Getting to Know Office 365

office365So you now subscribe to Office 365, what does that mean? For one, you now have a powerful arsenal of productivity tools at your disposal!

The schematic diagram below represents what I call the core Office 365 ecosystem for individual, home and small businesses. Confusing isn’t it!

the-ecosystemThe Office 365 Ecosystem

In this post I will attempt to shed some light on how you can get to know Office 365 in a realistic manner.

The Ecosystem
The big overlapping ovals represent the productivity programs of Office 365—these are the tools you use to do or create things.

They are shown as overlapping ovals because they have overlapping functionality. So you can write a letter in Word and in Publisher but Word does it better, Publisher will do flyers better. You can create a table of figures in Word but Excel does it better, and so on.

The horizontal rectangles represent programs that provide supporting functions.

The programs that make up Office 365 are tightly integrated and work together very well. So you can compose a letter in Word, include a table created in Excel, and do a merge email using Outlook with addresses stored in Access—you get the picture! It sounds overwhelming, does it not?

The Impossible Learning Curve
The diagram implies a huge amount of learning that awaits you. No, you don’t have to know all of it—nobody does! You learn as you need, when you need.

Each of these programs has a plethora of options, but if you know the core features of each program you will be able to do 99% of the tasks that are likely to come your way.

One advantage of Office 365 is that the programs share many features in common. So once you learn one program, the next one will be that much easier to master.

HMD Training
Knowing how overwhelming learning Office 365 may appear at first, we have adopted a powerful approach to learning. Our courses are project-based. So rather than teaching all the possible features of a program, we tackle real-life projects. It is like sitting next to an expert while they complete the project step by step, from start to finish .

The courses are graduated: the first course uses only the core features of the program. Then subsequent courses tackle more complex projects, but still in the same step-by-step fashion.

We have not yet created courses for all the programs but will do so over time. It takes a lot of time to design and record online courses.

A Strategy
Where do you start, which program to learn first? That depends on what kind of activities you have. An author should start with Word, whereas an accountant may want to focus on Excel. For most people I would start getting to know Word well first.

Then progressively do the introductory courses for the other programs as you have time. This will be easy and fun as you discover new ways of being productive.

Be sure to visit hmdtraining.com to see the range of courses we have available!

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