Taking Office 365 to the College Campus
By Kelly Cronin
Before Office 365, I was using a $5 planner from Target, some Word documents, some Google Docs, a million Notes in my iPhone, and Five-Star Notebooks to take notes in class, stay "organized", and keep both my personal life and grades afloat. Although plenty of people had told me about cool note-taking tools, I was a stubborn college student that thought whatever I was doing was good enough. When I first started my internship with Managed Solution, I was taught how to use almost all of the Office 365 apps, which I never thought I would be using in my personal life. The more used to the apps I got, the more I realized how much they could help me outside of work too. Here's how Office 365 can be used for any college student looking to stay organized and productive:
Let's start with OneNote.
My boss was not exaggerating when she told me OneNote is life. I first used OneNote for school by keeping all my syllabi in one place. Before, I had to constantly re-download the syllabus for each class just to look at the class schedule, rules about assignments, and how to contact the professor. With OneNote, I keep all of this information in one place, both on my computer and my phone, so no matter where I am I can instantly check out the syllabus for any of my classes. OneNote lets you drag and drop files into a document, so you can click on the document, or you can choose to have the document uploaded as text, so you'll see exactly what comes from that document in your OneNote as text. I prefer to have both:
My study guides have gotten a major makeover thanks to OneNote. I re-type all my notes from class and any added points from lecture slides into OneNote to create the ultimate study guide, where I can easily bold, highlight, make tables, lists, and even add images into any of my notes. Since I can keep these in the same section as my other class notes and info, I don't have to keep track of a gazillion documents like with Google Drive. OneNote also has "tags" that can let me mark things as important, set up as a reminder, or create a check-box for a to-do list. The best part is while I'm walking over to my exam, I can pull up my study guide on my OneNote mobile app and do some last minute cramming.
Did I already mention you can take OneNote anywhere? When you need to print something, having a copy of your document wherever you go is pretty much every college student's life saver. For starters, almost none of us have an actual working printer (there are currently three broken printers sitting in my house), which I now consider a mythical creature at this point. This means we have to constantly send ourselves documents to print at the library right before class. When you already have a million things to do that week and you were up cramming all night for three exams, forgetting to send yourself your study guide is basically a given. Office 365 finally came up with the best solution to make sure your grades don't suffer from your brain overloads. OneNote can be accessed online with your Microsoft account. OneNote Online will automatically have all the notebooks and pages you have in your OneNote so you can access your notes and documents from any device. Instead of worrying about whether or not my file will open from my email, I have peace of mind knowing as long as I put something in my OneNote, I can access it from anywhere with OneNote Online.
Planner - Time to get organized.
Every college student knows the secrets to procrastination - pretend you're actually being productive even while putting off all of your assignments. One of the best is making lists of things you have to do (and then not actually do them until tomorrow). Planner in Office 365 gives you a simplified, satisfying way to keep up with all of your tasks. As the end of the semester gets busier and busier, I've been completely reliant on adding tasks into my Planner to make sure I keep track of absolutely every thing I have to do. To start, I set up different groups that organize what needs to be done:
As I create a new task, I can add notes about what needs to be done, set a date for when it needs to be done by, and make comments as I work on it. Adding details about all my tasks helps me look in one place and one place only for all I need to know about what to get done. For mass amounts of paperwork to fill out, I can add a checklist for each item, so I need what I've done already and how much more is left to do.
Ace presentations with Sway.
No matter what your major is, every semester you will create at least one presentation, typically with a group, to present to the class. Google slides are often the top choice for group projects, as just about everyone has a Gmail account to use and collaborate on the project with. But Google slides editing features are extremely limited. Minimal slide themes, limited font formatting options, and few visualization selections make each presentation seem almost, if not exactly, the same. Sway in Office 365 is an easy fix to sprucing up a presentation, and it is just as easy to use as Google slides or PowerPoint.
One of the best parts about Sway is it's complete customization. You can add different cards: Headers, Text, Image sliders, Image galleries (in multiple varieties), Videos, Tweets, Audio, and more. You can even embed a Sway within a Sway (yes that's Sway-ception). These can be grouped together by heading, so instead of having seven separate slides all relating to one topic, Sway can keep them all grouped together.
If you need a more eye catching color theme, or want to change the font and feel of the text throughout the presentation, use the Design feature:
Sway offers tutorials and guides on how to do just about anything the application has to offer. And since Sway can be used in Office 365 online, your presentation is automatically saved and can be accessed anywhere. Still not convinced? Check out one of my latest, interactive Sways:
Start getting professional on Word.
College isn't just about taking classes and passing exams (and beer pong). Starting your career often begins in college. With helpful professional templates on word, building a solid resume can be completely simplified. Choose from a variety of templates, from crisp and clean to creative and captivating. Inputting your information into the template is quick and easy, so you can worry more about what goes into your resume than how you need to format it.
If you're like me, you've probably applied to hundreds of part-time jobs and internships when you should be doing schoolwork. Needless to say, you need your resume on pretty much any device, whether it's to update your website link or to print from your friend's computer. When you use Word Online with Office 365, your work automatically saves as you make changes. This makes sure your documents don't get lost between sending yourself a million email attachments every time you switch devices. You can access your word files from anywhere, and make changes as needed. Update resumes and cover letters alike, without worrying about whether or not you've saved the latest version.
Making the most of Office 365.
Nobody says college will be easy, but Office 365 is here to help. When you start working on new classes, learn how to do your own laundry, and lose your voice at every Saturday football game, college can seem like a complete whirlwind. Use the Office 365 tools for education to keep track of everything going on in your life. Not only will you learn how to use tools for the modern workplace, Office 365 can help you stay on track to make sure college is the best four years of your life.
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