Monday, November 18, 2013

#GetItDone With the New Microsoft Office 365 -- Review and #Giveaway

Disclosure: I participated in the Microsoft Office 365 campaign on behalf of One2One Network. All opinions shared are mine and mine alone.

"These days, the world is your office! Depending on the day of the week or hour of the day, "office" can mean a cubicle, an armchair in your living room, a bustling coffee shop, the hotel lobby at a social media conference, a library, and anywhere in between.

We're busier than ever (especially with the holidaze on the horizon), so get it all done on your own terms with Microsoft Office 365. It's streamlined and in sync in the Cloud, giving you the flexibility to do things where and when you want."

I was recently provided with a one-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium (US $99.99 value), to be installed on up to 5 devices, including PCs and Macs, in order to try out and share my thoughts on it with you all.  Whether you are a busy mom on the go who works 9 to 5Pm in the workplace, or works from you, you will want to check out the new Microsoft Office 365.  This is one of those things you find yourself saying, "What will they think of next" or "I can't live without this."  I know, as I found myself saying both, shortly aftering downloading and installing Office 365 on my computer, and downloading an app to my Androd phone and iPad

It wasn't until I was diagnosed with cancer back in 2008, that I had to rethink what I wanted to do for a career.  A month before I was diagnosed with stage 2 cancer, I was laid off my "dream job" as a health educator.  After having tiring jobs in the human services sector, I was finally able to say wholeheartedly that I had found the job I was meant to do.  I loved being able to educate both children and adults about various health topics, go into schools and the workplace and put on health fairs and screenings, or simply sit in the office and wait for patients from the hospital to stop in and inquire about health education material for a condition they or someone close to them was diagnosed with or suffering from.  I had so many people over the course of the 5 years that I worked as a health educator, stop by the office and thank me for the information I had provided them, as it made them better health consumers and gave the questions they needed to ask the doctor in order to take control of their treatment plan, etc.  There was nothing more satisfying than to see someone who was diagnosed with cancer or another life threatening disease, walk back into the office to thank me for all the health literature and support I provided them throughout their treatment, which they said helped them become cancer or disease free.

Never did I expect to have to go through the cancer journey myself.  Nor, did I think I would have to be faced with a "mid life crisis" so to speak, when I was done with treatment the following year.  Would I seek out another job as a health educator, or would I pursue other avenues.  At first, I was still coming to terms with what happened to me health wise, so I opted not to return to the health care field, and have to see other people scared and feeling lost, and not knowing if they would be succesful themselves on their cancer journeys, etc.  But, with medical bills stacking up, I had to find another job.  Being creative, I turned to the Internet and found job opportunities as a virtual assistant.  Prior to taking a job as a health educator, I spent 10+ years as an administrative or executive assistant for various non-profit and for-profit organizations.  I always loved this line of work, so thought I would give the virtual assistant avenue a try.  And, I have to say that up until Savannah arrived in 2010, I was very successful as a virtual assistant.  I worked with different start up companies, as well as helped individuals in varying fields make their businesses more successful.  I provided all things administrative, including marketing and customer service to wedding photographers, illustrators, poker website creators, international business entrepreneurs and even a Reggae CD producer.  I found my job as a virtual assistant interesting because of the clientelle I was working for.  But, as I advanced in my career as a virtual assistant, I found that my job had to be done outside the standard "9 to 5" schedule, as my clients lived in different time zones, or needed me on-call at certain times, day or night.  I had one client, a motorcycle t-shirt vendor need me to work the overnight shift manning a virtual call center during Bike Week events, as well as a wedding illustrator needing me to be available to take phone calls from 7AM-9PM.

The needs of my clients led me to seek out different software and programs to add to my computer, as well as sign up for services such as Skype and cloud based storage services to store and share important documents.  Before cutting back on my virtual assistant client load, I found my computer crashing or not being as reliable, due to all the programs I had to run to complete certain daily administrative tasks for each client, as well as keep the computer I was using a personal computer for my non-work related use.  If only Microsoft Office 365 was around a few years would have saved me a lot of headaches and money, as I had to purchase two computers since becoming a virtual assistant, in order to keep up with client demand.

So, what is Microsoft Office 365, and how could it benefit you?

Office 365 Home Premium view 1 

Compatible only with Windows 8.1, 8, 7, and Mac OS X 10.6 or later

All languages available with purchase

Top features

  • 1 year subscription includes ongoing version updates1
  • Office on 5 PCs or Macs plus select mobile devices3
  • 3 times more SkyDrive online storage than any other Office suite4
  • 60 minutes Skype calls per month2
  Programs Included w/ Office 365 Include:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • OneNote
  • Publisher
  • PowerPoint
  • Outlook
  • Access

