools to help keep your data – and your day-to-day – in tip-top shape without a ton of end-user intervention. One of our favorites? In Outlook, your team can automate email folders by right-clicking a message (CTRL + click if you’re on a Mac), selecting “advanced actions,” and creating a “rule” to automatically move all messages from the sender to a particular folder. This can reduce confusion and ensure that all of your team members can find what they need quickly.  

2. Excel Shortcuts 

It’s time you finally stopped pretending; You don’t really know your Excel shortcuts, do you? While they may seem silly, it turns out that learning and leaning into Excel shortcuts can actually cut some serious time waste out of your day. Check out our guide on the most helpful shortcuts for your team to memorize right now.  

3. Keep Your Inbox Focused 

Outlook’s Focused inbox will let your employees concentrate on what really matters without getting distracted by the noise of a busy day. To set up, simply select a message in your inbox, right-click or CTRL + click, select “move,” and either move the message to “other” if not important or “focused” if you want to see this message ASAP. Users can then select whether they want messages from this sender always moved to either “other” or “focused,” thus allowing Outlook to automatically filter the inbox based on importance. This feature can also be turned off at any time, giving employees the space they need to customize their inbox as they see fit. 

4. Customize Your Notifications 

Stop getting bogged down with unnecessary notifications. Teams – Microsoft 365’s chat and video conferencing application – allows your users to customize how, why, and when they get notified to ensure that everyone is staying as productive as possible. To adjust your notifications, select “settings” from the menu in the top right corner of your Teams app, then scroll to select “notifications.” From this page, you can edit your sound preferences, select which messages you get notified for, and even establish email notifications for unread messages.  

5. OneNote is Your Friend 

Oft overlooked and underused, Microsoft 365’s OneNote is a sleeper success when it comes to managing your business’s productivity. Separate out your day-to-day notes from the formal document creation of Microsoft Word by using OneNote notebooks for everything from meeting minutes to idea generation. Unlike the notes app that comes with your machine, OneNote integrates seamlessly with the rest of Microsoft’s cloud-based suite, ensuring that everyone in your organization has access to the notes they need from anywhere.  

6. Save Your Teams Messages 

If your business is anything like ours, then your team is in near-constant contact with one another. Guarantee that your most-important communications don’t get lost in the shuffle by saving messages on Teams. To save a message, select the ellipses in the top right corner, then select “save.” You can retrieve and manage your saved messages by selecting your profile picture at any time. Whether it’s to keep for future reference or just a really great idea you want to hold on to, saving teams’ messages will, in turn, save your organization the time and the headache of combing through dozens – if not hundreds – of notifications searching for the right chat.  

7. Set Up MFA 

If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times – you need MFA on all of your accounts. Luckily, Microsoft 365 makes it easy to sign in to all of your team’s tools with Multi-Factor Authentication at once. Each time a user is added, be sure to set them up using the Microsoft Authenticator app (available on the AppStore or Google Play) so that your data stays secure.  

8. Share Your Calendar

Don’t waste time coordinating meetings. Automate the scheduling process by sharing your Outlook calendar with necessary team members and clients using Microsoft 365. In doing so, your coworkers can easily find whitespace that fits with everyone’s day without having to coordinate in the chat.  

9. Don’t Ignore Those Updates

Microsoft 365 is constantly releasing improvements, new features, and bug fixes to make sure that everything runs smoothly for your team. While many of these updates may be applied automatically due to the SaaS nature of M365, keeping tabs on any manual updates, new changes, or feature releases will help your team stay up to date and efficient.  

10. Integrate, Integrate, Integrate 

In addition to how Microsoft’s cloud-based apps work with one another, M365 is also compatible to integrate with dozens of other tools your team may use on a daily basis. Taking advantage of these integrations can help your organization craft a seamless technology environment, speeding up your processes and reducing redundancy. Of course, managing these integrations is easier said than done and often requires oversight from a knowledgeable technology team, but taking advantage of Microsoft 365’s ability to work in tandem with other tools is key to increasing your organization’s productivity overall.  

Can’t Hack It? EMPIST Can. 

For life hacks that go beyond the everyday, there’s EMPIST.  

Microsoft 365 offers its users a highly customizable and efficiency-driven environment to work in.But user-friendly as it may be, fine-tuning your business’s technology ecosystem is no small feat. EMPIST’s advanced IT Managed Services, cloud management solutions, and migration assistance allow you to put the day-to-day and strategic operations of your technological applications under the purview of the experts.  

To learn more about working with EMPIST, visit us online right here. To get in contact with a member of our team, contact us today!  

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