I previously shared the top 5 ways I use Microsoft Office 365 to #GetItDone and explained that I am excited to be an Office Champion. Last month fellow Champions and I had the opportunity to learn lots of new information at the Champions Summit up at the Microsoft Campus in Seattle. Here are some of the fun highlights and I will be sharing more during the coming months.
Here are a few of us getting ready to start the tour!!!
The features of Office 365 Home Premium, Windows 8 (8.1) and Windows devices enable me to be so productive. At the Champions Summit I took notes using Microsoft OneNote, which synced across my smartphone and Windows laptop via SkyDrive. I used a Windows Phone for pictures, SkyDrive to store them and OneNote, Word and PowerPoint to create my blog post. Best of all, I was able to embed my PowerPoint presentation showing the highlights of the event into this blog post via SkyDrive and the PowerPoint Web App:
Listed below is a summary of information covered at the Champions Summit. But there were so many great tidbits, that I will also be sharing more in future blog posts!
We started with a demo of Windows 8.1, the news update to Windows. I have already updated the family desktop, but laptop was still running Winows 8. What I like about Windows 8 (now 8.1) is that no matter what Windows device I am logged into with my Microsoft account – I see my same “desktop” with my live tiles configured consistently. While Windows “tiles” are similar to what people know as “app” icons, they differ in that they are constantly updated with the most current information.
Windows 8.1 has many new and exciting features resulting in a fast and more fluid experience:
- Swipe from the right to pull up the date and Windows charms.
- Swipe from the left to see the other current apps/information open on your desktop, then drag the screen (app) next to another open screen (app) to create a split screen. Then drag it down to close.
- When you are in an app, swipe from the bottom to see additional functionality.
- Pinch in and you can move around whole sections at same time.
- Additional new capabilities include the ability to customize groups of apps to sort by different categories and to purchase Microsoft app gift cards.
- One more feature I enjoy using is the Bing Smart Search. My standard technical benchmark for search is to type “Ryan Gosling” and check if all the information I need is in one, easy to view location. Seriously, it’s a great topic to test the quality of Internet search.
The Microsoft website has lots of information about upgrading to Windows 8.1, including tutorials such as this post on upgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 8..1 My tip is before you do any upgrades make sure your Windows updates are current, which is usually automatic.
Picture credit: Microsoft
Next, we discussed One Note, which is a note taking app used for jotting down ideas, information, adding pictures, audio, video, web – a true digital scrapbook. You can place things anywhere in a page. The concept is similar to a three ring binder with sections on top and pages underneath (you can create as many pages as you want). I use One Note for so many things, and for this conference I used One Note to organize my travel information and keep track of the day’s discussions. All notes were automatically synced via Skydrive to all of my devices.
One Note came in really handy when I decided to finally upgrade my laptop to Windows 8.1 during the conference. I was able to have the software upgrade running on my laptop and take notes on the smartphone One Note app – picking up exactly where I left off in my notes. Before, (comma inserted) I used to jot down some handwritten notes on paper notebooks and then type other notes. Unfortunately, it always seemed like I lost the notes or forgot the file name. Now, (comma inserted) with One Note, I have “notebooks” for different events with all of my notes, research and important information (such as travel information) filed and labeled appropriately. The search feature in One Note is also powerful enough to sort through all the text in my notes just in case I forget the location of specific information.
Here are some of the key features we discussed:
- So Many Uses: Use OneNote for work, home, school projects or class notes, to-do’s, recipes, flight, hotel, schedule, documents, people, map and more. You can TAG info to be searchable. Or search by keyword in the search box. If you have recipe book with lots of recipes – you can search for what is in your fridge and it will bring up recipes with those ingredients (i.e. spinach, chicken). Important documents such as a passport with the associated travel information can be kept in One Note and accessed anywhere in the world with an internet connection (via SkyDrive). One Note can be the place to store household paperwork to live a paperless life.
