The more office 365 is unpacked the more the connections between the apps is visible… For example, I might start looking in Planner but quickly found myself working with Outlook to comment on items that are in Planner and add dates to a calendar, using SharePoint to save and share files relevant to the Planner tasks…etc. Then I came across our ‘Team Site’… what’s a team site?!

It looks like a central pool of information but displayed quite differently to Planner (which I am already using as my central point). Hang on… there are my files and comments again, but I can open notebooks in OneNote and I can do other things here such as add news, links, events – maybe this is a good communication platform? OK now I am using Planner, Outlook, SharePoint, OneNote and Teams Sites. I have also found out there is a Teams App and Yammer linked to allow for more conversational communications that my team is using… overwhelmed yet??

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Where do you start? What do you actually use to do anything, Should I be writing in OneNote or using Word files? Do I need the outlook calendar or just view the relevant bits in Teams Site and/or Planner? Am I now going to get company communications via email or on the Team Site news feature? Is it all really connected properly, I don’t want to miss anything… mind blown!

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See, only a few years ago, everything was separated. It was clunky and not easy to collaborate at all, but the definition of what does what was so simple!

I think the best approach to take here is to look at one thing at a time… lets assume all the apps are setup and its a normal day, whats the first thing you are going to do?

  • Check your emails? –> open outlook and do that. Once you have done that, check any comments whilst in Outlook that might be relevant before viewing the latest news or events on your team sites. Then take a look at your tasks for the day in planner… get on with your work, don’t get hung up on trying to do and read everything at once. The more you use the new system the easier is becomes and soon it will be second nature.
  • Check whats happening for you today? –> Take a look at your calendar in Outlook for detail about you. Then check Planner for deadlines, look at your emails and tasks to get on with your work. The more you use it the easier is becomes and soon it will be second nature.
  • Get a coffee? –> do that before choosing one of the above!

Want to work out which app to use or how to share information with the team? Take a look at https://www.office.com/apps This page lists out all your apps available with a brief description, it has helped me get my head straight when I’ve been in that panic.

Any further suggestions about how to make this easier to understand and not get overwhelmed, is very welcome!? 

Keep it simple and make sure you take 5 mins away from your computer when in that fog, its always clearer when you come back to it.

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