Office 365, where do I start?

O365 is completely foreign to me and my job requires me to use it. As a new employee, it seems like a great idea to master it and perhaps impress a few people!

To date, I’m adept at Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and basic email functions — and by basic I mean BASIC. Case in point? Just the other day, I accidentally clicked on the calendar feature and took me five minutes figuring out how to get back to my emails (don’t worry I know now: bottom left hand corner where it says ‘MAIL’!)

There are so many great Office 365 features, of which I’m only utilising a measly five percent. My manager suggested I test out a new interactive training program, 365 Accelerate.

Honestly, this e-learning tool is perfect for beginners like me. No more reading boring manuals and tedious articles, this training is right up my alley.

365 Accelerate has 7 courses for me to complete and I’ll blog about my experiences for each course. So come along and follow me on this journey.

First stop: Course Introduction!

Logging into 365 Accelerate was uncomplicated. Initially, I forgot my password; but hey, it was easy to change it, thanks to its secure features! This course is broken into two parts, Instructions and Overview.

The Instructions is essential for every Office 365 rookie: it’s clear, concise and moves at a manageable pace. The e-Instructor has a calm and collected tone, to ease any frustration that may or may not occur (so far, I’m leaning on the latter, but we’ll see!) The courses must be completed in order, featuring case study characters – Simon, Victoria & Garett – to help with real life examples. Throughout the course, I can tell these virtual people will be my best friends.

Other features are the Pause button, Playback and Bookmark, which all come in handy. Each course covers most of the commonly used Office 365 programs. If I don’t understand something the first time round, I can always go back and review.

Upon the end of the video, it advises the user that a Certificate of Completion will be issued after covering all modules. I plan on framing mine once I get it.

Now on to the Overview.

Newsflash: I dread “The Cloud”. As if that’s not enough, it was mentioned many times in the video. But alas, I have no choice but to overcome this fear.

But what is this mysterious “cloud”? What does it do with my files? Is it a term for simple folks like us to fear and (not) understand? One of my goals throughout this journey is to understand the ‘cloud’ and perhaps, even convince few more people that I am a tech-wiz at my next dinner party.

As I dig deeper with the tutorial, Cloud proves to be quintessential. For starters, it means that nothing needs to be stuck on my desktop, when all my files go way up the cloud! For repeat offenders like me with a cluttered desktop, this feature is very helpful. I cannot wait to get rid of my clutter for good!

And get this: I can be working on something in the office (on a roll as usual), time flies and I need to go home. Not to worry; when I’m on the train, I can pick up where I left off by accessing my document from my mobile device, and switch to my laptop at home. Office 365 does wonders to my productivity. I think I’m getting the hang of this ‘cloud’ business. Overall, collaboration and cloud integration seem to be the key focus of Office 365; and so far it is seamless. It was a 10-minute course, giving me understanding of the “dreaded” cloud, with an overview of what I will be learning.

Thanks 365 Accelerate, next stop, Office Online!

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