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Four Microsoft 365 tools flying under your radar

Need a tool to create flowcharts and diagrams? How about an app to share polls for scheduling meetings? Microsoft 365 (known as Rutgers Connect at the university) allows you to do all that, and more, without having to purchase or download additional software.

“With the vast scope of product offerings available in Microsoft 365, it’s easy to miss a lot of options you have access to,” says Brian Morton-Salley, an application programmer within the Office of Information Technology. “While it might not be your first instinct to utilize resources provided through Rutgers, there are many useful and secure replacements for other well-known applications that are easy to implement and support.”

Microsoft 365’s arsenal of substitutes, like the ones listed below, are available as part of Rutgers Connect, the university’s system for email, calendaring, and other services for faculty and staff at Rutgers.

Microsoft Bookings or Scheduling Assistant with Microsoft Outlook Calendar
Keeping track of everyone’s schedules can be tricky. With Microsoft Bookings or Scheduling Assistant, planning meetings and organizing schedules no longer have to be a hassle. These two tools can give you everything you need to make scheduling a breeze right from your own Microsoft 365 space.

If you want to go the extra mile and have all your scheduling tools in one place, look into downloading Microsoft Bookings. Or, if you don’t need to use all the perks of Bookings, you can simply utilize Scheduling Assistant already built into the Microsoft Outlook Calendar.

Microsoft Whiteboard
Visualizing your thoughts in a hybrid or remote work environment has never been easier than with Microsoft Whiteboard. This online tool brings a physical whiteboard to your laptop and provides you with a visual space to brainstorm, jot down ideas, and collaborate with colleagues. Some of its features include custom templates, digital drawing tools, and sticky notes.

Scheduling Poll in Microsoft Outlook on the Web (OWA) or Mac
Tired of going back and forth just to find a time to meet? Scheduling Poll makes it easy to quickly figure out what time works for everyone. Simply create a poll, send it to your team, and you’ll be able to make a plan in no time.

It is currently available to access via Microsoft Outlook on the Web (OWA) or on the Mac. Though, be on the lookout for Scheduling Poll in Outlook for Windows soon.

Microsoft Visio
Easily create professional diagrams such as flowcharts, org charts, network diagrams, and more with Microsoft Visio. There are a variety of premade templates, customizable shapes, and beginner diagrams to choose from. Visio is a user-friendly way to create visuals without having to utilize a third-party platform. It’s a great tool for brainstorming, as well.

While these features are just a few of the many products and services Microsoft 365 has to offer, they are great substitutes for other third-party applications and can be useful tools in your day-to-day activities.

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