Tag Archive for: Collaboration

The use of Microsoft Teams has just exploded in the last few years. It now boasts over 270 million people using it every month. Its constant growth has been helped by the many improvements and new features being released all the time.

This short video we’ve created will give you the details on three new updates coming soon to Teams. Watch it here:

If you’d like any assistance setting up Teams for your business, book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

OneNote is a digital note-taking tool that comes with plenty of benefits for users. What you may not have realized yet is how powerful this app can be for enhancing team collaboration. 

Notetaking… This is an essential part of day-to-day operations for many business owners, managers, and teams. After all, people can’t rely on their memory alone to recall everything that gets talked about each day, especially when it concerns important matters.

When it comes to notetaking, traditional methods such as pen and paper are effective but take too long. Modern-day businesses need something that allows them to work faster, which why they opt for digital solutions like OneNote.

OneNote is a productivity tool that leverages cloud and Microsoft technologies to make information capturing, storage, and sharing a breeze.

Think of OneNote as a hub for all notes that allows you to organize them in many ways. It even allows pinning multimedia documents next to simple text.

So, if you’re looking for a robust digital note-taking tool, OneNote may be the solution for you.

Keep reading to discover the numerous ways in which this tool can be helpful for you and your business.

Why Should You Rely on OneNote?

OneNote is not just a powerful tool for notetaking. It’s also a useful tool that allows you to perform various functions for easy information processing.

Some of its main benefits include:

BENEFIT #1. PROMOTING REAL-TIME COLLABORATION

OneNote is part of Microsoft’s fully-cloud based Office 365 suite. This means OneNote users can share files with other team members or clients in real-time. Multiple people can view and edit their notes simultaneously, allowing for a seamless collaboration anytime.

A great thing about real-time editing is that you can track all changes to the file. You can even restore the previous version of a document in case of accidents.

Businesses that run in multiple locations can benefit from this feature as well because people located across the country can work on the same project without affecting team collaboration.

Simply put, there’s no need to trade emails and waste time waiting for responses – managers can have an easy time collaborating with their team instantly without ever leaving the office.

BENEFIT #2. SECURING SENSITIVE INFORMATION

Doing business online and sharing sensitive data comes with security risks. This is especially true for notebook software. Fortunately, OneNote comes with a set of security features that protect your data from being exposed to third parties.

For example, you can lock specific sections with passwords while having all your information secured with 3DES encryption at all times. And if your password-protected documents remain inactive for a long time, the software will automatically lock them to prevent data leaks.

BENEFIT #3. INTEGRATION WITH OTHER SOFTWARE

Like other Office 365 suite apps, OneNote has great integration abilities. You can sync your OneNote with Outlook to send email information directly to the app and vice versa.

What’s more, you can integrate this software with non-Microsoft apps as well. Some notable plugins include Zapier, Slack, Trello, Evernote, Dropbox, Salesforce, and many others. All your essential apps will be synchronized, allowing your team to be more productive each day.

BENEFIT #4. PROJECT MANAGEMENT

OneNote has dozens of uses for general business. However, it’s especially suitable for project management.

Project managers often deal with issues such as team member misunderstandings, communication delays, or project bottlenecks. Thanks to Microsoft’s note-taking tool, many of these issues are quickly alleviated.

Project management can become more straightforward because OneNote makes it easy for the manager to track each team member’s achievements. They can update timelines, check off completed tasks, or assign new ones with ease.

TAKE ONENOTE TO THE NEXT LEVEL

If you have never used OneNote before, you may be interested to learn about some tips to help you get the most out of the software.

TIP #1. CREATING QUICK NOTES

Quick Note is a great feature that lets you write down a thought when you’re out having lunch or away from the office.

Imagine being in the store and remembering you haven’t responded to an important email. You can take your phone, open the One Note app, and create a Quick Note reminding you of this task.

The next time you open OneNote on your computer, you’ll see the message there.

This feature is similar to Sticky Notes, as it lets you jot down any idea or thought in a matter of seconds. All your notes will be saved in the “Unfiled Notes” section of your “Quick Notes” notebook, a place where all your notes are saved by default.

