Collaborative working: Office 365 with Oliver Nicoll

Take a look around you. What items on your desk couldn’t you work without? Phone? Maybe. Chair? Well you can’t be standing all day. Pen & paper? That’s fairly old-school but I’ll let you have it… Computer? There you go.

The working world doesn’t work so well without computers, that’s a given. There’s a good chance that you, like 1.2 Billion other people, couldn’t work on said computer without Microsoft Office.

But I’m sorry to say that for all this time, you may not have been using Office 365 to its fullest potential. There’s a host of features and lesser known tips and tricks that the untrained eye may glance straight past.

Well fear not, to fill you in on all the best from Office 365 we caught up with our resident expert Oliver Nicoll to discuss his favourite, lesser known features of Office 365.


Live Document Editing


What is it?

Live document editing means that multiple users across different machines anywhere in the world can access and work on the same document at the same time. Combine this with skype and you’ve got a fully functioning virtual office.

Why do we love it?

“With the emergence of cloud technology and social media we’re very focussed on collaborative working nowadays. This has given rise to the inclusion of businesses and company groups on social media sites like Yammer and Linked In.

“And because of this it’s easier than ever to communicate while working collaboratively, but a lot of the time it’s still separate from the actual document.”

“What makes this feature so great is that all members of your team can be working on, and discussing the same document in real time, making edits and changes while consulting one another and visibly seeing the effects of the changes without having to go back and forth via email.”

How do I do it?

  • Step 1) Save your document to OneDrive or SharePoint Online.
  • Step 2) Click the share button in word and enter the email addresses of the people you wish to collaborate with.
  • Step 3) Set their permissions to ‘Can Edit’
  • Step 4) Finished!


Lasso Tool in One Note


What is it?

If you’re familiar with the Office 365 package you’ll know all about OneNote, but what you may not know is that you can take all those notes you scrawled down on your tablet and transform them into a beautiful, legible word document.

Why do we love it?

“It used to be that people would think you were quite rude if you had a laptop open in a meeting, but by the same token you could come across a bit old fashioned if you sat there with a pen and paper. The tablet is the perfect middle ground here and it’s a great solution for making notes in meetings.

“With this tool you can make notes on your tablet by hand, draw around them with the lasso tool on One Note and have the program convert your handwritten notes to text that can be copied into word documents and emails.

“The main benefit here it saving time I think. You’ll never have to write out your notes twice.”

How do I do it?

  • Step 1) Navigate to the page you made your notes (ink strokes) on using the pen tool.
  • Step 2) Click outside of the ink strokes and drag a circle around the area you wish to include in your selection.
  • Step 3) On the Draw Tab, select ‘Ink to Text’ to convert your handwritten notes.
  • Step 4) All done.


Create Outlook tasks with OneNote


What is it?

In brief, this feature allows you to take your handwritten notes on OneNote and turn them into actionable tasks on Outlook. Never type the same thing twice.

Why do we love it?

“A lot of people don’t realise that OneNote actually connects really well with Outlook. If you’re in a sales meeting, for example, you can make notes during the meeting on OneNote and turn those notes into specific tasks that can be imported in Outlook and assigned to the members of your team as tasks or appointments that need to be actioned.

“It’s a great way of keeping everyone updated and working together without having to put too much effort into the organisational side of things after the meeting.”

How do I do it?

  • Step 1) Firstly turn your notes into text like we explained before.
  • Step 2) Now select the words that you want to form your text.
  • Step 3) In the action bar that appear next to this text, select the Outlook tasks option and choose a reminder.
  • Step 4) Then go into outlook and assign members of staff to the task and edit accordingly.
  • Step 5) Le Fin.

If you have any questions or queries feel free to contact us by emailing in to

You can contact your dedicated IT account manager to discuss these stories in more depth by ringing 01724 400300.