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.