Four Microsoft 365 Apps that You Need!

Productivity Technology

Did you know the Microsoft Office 365 suite can help you schedule appointments, build apps AND create a detailed work plan?

One great thing about the Microsoft 365 suite is the abundance of apps that can integrate directly into your workflow.

In this article, we are going to cover 4 different apps that you might not know! 

  • Microsoft Booking
  • Microsoft Stream
  • Microsoft Power Apps 
  • Microsoft Planner

Microsoft Bookings

When you’re balancing a full calendar and trying to keep track of multiple schedules while booking appointments, it can be challenging to manage. Did you know that Microsoft has an appointment manager directly built into the 365 suite? Microsoft Bookings worldwide is their answer to helping you manage your appointments. 

The Bookings app is ideal for users who have clients outside of their organization booking appointments or managing multiple schedules internally.  

The platform is adaptable and built to accommodate diverse needs. Everything from hair salons and spas, medical appointments, realtors, sales teams, art studios, and more could benefit from the versatile booking systems. You set the type of appointment and available times and give clients the power to book appointments at a time convenient for both you and them.

Through bookings, you can create a customizable website where customers, clients or coworkers can schedule appointments directly through a customized website. The Bookings app’s website builder is easy to use and allows you to change everything from store logos to colours to appointment types and times. The information submitted on this website works in tandem with your outlook calendar so you can be sure that your calendar is up to date. 

If you are an organization that bills for your time, you can assign the revenue based on each appointment and keep track of projected income directly through the Booking app. If you want to get paid directly through the app, there are also integrations available for certain credit card payments. 

It is easy to edit staff schedules, business hours, appointment types, and contact information. Once someone books an appointment, you can customize how many notifications they receive and send out follow-up emails and reminders.  

Bookings include a Facebook integration where you can let customers book appointments through your company’s Facebook Business page. You’ll also be provided with a link that you can share via email, text or embed on external websites. 

If you want to see all of your appointments and customer lists on the go, Bookings is also available as a mobile app! 

Microsoft Stream

Microsoft Stream is Microsoft’s video hosting app built into the Microsoft 365 suite.

 An updated Stream app was released in February 2021, allowing users to create, share and manage video like any other file created through the Microsoft program. This application is similar to YouTube, but the files are stored directly on the SharePoint files platform but not publicly facing.

This allows for easy video integration into your favourite Microsoft apps, including Teams, OneDrive, Outlook. If you record a Teams meeting, the file will live in your organization’s Stream but be automatically set to private. 

When uploading a video, you have complete control over who can access your video, who can share your video and who can edit your video. When you upload a video onto the Stream platform, you can edit the title and description, time codes, hashtags and links. Create a customized thumbnail or select an automatically generated photo. Captions are also auto-generated for each uploaded video. 

Once you have your video uploaded, you will have the option to share in groups, on different channels or directly to specific people. Users who watch the video will also be able to leave comments.

Stream integrates with Microsoft Forms, which means you can also add in a survey, quiz or poll when you upload the video. This is a great way to collect real-time feedback or conduct an examination at the end of the content.

The Stream platform is easy to navigate and allows you to integrate video into your Microsoft 365 suite. 

Microsoft Power Apps

Microsoft Power Apps allows you to build your own customized apps directly through the Microsoft 365 suite. 

Microsoft has created a platform where you can develop your own web and mobile-based applications. This platform is designed for everyone, from beginners to professional developers. There are pre-built templates with drag and drop features for beginners, and experienced developers will also build highly customized apps from scratch. 

You can build applications for productivity and tracking, employee evaluations, reporting and more. If you can imagine it, you can make it. 

This app is excellent if you are looking at pulling multiple data-sources together into one location. You can allow users to access over 200 different data points, including outlook, SalesForce, Dropbox, Excel, PowerPoint, Twitter and more. One caveat is that you will need to already have your data sources created before building your app! So if you want a portal for employees to access a Dropbox file and excel sheet, these files will need to be already be operating before being added into the app. 

Here at Office Interiors, we have used Microsoft Power Apps to help us with a variety of workflows including performance evaluation, employee commissions and even a health and wellness tracker.

Power Apps operates as its own platform but also integrates into other Microsoft products like Teams and Outlook. 

If you want to read how a company has integrated Microsoft’s Power Apps to improve its workflow check out this case study on Capitol Records. 

Microsoft Planner

Microsoft’s Planner is the project management tool built directly into the Microsoft 365 suite.

Stay on top of projects and your workflow directly in the Microsoft 365 suite. This platform has been compared to other project management tools like Asana, Slack, and Trello. If you are searching for a project management tool that directly integrates with the rest of your Microsoft programs, then Planner is the one for you. 

Planner allows you to create detailed plans that encompass everything from tasks, to-do lists to schedules and Gantt charts. When setting up a plan, you can create a solo project or expand it to a group inside your organization. These plans are totally customizable, and you have full control over what content you want to track or display. 

When creating a new plan, you will make cards to enter the content’s details and assign members or deadlines. These cards are then compiled into an all-encompassing strategy that can be shared across the organization. Users can have the ability to edit, comment or add reminders. Plans allow you to have both a high-level view of the project, individual tasks, and progress. 

Microsoft Planner has the option to view plans as a chart, which gives you a real-time report on the progress of the program. 

What makes Microsoft Planner unique is its seamless ability to integrate into other Microsoft 365 programs. Tasks created in the Planner can be sent via email notification or appear directly in your Outlook calendar. The Planner also works alongside teams, where plans can be added and modified in the platform. You can review, comment and amend tasks without ever having to leave Teams. 

There is no limit to the number of plans your team can have, and this is an excellent solution if you are dealing with projects that include multiple stakeholders and deadlines.

We encourage you to explore the other apps that Microsoft 365 offers! Chances are, if you’re looking for a feature, Microsoft has an app for that. Want to learn more about how Microsoft 365 can integrate into your office? Talk to one of our technology reps today! 

Emily Adams
Digital Content Specialist
Office Interiors

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