The holidays are over and the new year is upon us. It’s a great time to get your productivity needs in order for the next 12 months. The first thing you’ll need is the right software to get things done. Personally, I’d go with Office 365.
Microsoft’s productivity suite costs $99 per year for up to five users on Office 365 Home, or $70 for one user on Office 365 Personal. It may seem a little strange to pay for the Office suite in this age of Google Drive, free desktop suites like Libre Office, and even Microsoft’s free Office Online.
Nevertheless, there are some good reasons to go with an Office 365 subscription. If you haven’t looked at Office 365 seriously before here’s a reminder of why this offering is worth the price.
1. All that OneDrive storage
In addition to the complete Office suite, an Office 365 subscription includes one terabyte of OneDrive storage. That’s more than enough room in the cloud for storing documents, files, photos, and videos—although it might get a little dicey if you plan to store a full digital movie collection up there.
OneDrive is also available on iOS and Android for access to your files while away from the office.
2. Free Skype minutes
If you need to make landline and mobile phone calls to domestic and foreign numbers it’s hard to go wrong with free Skype minutes. Office 365 provides you with 60 minutes of free calling every month. It may not cover all your calling costs, but it’s a good start.
3. Extra users
If you spring for Office 365 Home you get the right to install Office on five PCs, five tablets, and five phones. On top of all that, you can share your subscription rights with up to four other people—that’s five users total. That means that if you have five people in your home they can each use Microsoft Office with the 1TB of OneDrive storage and the 60 minutes of Skype credits. Are you kidding me? That’s an amazing value for homes with multiple Office users.
4. The complete mobile experience
Without an Office 365 subscription the Office mobile apps are hobbled, especially on tablets. You can get a lot of the standard functionality such as basic editing and viewing of documents. To go beyond that, however, you need a subscription. For example, without an Office 365 subscription you can’t track and review changes in Word or enter Presenter View in PowerPoint.
If you want to give Office 365 a try, Microsoft offers a free trial for one month. As with all free trials you have to be sure to cancel on time if you don’t want to continue using the service to avoid a yearly charge. Nevertheless, it’s a great way to get a sense of whether Office 365 is for you.