Google Docs vs. MS Office: do I need all these features?

In the first article, I mentioned that Office has 12,000 features. I knew people will wonder how did I get that number. So I published a breakup of feature count. Now the next thought which comes to your mind is – “Ok, I know the number now. But I Don’t need so many features”. Absolutely right!

Right in the sense – your thought process is exactly how everyone thinks.
Fortunately, this thought process is ABSOLUTELY WRONG!

google docs vs Microsoft Office - I dont need all these features

Read on to find out why. (What is fortunate about it? – that is also explained).

Why does the thought “I don’t need all these features” come to your mind?

Simple answer. Because all your work seems to be getting done. Nobody is objecting to the method you are using to get your work done. In fact, nobody really cares about exactly which features you use and how you use them as long as the work is done.

Then why is Microsoft adding so many features?

The natural reaction is: “Why are you asking me? Ask Microsoft! They are doing it”.

Logical response. But for now just go with me and think
Why are they adding so many features?

The answer is simple. They don’t just add new features. They improve existing features.

They continuously observe and analyze how people are using Office and find out the lacunae, inconveniences and areas of improvement.

These become the specifications for the next set of features.

Got it. But how does it affect me?

Good question. Again, the answer is simpler than you think.

Agreed that you know how to get your work done. You found some method which worked somehow. That method is still working. So you stick to it – naturally.

The problem is that the product has been progressing so fast that the method you found long back may be the worst way of doing that job.

You have no idea about it. So you continue using it. Not your fault.

But a disadvantage all the same. Why? Because – unknowingly – you are wasting your precious life. (Nobody would do that knowingly anyway).

Are you asking me to learn 12,000 features

No. I am not.

All I am asking you to do is to convince yourself about the fact that what you know may be working. But trust me – it is working AGAINST YOU.

Let me explain. Before that there is another common thought process to be addressed.

“Never mind. Office is not my core skill. I don’t care”

Sure. You have your job to do. Whatever your field is – marketing, sales, finance, distribution, teaching, HR, quality, etc. – you must pursue that field deeper. Gain more experience and expertise in your core area. That is what will lead to you growth. Right?

Fine. Keep that thought …

How much time do you spend on Office every day?

But most people in corporate context spend anywhere between 2 to 10 hours a day using Office. Yes 10 hours – they work beyond office hours.That means anywhere between
25% to 100% of your active business life is spent on Office.
Even if you have not thought about it till now, you better think about it now.

Core work vs. Office work

Of course you want to spend all your time in your core work – as per your role and specialization.

What we don’t realize is that a significant portion of that time is being spent through a channel called Office. You cannot avoid it. You know that.

A smarter approach is to utilize Office to your advantage. The way you are using it currently is hindering your growth in your primary field.

Efficiency Test

Probably you are getting what I am saying. But there is still an overpowering thought which says: “How bad can it be? May be there is little inefficiency in what I do. But few seconds or minutes wasted here and there is not a big deal. I can live with that.”

I know. Don’t worry. Relax. I have coached 250,000+ people on this topic – face to face.
I am fully aware of the complex psychology which is behind this technology.

Now it is time for some action.

Here is a list of 8 simple and quick tests. Try a couple of them.
Each test shows a common scenario. Asks you how you do that activity and then shows you the most optimal way of doing it. You take a call whether you are efficient or not. No scoring, no pass / fail.

Do you know how to copy paste? I don’t think so. Read these articles and you will agree with me.

Is this debate worth it? Can you just give me a quick answer?

Sure. I will continue the debate because many people are interested in it. But a much more number of people who are not even aware of these issues – SHOULD BE aware of them.

Here is the conclusion:

Office 365 (entire suite), is the best thing which has happened to humanity since advent of computers. Pay for it, learn it, apply it to your context and then it will lead to unimaginable growth – in a personal as well as organizational context.

Read my blog to understand how to learn and apply it to business context. Behind every feature there is a business benefit. Discover it and use it – if applicable to you. Else move to the next features. It is that simple really.

You remember I said “fortunate” in the introduction of this article. What is fortunate?
First step in solving a problem is to notice it and acknowledge it. Once you know that your thought process was wrong, you will be compelled to find the right thought process.

I will also provide my recommendation about the right thought process. Which will definitely help you in becoming more efficient an effective.

Next article

We will see the answer to the most commonly asked question after people undertake the Efficiency Tests. I wont spoil the fun by posting the question right now. But you will know it soon. Enjoy.

In the article after next, I will cover “Decision makers don’t care about these small features” argument.


One Response

  1. Firstly, I fully agree that Microsoft Office is a great application and indeed a computer without office is unimaginable. However the cost factor is the issue. For power users it is a no brainer. But for one-off users (which in many companies forms the bulk of the workforce), the cost simply cannot be justified. Thick client LibreOffice, OpenOffice and newer Web based solutions such as Google Docs, Zoho Suite, etc cannot be ignored from a cost perspective for such users. Also on Android, iOS devices, Microsoft came a late entrant and Kingsoft, et al made a lot of headway.

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