I recently picked up a subscription to Office 365 from Microsoft. This sets me back $7.35 a month after taxes. The subscription it’s self is $6.99 a month. I started out looking for cloud storage and ended up with office as well. The choice was simple to me. I get the full office package and 1TB of cloud storage. I use OneDrive as my second line backup now, the first being a 2TB external drive. Being that I use windows 8.1, the integration of OneDrive is a simple way to do backups. All I do is toss things in the OneDrive folder and they are sent to the cloud. I am an artist and have generated a large amount of art on my computer that I don’t want to lose. This was the primary purpose behind cloud storage in the first place. I also have my music and important documents on there now. The fact that office 365 tosses it all to the cloud on save is a great choice for me.
I have been using a scaled down version of office for many years. In fact as long as I have had a PC I have been using office. I find myself using word literally 3 or 4 times a day at the least. I use it to compose emails, blog posts, newsgroup posts and so on. The ability to send the document to PDF is a great use to me as it is universal.
Other components of office 365 are Publisher (I use this at least once a week), PowerPoint, Access, Excel, OneNote and Outlook. I will describe my use of them below.
Publisher is a great tool for putting together newsletter, business cards, advertisement posters and many more things. I use it mostly to set up ads for a nonprofit group I do work for. I then send it to them and they send it off to the newspaper.
PowerPoint I don’t actually get much use out of, but it is a heck of a tool for slide shows to send in an email. Being that I can toss it in the cloud then link it to the email is great. I take a lot of photos and share them often with friends. If you want to do presentations for a product this is your tool.
Access keeps track of my music CD’s and my many DVD’s. The ability to export to work format then to a PDF is a great feature.
Excel keeps tract of my monthly expenses so I know where the money went and can plan where it is about to go. It is a must have for anyone who has limited income.
OneNote I literally don’t use, but it is a great integrated tool for a few people I know.
Outlook is perfect for planning your day and sharing those plans with others. I have a calendar event that I wish to share I can in a few clicks. It is however not my primary email client. I use Windows Live Mail for that, as it still has newsgroup integration. I moderate on several groups on a private news server so I need to keep up with it, the fact that I don’t need two tools to do this and email is perfect for me. The only wish I have for office 365 is that Outlook did newsgroups.
All in all you can’t get 1TB of storage for less than the price of Office 365 and I use all most of the tools often. The storage alone is worth the price. If you have a family the Households version is perfect, as it gives access to all the tools on 5 computers and 5 tablets, not to mention 1TB of storage for all the users. If I had friends that used office (and I don’t) we would be sharing this version as the cast split 5 ways is very low. All in all for the price of less than 2 trips to Starbucks a month you get a pile of good tools and a lot of storage. I recommend this package to anyone.
Peace – Dave Nicholson.