Top 4 Free Productivity Apps for Office 365

The Ultimate Guide to
Office 365

Office 365 is already a powerful platform, but you can do even more with add-on apps from the Office Store. There are tools for sales and marketing, training, data analytics, and more.

The Store is sure to grow as O365 is adopted across more and more businesses. For now, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite apps that will increase your productivity using Office 365 (in no particular order). We’ll tell you why we recommend them, and what the installation and initial use looks like.

 

InsightlyInsightly

Insightly is a web-based CRM application for businesses. Since a lot of customer communication happens via email, this app connects Outlook to the CRM and allows users to save to Insightly with one click.

Why does it get the our recommendation?

If you’re using Insightly and Outlook 2013, installing this is a no-brainer. (It still works with the Outlook Web App, but just a little better with 2013.) The app makes it quicker and easier to save contact information, tasks, opportunities, events, projects, and so on. You can sync Insightly with your Outlook calendar. So, using the Insightly app allows Outlook to work even harder for you as you manage your customer relationships.

How does it work?

You’ll be taken to the Outlook Web App to approve installation. Once complete, you receive a message with information about how to start using the app:

1. Open an email and look for your app in the gray bar at the top of the message. Insightly will appear in emails where it can read content in the email.

2. Click the app name in the bar below the message header to see its content.

Note that the Outlook app is free, but you need to have an Insightly account and an Office 365 for Business subscription. Insightly offers several different levels of accounts, with varying features and pricing. [Insightly site.]

 

DocuSign for SharePoint Online

DocuSign works with SharePoint to securely send, sign, and track documents directly from a SharePoint Online document library.

Why does it get our recommendation?

DocuSign is a well-established electronic signature solution and has a long-term strategic partnership with Microsoft. Installation of the app is fast, and once it’s installed, it’s easily accessible in SharePoint so you can get started with document management and control right away. Just like with Insightly, if you’re already using DocuSign with your business, and you have Office 365, there’s no reason not to use this app.

How does it work?

You’ll need to have the latest version of SharePoint installed in your O365 tenant and a business account with DocuSign. From the SharePoint site you administer, you’ll install the app via the Settings menu, and further instructions are shown after adding DocuSign.

Once the app is installed, the SharePoint site will have a DocuSign tab in the ribbon with controls to prepare and track documents.

DocuSign also offers free apps that integrate with Outlook and Word. [DocuSign site.]

 


Drive2Office365Metalogix Drive2Office365

With the Drive2Office365 app, users can move files from personal OneDrive, Google Drive, or Box accounts to SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business.

Why does it get our recommendation?

We need automated tools to facilitate importing or moving a large volume of files–that’s a fact of life today. Businesses have a variety of use cases for migrating files from other cloud storage services to their internal Office 365 storage. The key to this app is that it is simple to install and use, and end users will find it intuitive to access it (via the ribbon) and move files with just a few clicks.

How does it work?

From the SharePoint site you administer, you’ll install the app via the Settings menu, and further instructions that are shown after adding Drive2Office365. Once installed, there will be a ribbon icon called Metalogix Import in SharePoint and OneDrive for Business. From there, the end user will select which account to import from, allow access, and select which files to upload. [Metalogix site.]

 

Wikipedia

The Wikipedia app for Office gives the user a quick way to access and reference Wikipedia content from within Office itself.

Why does it get our recommendation?

We already know Wikipedia as an amazing informational resource. Many of us use Wikipedia throughout the day for formal or informal research, so incorporating it as a tool in Word and Excel makes a lot of sense. Why switch between windows when you can stay in your document itself?

How does it work?

After installing and verifying that it is a trusted app, a Wikipedia icon appears as a ribbon option under the Insert tab. Once clicked, you can view a ride-along pane in Word or Excel, allowing you to use Wikipedia without leaving the app. You can view entire articles, individual sections, or images. If you want to use content (including images) in your own document, you can copy and paste and insert it directly into the doc, with an automatic source note added beneath your insertion. [Wikipedia site.]

We hope this post gives you some suggestions or ideas for making Office 365 even more useful. If you don’t see your favorite app listed here, or if none of these apply to you and/or your business, stay tuned! We’ll continue to showcase more as time goes on.

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