Published on:

21 April 2022


Rachael Adams

The Best New Features of Microsoft 365

For most businesses, Microsoft 365 is the most heavily used technology subscription. One of the great things about this productivity essential, is the work that happens year-round to add new capabilities. It can be a little hard to keep up with what’s new, so we’ve rounded up some of our favourite new features.

Better collaboration with user-friendly modern comments

Remember when documents were only worked on by one person at a time? Progress was slow, untangling edits was confusing, and version control was a minefield. Improved collaboration features have transformed the user experience, and the recently updated comments features have made a real difference. Now, when you add a comment and @ the name of a co-author, they receive an immediate alert and a link that takes them to the right spot in the document. The experience is now more consistent between Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, saving time and the frustration of searching lengthy documents for changes.

You can also control when your comments are sent to your colleague, which we find very useful especially when collaborating on longer documents such as reports. Even when you’re in a team working in diverse locations, you can do the virtual equivalent of judging when it is a good time to comment over your shoulder to your team-mates.

Office has a fresh look

The new visual refresh in Microsoft 365 is modern and uncluttered. It isn’t just about looks, though – the refresh is designed to make a simple, intuitive, and seamless experience across all your Office apps. The improved consistency across web and desktop versions of all apps makes it easier to work on-the-go, making the transition for hybrid home/office workers painless.

Track just your changes in your documents

The track changes feature is one of the handiest when working together, but sometimes when you’re collaborating, you only want your own changes to be tracked, without forcing this setting on others. To track only your changes, go to Review tab, select Track changes, and choose Just Mine.

Make the documents you send accessible for everyone

Outlook now automatically lets you know if your email recipients will be unable to access or edit a document you are sending. When you’re close to a deadline, there can be little more frustrating than delays because key stakeholders cannot open a file. Outlook alerts you when there are accessibility issues, and helps you fix the issue.

Predictive text: reply faster using suggested replies in Outlook

Outlook developers have taken inspiration from the smartphone user experience, and one of the best examples is the introduction of predictive text when composing emails. When you receive a message that can be answered with a few words, Outlook suggests responses that you can send with just a couple of clicks.

Ready-made graphics for your diagrams

Whether you want to make your work more aesthetically appealing, or find a visual way to get your point across, you can now choose from a larger library of icons, stock photo images, cut-out people, and stickers for your work.

Draft documents with your voice

If you haven’t noticed it, there’s a new dictation toolbar, allowing you to use voice commands and auto-punctuation to draft documents. No external software is needed, and the accuracy is impressive. This is a great way to do brain dumps or to draft a longer piece without typing.

Share to Teams

Email threads within larger groups are notorious for getting very confusing very quickly – not to mention clogging your inbox. Now, you can share messages from Outlook with a person or channel in Teams, keeping your inbox clear and enabling a more productive discussion.

Dark mode now available for mobile devices

This one is another user experience bonus. If you’re someone who gets their best ideas at night, or maybe on-call round the clock, why not try out a dramatic new look that’s easy on your eyes and helps you focus on your work?

Create tasks in Outlook on mobile

When you’re trying to work productively, you should ideally only touch a task once. It is all too easy to repeatedly read the same email, and, worse, forget to return and action it later. Now, you can create tasks in Outlook on your mobile, so that important task that you notice right before an appointment won’t have slipped your mind by the time it needs to be actioned. You can add due dates and reminders using the To Do app.

Need more help?

With the raft of new features that Microsoft has introduced, it may be a good time to revisit processes. Our skilled team have a knack for identifying ways to work more efficiently and making the user experience more enjoyable. They can also connect you with recommended training providers to help you to get more from your Microsoft 365 investment.

Want to learn more about improved collaboration and productivity? Contact the friendly TechPath team today.