TIP #2. SEARCHING ACROSS ALL NOTES

Searching for notes becomes more challenging as time passes. If you’re an active user, you can find yourself storing hundreds of notes in a matter of months. But don’t worry, as there are tons of options to organize your notes as well as search for it.

OneNote has a built-in search option to make note finding easier.

All you need to do is click on the magnifying glass or hit “Ctrl” (or “Command” for Mac) + “F” on your keyboard and look for a phrase or word. The software will go over all your typed, handwritten, and even picture notes.

You can further narrow the search by selecting the drop-down arrow and choosing the desired option. You’ll see all matching results highlighted in your notes.

As you find the note you needed, you can close the search by pressing “X” on the right-hand corner.

TIP #3. USING PRE-MADE TEMPLATES

OneNote is designed to have a blank canvas for each new note to give users a whole lot of flexibility. However, you can find this approach to be too basic sometimes. So, why not add some style, structure, and colour to the app?

Thankfully, there are tons of pre-made templates to choose from. You can download a template with decorative backgrounds, to-do lists, planners, and more.

Note that you can use the templates only on new OneNote files. The ones that already contain text won’t work since most designs require content to appear in a specific place on the page.

If you need to add a template to your existing note, simply create a new one, then copy the existing text over.

TIP #4. SCANNING DOCUMENTS FROM YOUR SMARTPHONE

Do you need to take notes from a scanned document? That’s not an issue for OneNote. You can use the Microsoft Lens: PDF Scanner App (available for Android and iOS) to take high-quality scans of multiple documents using your phone and upload them to OneNote.

BECOME THE MASTER OF NOTE-TAKING

Digital note-taking tools have helped thousands of workers and managers become more productive. OneNote is one such software that seems to have it all – abundant features, flexibility, and ease of use.

Whether you’re a business owner who wants to boost your team’s performance or a project manager that needs better tracking of the project timeline, OneNote has something in store for everyone.

If you’d like to learn more about how this powerful tool can help you make your business better, feel free to book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

 

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

Google Drive is more than a file-sharing platform. It allows you to streamline your work in ways you never thought were possible.

I’m sure you already know that organization within your business is crucial for success. That is why we are always looking for new ways to make organization easier in our business.

Dealing with messy files and folders is of no help to you, your colleagues, or your clients. Instead, it keeps you unproductive and negatively impacts your business in so many ways.

Fortunately, Google Drive can be of great help in this area, especially when it comes to improving workflow in a business. This suite of apps has tons of features that can help the whole team be more effective at handling their workload.

Google Drive allows you to organize your folders on a cloud platform starting with 15GB worth of space, back up files, share files, etc. You can also share your PDFs, audio, photos, slides, and important work files in one place.

You can maximize your productivity on Google Drive by tapping into several handy features. This article lists 7 of them.

 

THE 7 FEATURES

FEATURE #1. SHARING FILES WHILE CONTROLLING ACCESS

Google Drive has robust sharing capabilities that allow for work collaboration. All you need to do is click on a file or folder you wish to share and create a shareable link or invite others to access that file.

What’s more, every file and folder on this platform has its own sharing link that’s highly customizable. You can also determine user permissions for each item which means you can control whether the person with access can only view, make comments, or edit the document(s).

Additionally, you can add a time limit for file or folder access. To do so, follow the steps below:

  1. Select the user who has access to your file or folder on Google Drive.
  2. Locate their email address and hover over to the right-hand side. A clock icon will appear.
  3. Enter the expiration time.

 

FEATURE #2. PUBLISHING FILES TO THE INTERNET

Google Drive is among the best platforms out there for publishing files online. You and your team can access the uploads from anywhere in the world so long as you have an internet connection.

A great thing about published files is that they sync to all devices that use the Drive app. This means the files you uploaded to your computer will be visible on your phone app and vice versa. All it takes to access those files is signing into your Google account.

 

FEATURE #3. VOICE TYPING

If you need to upload a written file on Google Drive, you can use Google Docs and dictate the text instead of typing. This will save you a lot of time when working with both short and longer files.

