Microsoft Word is one of the original word processing tools on the market. It’s still with us because Microsoft understands exactly what we need from a processor to boost workplace efficiency.
But are you making the best use of this seemingly simple program?
In this article, we will talk you through 11 tips to improve your workplace productivity using MS Word.
Why choose Microsoft Word?
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced user, you can use Microsoft Word to create many different types of business documents. You could create business letters, resumes, flyers, marketing newsletters, labels, plans, employee reports, and seminar documents all in one simple-to-use program.
Microsoft also makes it easy to print and share documents with co-workers, clients and suppliers, meaning important information is shared seamlessly and quickly with the right connections.
The problem is that most people think they are Word proficient but haven’t kept up with some of the many changes over the years. And this could be costing your business time and money.
11 Workplace productivity tips using Microsoft Word
At IT Soho we work with a number of SMEs in the London area, implementing and delivering their business technology and one of the software providers we always recommend is Microsoft.
Here are our tips to drive better efficiencies using Microsft Word.
1. Switch on your online workspace to save storage space
One of the best things about Microsoft Word is that you don’t have to install it on your smartphone, tablet, or computer anymore. Microsoft's cloud business suite allows you to sign in with your Microsoft account and use Word Online, the online version of this program.
This is especially useful for people with limited storage on their devices since Word files can get quite big. On average the program file itself uses around 1.2GB of storage space for Mac and 2.10GB for Windows. That’s something to think about, particularly if you are allowing staff to work hybrid hours, or fully remotely.
The online version provides the same functionality, it just doesn’t require the space on your device.
2. Use OneDrive cloud to share efficiently
If you save your file to your OneDrive account and use the Share function it means several people can edit the same documents simultaneously. This is perfect for brainstorming meetings or fleshing out outlines for strategies.
Simply share the link to your file with your colleagues and off you go!
3. Create content faster using Dictate
For those departments that create a lot of admin, or work on larger presentations it makes sense to use some form of dictation device to help you flesh out content. While speech-to-text programs are already on the market, they quite often come with their own set of problems.
This is where Dictate is different. This clever add-in for Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook converts what you dictate to writing with advanced speech recognition technology. As a result, your fingers can finally take a break while your mind still works over time!
4 Enable better content editing using the Track Changes feature
The Track Changes feature in Word helps you monitor all the edits in your document. That is great if you have several people working on one piece of content over time. You can find it in the Review tab, and clicking it allows you to see all changes other users make.
What’s really great is that you get the opportunity to accept or reject changes, meaning you keep control of the narrative of your content and design a more focused piece as a result.
5. Use LinkedNotes while working to ideate freely
Quite often while you are working on one document you get ideas for other documents you either have in work or are yet to create. OneNote is an elegant solution to this problem.
This program allows you to compose quotes and thoughts to keep your ideas separate from the document you are currently working on.
To do this we recommend using Linked Notes. Linked Notes enables you to add OneNote to the side of your screen, giving you a whiteboard to ideate while keeping your original document focused and on task.
6. Use Smart lookup to research online while you work
Word’s Smart Lookup feature lets you perform online research while working on documents. Meaning you can find better terminology, look for stats or cite references without leaving your document.
Simply start your search by highlighting a word or phrase, right-click it, and choose Smart Lookup from the following menu. Word will then perform a search using Bing and display the results in the right section of your screen.
7. Use view zoom to save your eyes and focus effectively
Distractions and eye fatigue keep us from focusing on bigger projects or documents we start later in the day. To keep productive, a simple hack is to adjust the slider in the lower-right part of your document to find the ideal zoom setting (or press the Windows and Plus keys on your keyboard).
You will be amazed at how big a difference this makes - although we do suggest you take plenty of breaks with heavy amounts of screen time.
8. Using icons in Word makes content more readable
Your documents need to be readable. Since most people focus on your images and headings, you should give them more of these in longer documents - even in-house reports.
Word’s Icons can help you do this.
This simple act of illustrating your work will mean more of what you write and the importance of what you write is never missed by colleagues and sales leads. We all know how reading large swaths of text is boring!
9. Save your preferred formatting styles
In Word, there is a styles section. It has been carefully crafted so that you can customise it. If you have a brand style even better, create custom settings company-wide so that every document produced has the same feel to it.
By saving your preferences, you can incorporate them anytime without manually formatting every one of your documents before you start working on them.
10. Find your images faster or use Microsoft’s stock images
One of the great things about Word is that you don’t need to open a web browser to find the perfect photo for your document. Just place your cursor in the section where you wish to insert an image, navigate to the Insert tab, and choose Online pictures. Select your image and add it to your file.
Remember Microsoft has introduced plenty of royalty-free options to make commercial content creation even easier.
11. Edit PDFs seamlessly in Word
It used to be that you couldn't edit a PDF without access to an original pre-formatted file. That’s not the case anymore. Word has a convenient PDF editing feature that lets you quickly change your documents. Just make sure you convert your PDF file to a format compatible with Word and then off you go!
Microsoft Word is your all-in-one efficiency-driving processor and we can deliver it to you!
Microsoft Word is a must-have if you want to improve communication and collaboration in your business. But it is only as efficient as the proficiency levels of the user. In other words, you need to refresh your skills every so often to learn how to use the program with better results.
By making some simple changes you can enjoy a wealth of increased productivity in the workplace, freeing your time to work on other things.
Contact us today and let us implement Microsoft 365 for your business, train your staff and manage your subscription. With our help, you’ll have all the tools you need to achieve higher efficiencies and build a stronger bottom line.