- Digital Clipping: You can add screen clippings (insert tab), pictures from SkyDrive or locally, images found using Bing, scanned images and recorded audio and video. Choose “screen clipping”, go to internet page and then click and drag to drop clipping into a section. Put all your information in one place. If you just want to include reminder it will include a URL for reference so you can go back.
- Storage: OneNote/ SkyDrive offers 7GB of content for free. Evernote limits to 60 MB per month for free. If you have Office 365 you have 20 GB plus the 7GB.
- Co-Authoring and Sharing: With One Note you can have simultaneous co-authoring for free. Evernote Premimium does not support simultaneous edit. One Note Notebooks can be shared so that everyone can edit and view, seeing not only the changes but also who made them and even share with people who don’t have OneNote.
- Online and Offline: No internet, no problem: Office access offline is included for free. This is premium feature for Evernote.
- Across devices and platforms: ” OneNote comes with Office 2010 and 2013, and Office 365 for PCs. OneNote is also available for free on the Web, Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Android phones, and as a Windows 8 application for tablets.” One Note also works with the rest of office, so I can even insert PowerPoint presentations or other Office documents and then annotate it!
- Value Proposition: Office 365 Home Premium is $99 per year, and is a full suite of products, delivering a better value than Evernote Premium at the price of $45..
*NEW* ONE NOTE FEATURES
I really enjoyed the demo of the now announced update to the touch enabled One Note app in the Windows Store. Here are some of the key details covered in the One Note update announcement: “Capture it all: Capture your screen with the share charm and capture documents, magazines and whiteboards with camera scan, Browse and find your notes easier than ever: Search for text in scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition and find your notes faster than ever before with recent notes and page previews, Annotate and take your own notes on the things you’ve captured: Write better with ink and see your notes in full screen! “
With Windows 8.1 you can capture and send it to One Note using the “Share Charm” . It’s exciting that I can use the camera in my touch enabled device to take a picture of the screen, documents, whiteboard or other important information and then “scan” it to One Note using the camera scan function. Here is a video:
Even better, after I use that camera scan feature (with a receipt for example) I can then use the text recognition capability to search text in One Note (and then find it later when I need it!).
Here is another video of the recognize and search text:
For more information, check out OneNote.com.
OFFICE 365 HOME PREMIUM
We also discussed what is included with Office 365 Home Premium and the top ten features.
Here’s some information from the press release fact sheet highlighting key features:
“Top 10 Features of Office 365 Home Premium:
- If you are reading, not writing or editing, click or tap View, then Read Mode in Word to hide the writing tools and menus.
- On your Windows device, re-open a document or presentation and keep reading right where you left off with Resume reading in Word and PowerPoint.
- Like a data assistant that finishes your work for you, Flash Fill in Excel detects what you want to do and enters the rest of your data in one fell swoop, following patterns in your data.
- Dress up your data with conditional formatting such as bars and color scales through the Quick Analysis Lens in Excel.
- Tired of trying to precisely match the colors of shapes and pictures in PowerPoint? Let Eyedropper in PowerPoint do the work for you.
- With an improved Presenter view in PowerPoint, the audience views your slides on a main screen, while you control the show on another screen that only you can see.
- Inline replies in Outlook allow you to reply with one click by typing your response right in the Reading Pane.
- Grab a quick glance at your schedule, an appointment or your to-do list with peeks in Outlook, without having to switch from email to calendar or other modes.
- If the sound of typing is distracting, you can handwrite notes in OneNote instead of typing them. This is also useful if you’re faster at writing than at typing.
- Instead of re-typing information or relying on links to documents, feel free to embed files in OneNote to keep them handy online or offline.”
MICROSOFT ENVISIONING CENTER
Next was a fascinating tour of the Microsoft Envisioning Center. We were not allowed to bring our cameras, but luckily there is information on the Microsoft Website about the Envisioning Center..
We were not allowed to bring our cameras, but luckily there is some information about this research center on the Microsoft Website.
All I can say – is that I want the kitchen of the future NOW… But really, everything covered in the Envisioning Center tour was the perfect match of technology, home and community working together in a much more efficient way than we do it now. Luckily, the future is not too far away.