So, how can you use this feature?

  1. Navigate to “Tools” on your Google Docs file.
  2. Click on “Voice typing” from the dropdown menu.

You can use words such as “period” and “next line” to let the recorder know how to organize your speech. Once you’re done recording, proofread your text to finish.

 

FEATURE #4. ASSIGNING TASKS TO EMPLOYEES WITH COMMENTS

Google Docs makes it easy to tag a person and assign them a task for a specific file section. Whether they need to revise, proofread, manage sources, or rearrange their work, you can easily let them know what they need to do by adding comments.

Here’s how you can do this:

  1. Open the file that needs task assigning on Google Docs.
  2. Use your mouse to highlight the part that needs reworking and right-click on it.
  3. Select “Comment” for the Comment section to appear to the right of the highlighted text.
  4. Type “+” or “@” then a person’s name to tag them in that comment. You can also tag people by entering their email addresses.

The tagged person will then receive a notification about this action and be invited to open the file.

 

FEATURE #5. USING TEMPLATES

Google Drive supports free templates for all account levels. You can use Google Sheets, Docs, or Slides, all loaded with hundreds of templates for different project types.

To choose or look for templates, open the tool and click on “Template Gallery” or use the search box to find templates that fit your project.

You can also access these tools from your Google Drive – go to the homepage, click “New,” and select the file type you want to work with (slides, docs, or sheets). Then choose “From a template” to choose between templates offered by Google Drive.

Additionally, you can use Google Forms templates to design event invitations and surveys, all in a matter of minutes. Simply visit Google Forms and choose from the template gallery. You can choose between Contact Information, RSVP, Party Invite, Event Registration, and other templates.

 

FEATURE #6. SORTING YOUR FILES BY SIZE

Google Drive sorts your uploaded files and folders by recently added or modified files by default. This is useful because it gives you quick access to files you work with often.

If you want to free up some Google Drive storage, you may want to sort the files according to their size and delete the ones you don’t use often that take too much space.

You can do so by following the steps below:

  1. Navigate to Google Drive and click on “Storage” at the bottom of the left-hand side menu.
  2. From here, you’ll see a list of files sorted by size, with the largest ones first on the list. Click on an unnecessary file and remove it from your Drive by clicking on the Trash Bin icon.

Make sure to delete this file from the Trash folder to clear up space on your cloud.

 

FEATURE #7. DOING ADVANCED SEARCH

Let’s say you’re searching for documents with specific keywords appearing in multiple files. In this case, you can use the advanced search on Google Drive. The platform allows you to filter your results by location, file type, owner, shared with, date modified, and more.

All you need to do is click on the “Search Options” icon on the far right side of the search bar.

 

GET THE MOST OUT OF GOOGLE DRIVE

Organizing your files is crucial to making you and your employees more productive in running your business. In this aspect, Google Drive more than proves its worth.

Google Drive is a great tool that comes with numerous features to help you organize your files and folders, share them with the world, assign tasks, exchange valuable information, and more.

The seven features mentioned above will help you streamline your work processes and make file creation, sharing, and search more straightforward.

If you’d like to learn more about how Google Drive can help you improve your business, we would be happy to tell you more about it. Book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

 

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

Remote working has really come of age in the last two years. Many people have loved it, while others have realized that they prefer an office environment.

Can you guess how many people would like to make remote working a permanent option? According to a new report, a whopping 96% of employees want to solely work from home, even when the pandemic is over. They’d even be willing to take a pay cut to make that happen.

But wait – it gets even more shocking. Of these people, a third said they’d be willing to sacrifice HALF of their monthly wage to do so. Not only that, but they’d also give up their health benefits and even paid time off.

Are you as shocked at those figures as we are?

In terms of work/life balance, some people have never had it better. Now that things are slowly recovering, they’re not going to want to give it up.

Many of your people might not want to go back to the stress, the distraction, and the commuting. It is even likely that some of them don’t want to leave their beloved pets on their own!

As an employer, giving the option to make remote or hybrid work permanent seems like an ideal solution. You’ve already seen that your people can be trusted to do a great job wherever they work. You may have even seen an increase in motivation and productivity.

