Everyone has their own personal email and office suite preferences, but I’d like to let you in on some of the great new things about the free Microsoft Office Online and why I’ve made it my email of choice in my voice over studio.
First, let’s give some real-world working examples of how it has helped my workflow. Yesterday, a repeat voice over client from Brazil sent me a Skype message to inquire about doing his company’s on-hold messages. These messages show up on the right panel of my desktop Outlook email page, as do any Facebook messages. I wrote right back to him, while in Outlook. He sent me the link to the script, which I opened in Microsoft Word Online. When I finished the recording, I saved it to external drives and to my Microsoft OneDrive folder for that Brazilian client. OneDrive, like all the other Office Programs, appears as a tab from within Outlook. From OneDrive, (just like in Google Drive or Dropbox) I sent him a message to download the link. I can also generate links for sharing files on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Weibo! How much storage do I have on OneDrive? It comes withe 15G for free. But, if you sign up for Bing Rewards and do a few searches a day with it, in a few weeks you earn credit for a free 100G like I have. If you sign up for the full Microsoft Office 365 for $5 a month, you receive 1T of space.
I marked down the voice over job and information in the Calendar. Additionally, I could have also used Office Online to generate invoices from templates with Excel Online – or opened PowerPoint with with PowerPoint Online.
Outlook email has been greatly improved from its Hotmail days. The spam protection is amazing. I still get several spammy messages a day on GMail but one or two a week on Outlook. Your experience may vary, of course. It has become easy now to upload a nice logo in your signature like in GMail. A really cool feature is that you can set aliases for your emails. So, while you might have “firstname.lastname@example.org” as your account, you can send and receive email as “voiceoverbymary@outlook” or any other neat handle. There is also a handy “Sweep” function, so you can go back and batch-delete all those annoying emails from V123 or other P2Ps that you have lingering in your inbox. On mobile, Outlook is a very clean Apple-like interface with a super “push” setting for constant updating, and it works like a charm with OneDrive online, even on my Andrioid phone!
Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned how great OneNote is for organizing your To-Do lists, marketing projects, or voice over scripts.
Google products are great and I still enjoy using them – but if you’d like to try something different (or if you’re a rightfully exasperated Yahoo user) I highly recommend giving the free Microsoft Office Online a test drive in your studio – especially if you use Facebook or Skype a lot for communicating with your voice-over clients and colleagues.