I am really excited and happy to write this post to announce the release of my first book – Efficiency Best Practices for Microsoft 365. In this post, I will highlight why I wrote the book, some behind-the-scene secrets and of course – how you can benefit by reading the book.
Jargon: In this article Microsoft 365 is referred to as Office 365.
What is special about this book?
- It covers the knowledge I have gained over the last 30 years
- This book is NOT about tips and tricks – it is about learning how to learn
- The book covers the 25 apps included with Office 365 (as on Jan 2022)
- I have covered 130 most important things EVERYONE should know.
- Of course, you are not using all the 25 apps and your work is getting done quite well with whatever apps you use.
- Read the book and then decide whether the things you did not know about are relevant and useful to you.
- This is a breadth book. It does not claim to make you an expert in a particular app.
- However, you will get a complete view about what is available so that you can decide what is applicable to your work.
Distilled Knowledge = Efficiency Best Practices
When we talk about learning about or training in a particular topic or app, there are usual categories like:
- Basic / Advanced
- Beginner / Expert
- Level 100, 200, 300
- and so on…
These categories are arbitrary and irrelevant.
The company / team who created the app has spent enormous amount of effort and lots of money to add numerous features. Unfortunately, as a user of any app, we neither have the time nor the inclination to understand each and every feature available and then map it to our work requirements.
130 Efficiency Best practices
That is why, I have handpicked 130 things which every business user / student / IT person / Decision maker should know. You do not have to go into great details. Learn what is on offer and decide if it is useful. If not, move on.
But please go through all the best practices. That is the only way of being aware of what is broadly available. Even if you do not find some things directly application to your current work, at least you know that it exists. That will help you when that requirement crops up in future – either for you or for your team.
Everyone works differently. Every company has different needs and processes. Every department or team has a different set of rules / regulations / culture and way of working. Fine. Requirements are practically infinite.
However, these requirements can be categorized into few common needs:
- Creating things
- Storing and Sharing things
- Managing time and tasks
- Inputting and managing data + reports
- Working in a team
- Trying to automate repetitive work
These needs are fulfilled by using the right tool in the right place. Here is a visual guide of which tool to use when.
Efficiency best practices – Which Microsoft 365 tool to use when.
Evolve your own efficiency best practices
The book does cover 130 efficiency best practices. These are absolutely essential for efficient work in any industry and at any level of seniority. But this is just the beginning. There are thousands of features which I have not covered in the book.
Before you say, “I don’t need so many features” – think. Why did Microsoft add so many features?
- Because they want to confuse all users? Surely not. Does not make sense.
- Microsoft had lots of programmers – so they asked them to add more features just like that. Unlikely.
- If you add more features, the sales increases. Again – not true. There is no such correlation.
So why is Microsoft adding thousands of features?
The answer is simpler than you think – Because we need them.
“We” who? All of us – users like you and me.
Of course each one does not require every feature. But how do differentiate if you don’t know what exists?
The only way is to explore features – while you work. If not relevant, ignore it. If relevant adopt it.
This is an ongoing process of learning and applying the knowledge.
In this book, I have shown how you can learn and improve continuously with minimal additional effort.
It is all there. Instead of avoiding features, start noticing and embracing them.
That is called transformation!
It is a mindset book rather than a feature book.
Here are some nuggests and lesser known facts about the book.
- My friend Raj Chaudhuri has been the pushing me to write the book for over 15 years
- I had multiple reasons why I did not want to write the book:
- There are already a lot of books available
- Most users do not buy Office books because they think they already know it
- Most available books cover all topics in-depth. There is no unmet need – at least from an availability point of view.
- There is already a lot of non-book content available – courses, videos, etc.
- But finally I decided to write it because:
- Despite the availability of so much content (most of which is free), people at large are still inefficient
- Out of 14000+ features of Office platform a very small fraction (typically around 150) are used
- Everyone has shortage of time, but without realizing it, they are wasting time due to work inefficiency
- I had accumulated enormous amount of powerful best practices which the world needed to know
- It took me almost 18 months to write the book.
- Writing the book was a very strenuous, stringent and slow process – compared to what I do best – live sessions.
- I found it almost impossible to bring the humour, sarcasm and dry humour in the book format – something I am known for in live sessions.
- It was a race against time because features and products keep improving all the time.
- For the first time (to my knowledge), I have incorporated videos to explain things instead of writing verbose text.
- Again for the first time, I have incorporated QR codes to videos and references right within the book content.
This will make it easier for the reader to learn faster and in a more contextual manner.
- I have tried to create a book which is not restricting itself to a particular product or industry segment or role or level of seniority. It is about Universal Efficiency.
Buy the book
The book is available for purchase in various formats on multiple platforms. Choose the most suitable option:
Add reviews and feedback
Of course, you can add your feedback and comments here in the blog. But I would really appreciate if you can post your reviews on the book sites mentioned above.
Feel free to post your frank feedback. You are also most welcome to add your wish list or areas of improvement.
I promise to work on your feedback for the next edition.
I loved the video. I am buying the book today and recommended it to a friend. We have both been training since the dawn of time and it is rare to find a gem like you. Your ideas are solid and your examples made me say “wow” in the first 5 minutes.
Thanks Sherri. Glad you found the book useful. Office platform is never used optimally – because it does not get enough attention from the CXOs. That is what I am trying to change. Doc.