Your business could even cut down on some of its fixed costs, with office space being one of the big savings.

If you’ve only had temporary work from home measures in place for the last 2 years, it’s time to make them official. If you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to make sure that everyone’s home set-up is suitable before permanently transitioning to remote working.

The first priority is to look at data security. How do your people access your network? Do they have the right security measures installed on their devices? Are their home networks protected from unauthorized access?

But it’s not just security that you need to consider. You will also need to look at the collaboration tools you’re using. If your team is unlikely to be in the same place at the same time, should you invest in a better solution to make sure communication doesn’t suffer?

As well as reporting on salary sacrifices, the report also found that nearly 2 in 5 people feel ignored in video meetings. Upgrading their equipment and devices might be the answer. Professional quality webcams and microphones can help by making sure video quality is high and that voices are heard.

Don’t forget that older laptops or desktops will need to be upgraded every few years to make sure they’re performing well and costing you less to maintain.

If you’d like any help making sure your home setups are right for permanent remote workers, feel free to book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

 

 

Published with permission from Your Tech Updates.

You Will Soon Be Able to View LinkedIn Profiles in Your Teams Chats

 

Did you know that Microsoft isn’t just about Windows, 365 and Xbox? It also owns the business social media platform LinkedIn. Microsoft bought LinkedIn back in 2016, for a massive $26 billion, to try to break into the social media space. Now the tech giant is going to bring together two of its most popular apps – LinkedIn and Teams – to help you and your people communicate better and be even more productive.

Microsoft recently announced that it is working on a new feature which will allow you to see colleagues’ LinkedIn profiles during personal chats in Teams. The update is due to be released in March.

While it will only be available in 121 chats to start with, it is possible that it will eventually become a feature across all chats. This could make it easier for you to find the right people for upcoming projects, and to keep up to date on news from colleagues and anyone else you work with.

Thanks to the pandemic, productivity and communication tools like Teams have become a staple for businesses across the world. Teams makes it easy to hold video meetings, collaborate on projects, and chat with colleagues from anywhere, on any device. Many companies would now struggle to function without it, despite a lot of workers being back in the office.

Teams currently has more than 270 million active monthly users, while LinkedIn has 810 million members in 200 countries around the world. It was only a matter of time until these two platforms joined forces!

So, what could this mean for your business? How would you like to make use of this new feature? What other features would you like to see in Teams? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Want to see what all the fuss is about Teams? We can help you get it set up within your business. Start by booking a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

 

 

Published with permission from Your Tech Updates.

Instant voice communication with your whole team at the push of a button

If you have looked at all the new features in your Microsoft Teams application, you might have noticed the walkie talkie feature. If you have an Android device, maybe you’ve already tried it out?

Now Microsoft has rolled it out to iOS devices as well, meaning it can be used by every member of your team. We believe it has the potential to become a powerful communication tool. Let’s look at what it is before we explore how you could use it.

If you were alive back in the 1980s, you’ll remember real walkie talkies. They were the coolest way to talk to your friends on the move – long before we had mobiles, of course. If you’re too young to remember the 80s, then go watch a few episodes of Stranger Things and you’ll get the idea.

With a walkie talkie you press a button to talk, and everyone who has a device on the same frequency as yours can hear you speak. They can only reply when you let go of the button and only one person can speak at a time. What that gives you is ordered, real time voice conversation between a group of people.

This new Teams feature works in exactly the same way. There’s no need to call anyone. Like a real walkie talkie, you just push a button on your phone to speak, and everyone in your team channel can hear you.

It works on both Android and iOS devices as long as they’re connected to the internet. It even works if your phone is locked.

Walkie talkie was originally created with front-line workers in mind. The idea is that when you’re away from your workplace you can quickly and securely communicate without additional devices or being slowed down by the hassle of a phone call (which can mean going through a voice-automated system or waiting for a mobile to be answered).

We can see this being useful for remote workers too. It doesn’t matter whether your team is in the office or working from home – they can have a voice conversation in real time, instantly.

