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What can Office 365 Groups do for you?

Office 365 is K-State’s email and calendar platform which includes a suite of apps and features geared toward productivity and collaboration.  Today’s highlighted feature is Office 365 Groups.

Office 365 Groups

Groups are a one-stop shop for collaboration, which bundle some of the Office 365 apps and features.  Apps and features included in Groups at K-State are:

Email 

  • Easily email a group of people without setting up a mailing list such as a listserv or distribution list.  Distribution list functionality is built into the group without requiring any special action.
  • Keep group related email together in the conversation-based group inbox which can be set to also deliver to personal inboxes.

Shared calendar

  • The group calendar is a fast way to schedule meetings for the group without needing to enter the group members manually into the meeting invitation like you would using your personal calendar.
  • The group calendar also has a built in light version of the scheduling assistant which tells you if the group is “busy” for the meeting time you are setting up.  The busy indicator will show up if one or more of your group members has another event scheduled on their personal calendar for that time.

Shared OneNote Notebook

The notebook is a versatile tool that can be used to share a variety of materials without the use of email for the group members.  Some examples of what can be shared are:

  • Meeting agendas and notes.
  • Links to websites and online videos.
  • Audio notes – you can record and embed an audio message into the page within the notebook.
  • Book and article reviews and notes.
  • Class notes.

Shared file storage

  • Groups have a file storage feature similar to OneDrive which allows files to be stored and accessed by group members without the need to manually share the file to each member in the group.
  • Group members can directly edit Office files online so there is no need to download, edit, and then re-upload the file.

Planner

Planner is a light-weight project management tool which allows you to create and organize tasks in buckets that can be assigned to group members.  It also has a few chart options to visually display the status of the project tasks.  Some examples of what Planner can be used for are:

  • Making an academic plan for a semester, year, or degree program.
  • Creating a task set to complete a term paper or article for publication.
  • Planning the tasks for writing a research grant.
  • Event planning.
  • Department/team projects.
  • Personal or team goals.

How do 365 Groups benefit me?

Groups give you a single place to organize, store, access, and edit all of your group-work materials from any computer or mobile device and cuts down on emails that you need to send and time in physical meetings.