Cloud of Learning

Office 365 Essential Skills and Quick Tips

I had an opportunity to provide workshops with colleagues at Westview Freedom Academy and Harrow District High School during the final days of the previous school year. The goal of my presentation was to build on essential Office 365 skills taught earlier by the dedicated GECDSB @14DLT Digital Learning team.

Below will provide an overview of the skills and quick tips taught during my interactive presentation;

Tip #1 – Access “Home Base.”

Home Base

Click on the tile window on the upper left hand corner of your screen– This is “home base” to access all the office 365 applications in one location.

Tip #2 – Change your theme and personalize!

Change theme

Add an avatar (picture) to your Office 365 account or change the theme to add a personal touch when working. This can be done by clicking on the bold symbol located on the upper right hand corner of your screen.

Tip #3 – Create an email contact list in People

Adding a contact list

Take a moment to create email contact list. This will enable you to save time when sending messages to multiple recipients without having to retype names every time an email is composed.Using contact list in TO boxLet’s give it a try! Click the “home base” button to access Mail. Input the contact list name you just created in the TO: box instead of inputting individual recipients. When you send your email, the message will be sent to anyone added to your contact list.
School Email ListEach school also has a contact list that is automatically generated by the GECDSB HR department. Simply type the name of a your current work location for the keywords to appear. A time saver in the life of a busy teacher!

Tip #4 – Create folders in Mail

Click add folder
Adding folders in Mail

Added folders listing

Creating folders allows you to better organize email and help de-clutter your inbox!

Creating inbox rules

Once folders are created, you can establish inbox rules to automatically transfer messages by person, keyword, subject, or folder to specific folders in your mail account.

Tip #5 – Creating events in Calendar


Create a customized calendar event by clicking on the date desired.

Customizing Calendar Events

Customizing events that are inputted into the calendar will allow you to set start and end times, room locations, and timed reminders.

Sharing a Calendar

You can share your calendar with other colleagues and add calendars shared by others. This allows the ability to layer multiple calendars in a single view.

Tip #6 – Working and collaborating in the “cloud” using OneDrive

Adding files and folders via OneDrive

Create a Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote document in the cloud and work anywhere!

Word Online

Collaborate via OneDrive

This includes sharing your documents with colleagues to facilitate team work in multiple work locations! An example document is shown for illustrative purposes.

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Creative Commons License
This work by Andre Quaglia is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.