Just like the old days when everyone worked in the same space.

Can you see how that would help your business?

Before you can use walkie talkie in Teams, you’ll need to make sure it’s enabled. Your administrator will need to do this in the Teams admin center – it’s really easy.

If you’d like help setting up this or any other Microsoft feature, book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

 

 

Published with permission from Your Tech Updates.

Did you get a much-needed break over the holidays? Even just a couple days off at the end of the year can give you that clear mind needed to jump start your business for 2022.

We like to call this “January Refresh & Refocus”. During this time, we encourage you to take a look at two areas of technology that will make the biggest difference in your business during 2022… Defend and Invest.

Defend is all about protecting your business. Cyber-crime is predicted to rise to an all-time high once again this year. Your business MUST be protected.

Invest is all about making sure your business is not being held back by your technology. When technology is used correctly, it can and should be the driving force behind your business.

We have created this free guide to help you plan for these two areas in 2022. Click here to download it: Guide – Defend & Invest

Want help putting together your 2022 technology strategy? Book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

Don’t you often find that it’s the small things that make the biggest difference? That is certainly the case with technology. Minor updates to the software that you and your team use every day can have a surprising effect on your overall productivity.

Microsoft has recently announced a series of small improvements to Teams, Microsoft 365 and Windows 11. It’s keeping its foot on the gas despite the holidays being just a few weeks away.

 

TEAMS

In Teams, there’s a new feature being developed to show the time zone of everyone in your business. If you’ve ever collaborated with people working in other time zones, you’ll know how invaluable that can be. It will now be much easier to schedule calls that everyone can attend. This feature can also prevent you from bombarding someone with emails at the start of their workday. If you’ve ever worked with colleagues who are at work while you’re still in bed, you know the dread of having to start your workday with hours of their emails waiting for you.

Spreading awareness of colleagues’ time zones will also encourage people to schedule emails using “send later”. That new Teams feature is due out by the end of January.

Another major Teams development is the introduction of Loop components, which have just rolled out in a recent update. These allow you to integrate complex data more easily into Teams and work on it in real time. For example, in a Teams chat you might draw a table and fill it with numbers or text. Now anyone can edit that table and the changes show in real time for everyone. You can use this to co-author reports, pull together ideas without endless chats, or work on data together.

 

MICROSOFT 365

Over to Microsoft 365. Which now has the ability for you to say how you’ll be attending a meeting you’ve been invited to. You can say whether you’ll be there in person or on a video call. Hybrid working is here to stay, and this is a very welcome update.

 

WINDOWS 11

Windows 11 also brings a very welcome update. At the moment, when you put your computer into Airplane mode, it turns off all connections regardless of your preferences. Soon your computer will be able to remember how you like your device to be setup in Airplane mode. For example, if you like to leave Bluetooth on to keep your headphones connected, Windows 11 will remember that.

Microsoft is also working on improvements to notifications. It will let apps with high priority notifications, such as alarms and reminders, stack up reminders.

 

Want help navigating any of these (or any other) updates? Book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

 

Published with permission from Your Tech Updates.

Let’s be honest, all of our calendars are PACKED right now. When you are always busy, scheduling time to meet with others can be very difficult. Luckily, Microsoft Bookings was created to help people just like you.

Microsoft Bookings is designed to find gaps in your calendars that work well for both you and the person that you’re meeting with. It even sends out reminders to all parties to make sure that no one forgets a meeting. And of course, it fully integrates with Outlook and other Microsoft 365 apps. This short video we’ve created describes how it works:

If you’re interested in finding out more about Microsoft Bookings or any other Microsoft 365 app, book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

Project management is a big part of many businesses. While there are many tools out there, it can often be difficult to find one that fulfills your business’s needs. Here is our recommendation… Microsoft Project!

On top of being easy to use, Microsoft Project easily integrates with other Microsoft 365 apps that your business already uses. This is a major benefit when it comes to efficiency in your business. This short video outlines some of our favourite thing about Microsoft Project.

If you would like to find out if Microsoft Project, or any other Microsoft 365 app is the right fit for you, book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.