5 Tips for how to #GetItDone with Microsoft Office 365

1. Save documents in the cloud. From home, school, work and everywhere in between, it’s important to have tools that work the way you do. Office 365 lets you save your documents in the cloud on SkyDrive, so no matter where you are, your information and ideas are available on your terms.
2. Take digital notes. OneNote is a digital note-taking app designed to keep you organized. Use it at home, school or work for recipe collecting, class notes, projects and more. Not only is OneNote part of Office 365, but it also comes as a free app for WindowsPhone, iPhone, iPad and Android. Capture thoughts, ideas and to-dos in one place with OneNote, then access them across your devices via SkyDrive.
3. Use Office on your phone. Get stuff done on the go with Office on your Windows Phone, iPhone or Android phone. Access, view, edit, and share Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents by simply downloading OfficeMobile on your phone and logging in with your Office 365 account.
4. Collaborate with anyone. Office Web Apps are free, touch-friendly web versions of Excel, Word, PowerPoint and OneNote. Share and simultaneously work on documents with classmates, friends, and co-workers from any browser. All you have to do is sign up for a SkyDrive account to start creating documents.
5. Have Office on five devices. You and your family work on more than one device and so does Office 365 Home Premium. With one subscription you can put Office on up to five PCs or Macs and five phones (iPhone or Android).

While Microsoft Office 365 comes in handy for work (either home or office-based), it also helps you "Get It Done" when it comes to tackling both yours and your family's "to-do" lists.

Here are some interesting ways you can use Office to #GetItDone:

  1. Keep on top of your fitness goals, nutrition plans, workout routines and more by tracking them in Excel and uploading to the cloud with SkyDrive to share with your trainer, or just to have on-hand when you’re at the gym or on the go with your phone
  2. Collaborate with friends and family on your next dinner party using SkyDrive to share your latest documents (Word dinner menus, Excel RSVP lists, d├ęcor inspirations in OneNote, etc.)
  3. Stay connected with friends and family using Office Web Apps from anywhere (Office in the browser – so you can collaborate in real-time on documents)
  4. Keep track of all your priorities like grocery list and carpool schedule with digital notes in OneNote and accessing them from the OneNote mobile app
  5. Keep a family calendar in Microsoft Outlook to manage an ever-changing busy schedule
  6. Track all of your family’s travel in a OneNote notebook during the upcoming holiday season
  7. Keep track of entertaining planning, creating shopping and to-do lists in OneNote and Excel around the holidays
  8. Plan all of your Thanksgiving or holiday recipes in a OneNote notebook and sharing them with your family via the cloud in SkyDrive for input
  9. Write a blog post from a coffee shop, then saving it to the cloud so that you can make edits from your phone or tablet when you’re on the go
  10. Have the kid share their homework assignments with you for review in the cloud with SkyDrive, and editing them while you’re watching their soccer game
  11. Coordinate the next playgroup activities with the other moms by sharing documents in the cloud with SkyDrive, and using Outlook calendar invites to stay on track with friendly reminders
See, I told you would you find yourself saying "How could I ever live without this?"  Once you purchase and load Microsoft Office 365 to all your computer and devices, you will find yourself adding to the list above of possible ways that Office 365 can help you #GetItDone!

"The 9 to 5 has blurred and today people need modern technology to find balance. From the home to the office, and especially on the go, people all around the world are working differently than the past. According to a recent study conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Microsoft, more than half of office workers (53%) would be willing to work more hours—and one in five would be willing to take a pay cut—to have more flexibility in where and when they got work done. Would YOU ever consider working more hours or taking a pay cut to have more flexibility?"

Share your thoughts on this in the comments section below, while entering to win a one-year subscription (US $99.99 value) of Office 365 Home Premium, I am giving away to one lucky reader, thanks to the folks at Microsoft. 

So, what are you waiting for?  Click here to learn more about Microsoft 365, or order a 1-yr. licensing agreement today, and be on your way to finally getting things done in your busy life.  For once, you find yourself breathing a little easier knowing that you can handle your home business or office-based to-do lists anywhere, including your child's sports practice, a doctor's office, or even the carpool pickup lane at your child's school.  I have found myself able to put finishing touching on blog posts while waiting for my girls to finish their dance or music classes, or quickly creating a shopping list or holiday wish list waiting in line at a local attraction.  With Microsoft Office 365, the possibilities on what you can accomplish are endless, when you have Office 365 at your fingertips, at home or on the go. 

Do you do a "family gift" in your house for the holidays?  If so, this would be the perfect one, that everyone can benefit from.  From your children sharing their homework assignments to review, to you sharing cookie swap recipes with your mom's group, or your husband making conference calls, while at your child's sports game or practice, you will find yourself loving the flexibilty of being able to get things done where and whenever you want, thus freeing up more time to spend with those you love, especially during the upcoming holiday season.

In conjunction with the recent release of Microsoft Office 365 on Nov. 7th, the folks at Microsoft are currently holding a Facebook Contest, where you and a friend could win a trip of a lifetime.

From now until November 21, show Microsoft how you #GetItDone in their new Facebook contest. You and a friend could win a trip of a lifetime to one of the most happening cities in the country, lots of Microsoft swag, and of course, your office in a cloud with over fifty Office 365 winners.  


One lucky reader will win a one-year subscription (US $99.99 value) of Office 365 Home Premium, to help them #GetItDone.  To enter, please complete the entries on the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!

Disclosure: I participated in the Microsoft Office 365 campaign on behalf of One2One Network. All opinions shared are mine and mine alone.

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