A Guide to Microsoft Suite


Gloing Keyboard
Microsoft is known for its expansive suite, which covers everything from
 PowerPoints to bullet points. With such a comprehensive suite, Microsoft can be intimidating at a first glance. This comprehensive but inexhaustive list delves into popular Microsoft suite applications, their features, and use cases.  



Microsoft Word 

Possibly the most well-known member of the Microsoft suite is Microsoft Word, a word processing and document creation program that is equipped with a wide range of applications, templates, and layouts. Though mostly used for writing documents, Word offers an array of features which include: 

  • Converting a list to a table 
  • Converting a bulleted list to SmartArt 
  • Creating a custom tab 
  • Quick selection methods 
  • Adding placeholder text 
  • Changing case 
  • Quick parts 
  • Touch/mouse mode in Word 2013 
  • Removing the background on an image 
  • Editing wrap points when wrapping text 



Unlike many note-taking apps, OneNote automatically saves and syncs your notes as you take them, making for an easy-to-access and difficult-to-delete digital notebook. OneNote users can create an unlimited number of digital notebooks and subdivide each notebook into sections. Some of our favorite OneNote features include: 
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for importing images and handwritten notes 

  • Recording audio and video directly into OneNote 
  • Dragging and dropping files to insert them into your notes 
  • Automatically sourcing what you copy and pace from the web 
  • The ability to password-protect sensitive sections of a shareable document


When to Use Which 

Microsoft Word and OneNote are brilliant tools for organizing and sharing notes and documents, but it can be difficult to figure out which one is right for the occasion. While Microsoft Word formats publishable, concise documents, OneNote allows for more spontaneous edits and considers the fact that the user might also have handwritten notes 

We recommend using OneNote for gathering and organizing content: think business meetings, brainstorming sessions, and to-do lists. The application’s intuitive interface makes it easy to jot down ideas in the middle of the day and is a reliable partner for handwritten notes. You don’t need to choose between your laptop or trusty Moleskin for notetaking; OneNote works with its users’ busy and flexible schedules. After gathering spontaneous content using OneNote, it’s time to sit down with Word to organize and publish those notes. Microsoft Word is an optimal tool for consolidating and streamlining information. With dozens of professional, pre-formatted templates, Word has everything you need to create attractive and readable documents that can be shared at a moment’s notice. 


Business Process Management 

Power Automate 

Microsoft Power Automate, previously known as Microsoft Flow, increases user productivity by creating automated workflows between apps and services to send and receive notifications, collect data, and more. Among Power Automate’s many features are: 

  • Survey data collection 
  • Ready-to-use templates 
  • Recommendations of what
  • Three types of flow for your convenience: Automated Flow – activated when a pre-selected event occurs, Scheduled Flow – occurs at a specified time, Button Flow – triggered by the press of a button 

Power BI 

Don’t just analyze data; experience it with Microsoft Power BI, an analytics program that strives to “create a data-driven culture with business intelligence for all.” From data collection to presentation, Power BI has tools to help its users along every step of the analytical process. These tools include, but are not at all limited to: 

  • Interactive and informative reports authoring 
  • A range of attractive visualizations 
  • Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) function 
  • Flexible tiles 
  • Q&A question box 
  • Help & feedback buttons 
  • Customizable dashboards 
  • Dataset filtration 

When to Use Which 

These cloud-based business process management tools are essential for any organization, each with its own unique role. Power Automate is best used for communications within and outside of your business; with its three-tiered flow system, workers at every level have access to productivity management tools that maximize efficiency. Power BI, on the other hand, is most appropriately used for data collection and analysis, especially when it comes to presenting data. It has thousands of easy-to-manipulate graphics and diagrams and values the role of user experience in data analytics. 


Project and Team Management 

Microsoft Project 

Stay organized and focused on Microsoft Project, a project management tool that understands the power of collaboration and delegation in any project, regardless of the size or scope. This program assists project managers every step of the way, from developing a schedule to managing a budget. Microsoft Project achieves this through the use and application of its many tools, which include:  

  • Prioritization  
  • Task management  
  • Team calendar 
  • Project timeline view 
  • Team dashboard 
  • File sharing 
  • Sharing client data 
  • Resource management 
  • Multiple projects 


Microsoft Planner 

Visually organize teamwork with Microsoft Plannera collaborative task management resource designed for teams of any size. One of Planner’s most alluring features is its task cards, which provide team members with all the information they might need, including due dates and files. This program consolidates team content through its features like: 

  • Schedule view 
  • Task assignment to multiple people 
  • Group and filter options 
  • Approved external user access 
  • Due date notifications 
  • iCalendar format feed 



When to Use Which 

Both tools enable users to organize and assign tasks, share files, communicate with teammates, and manage updates from your team. At a first glance, these applications may seem identical, but each can serve a unique role within an organization. Microsoft Planner is a prime candidate for simple and accessible project plans. Its interface is more intuitive than Microsoft Project and is a great option for teams leading smaller projects. However, Planner lacks some of the more localized features of Microsoft Project. Project comes out on top for workflows that require a great deal of control and support capabilities. Although Project is more visually overwhelming than Planner, Microsoft Project users have greater control over how they organize and delegate tasks to their teams.  



Team Communication 


No list of Microsoft programs would be complete without Outlook, the developer’s email, calendar, and contacts manager. Outlook has asserted itself as one of the leading email platforms and is used across businesses in every country. The following features make Outlook a popular choice amongcutting-edge organizations: 
  • Scheduling emails 
  • Creating meetings, appointments, tasks, and contacts from just one window 
  • Keyboard shortcuts 
  • Shared calendars 
  • Effective task management 
  • Creating and managing rules 


Microsoft Teams 

Described by Microsoft as the “hub for team collaboration”, Teams streamlines communication between team members and integrates the content and tools that your team needs to stay engaged. Teams has always been a successful and popular option for leading businesses, but COVID-19 has made this program even more of a necessity among successful organizations. In a virtual world, communication is more important than ever before, and Microsoft Teams facilitates this crucial communication through its unique features, such as: 

  • Conversation channels 
  • Reduced email 
  • Live collaboration in real-time 
  • Conversation threads 
  • Video conferencing software 
  • A new mentioning feature 
  • Standard or private channels 
  • Integration across Outlook and Teams 


When to Use Which 

These Microsoft suite applications provide invaluable assistance to any team; so valuable, in fact, that Microsoft Teams and Outlook are staple programs for all the School of Government’s employee divisions, and their UX internship program, SIPDBoth Teams and Outlook streamline communication among team members, though each has its own unique value. Teams is the perfect platform for groups that require frequent, real-time communication, and team members can keep their emails clutter-free by relying on the Chat, Video Chat, and simultaneous editing functions that Teams offer. Outlook, on the other hand, is the best choice for correspondence across different teams within an organization. This program still has the file-sharing capabilities that Teams offer, but functions more as a long-form communication platform. 


Getting Started 

In a remote environment, it is imperative that businesses employ the best tools to maximize productivity and stay connected. Use this comparison sheet to determine the software that best fits the needs of your business and team.   Luckily, DSSS is here to help with all your technology-related needs and questions. Reach out to start building a streamlined future, today.