Office 2016 isn't just about new Microsoft Word and PowerPoint layouts. The new productivity suite has a ton of amazing new tricks and features that are designed to make your work (and play) a lot easier.
If you still think of Office as something you tinkered with to write terms papers back on Windows 95, well you're in for a treat. Download the new Office 2016 and you'll get access to tools that automatically separate important and unimportant emails, connect to your social media accounts to help you plan your weekend, and help you plan group trips and activities.
For the business user, there are a ton of new Office features that help you better communicate, collaborate and create. I'll walk you through some of these new features and how you can use them to improve your Office 2016 experience.
Our SPAM folders are amazing. They collect emails from retailers and businesses with whom we don't want to have any contact whatsoever. But what about that uncle you just can't stand? Or that annoying coworker who constantly asks you to go to lunch?
With Clutter for Outlook, your email usage signals whether or not emails should actually enter your inbox. For example: if you never, ever open your uncle's emails, Clutter will automatically send those incoming messages to a folder where they will land alongside your annoying coworker's lunch requests. You can access this folder anytime and move messages back to the normal old inbox.
If you're worried you'll miss something important, don't fret. Clutter sends you a weekly digest that tells you exactly what was hidden. You can then command Clutter to never pull in that type of content again.
2. Skype integration
Microsoft has made cloud document collaboration possible (years and years after Google, but I digress). Now, you and a friend can edit a Microsoft Word document simultaneously without having to save and share the document via email.
Unfortunately, not all of our friends are tech-savvy (or task-oriented), and sometimes you just need to hop onto a call with them to explain things (or gossip). With Office 2016 you can jump onto a Skype call from within Microsoft Word and Outlook.
This means you'll never have to launch a second application to begin your video call. You can simply press a button, select a chat partner and start chatting, er, collaborating.
3. Smart Lookup
You know how you can look up words in Microsoft Office to find out whether you're spelling them correctly? Now you can use a feature called Smart Lookup in Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook to find information on almost anything on the web.
You simply highlight a word or phrase, right-click and select Smart Lookup. A sidebar will open with search results that fit your criteria. Want to learn more about Alaskan Klee Kais? Just type in the phrase, highlight it, right click on Smart Lookup and boom, you'll get tons of information about these cuddly little puppies.
Yes, Apple has a similar feature in El Capitan. No, this isn't revolutionary. But, boy is this a useful tool, especially for people who create tons of content and don't have time to open and close separate apps for every query.
This new/old app allows you to create interactive to-do lists that can be shared with family, friends and co-workers. Want to assign people tasks? Want to monitor everyone's progress? Wunderlist can help you get everything organized and tracked.
Is there a slacker among your group of friends that always forgets to do his/her tasks? Wunderlist sends reminders, allows you to comment on other people's tasks and set due dates, just in case you need to micromanage your pals.
Technically, Wunderlist was created in 2009, but Microsoft acquired the company in June and added it to Office 2016. So those of you who solely rely on Office apps to ensure productivity will be pleased to see this new tool added to your suite.
A similar, though unique, feature exists for enterprise Office users. Planner allows managers to create a dashboard for group tasks. Managers can assign projects, track progress and rearrange responsibilities directly from the dashboard.
Instead of your boss sending a group email telling everyone what their new assignments are, your boss can simply drag and drop a responsibility from your column to your colleague's.
The best part: you don't have to keep your eyes on the dashboard all day. Whenever someone makes a strategic change, group members receive a notification.
6. Sunrise Calendar
Want a calendar app that provides a bit more kick than your standard Outlook application? Microsoft has finally added its side project, Sunrise Calendar, to the Office suite.
With Sunrise, you can connect your calendar to applications like Facebook, Foursquare and TripIt to help you make plans. Every time one of your friends or colleagues enters an event into social media, Sunrise adds it to your calendar. So if you want to stay up to date on this week's concerts and films, just check Sunrise to see if anyone added an event to Facebook or Foursquare.
Sunrise was originally developed as an iPhone app in 2013. But Microsoft acquired the company in February and added the tool to the Office 2016 suite.
7. Tell Me
Simple Office tasks can sometimes be tedious. Hate bolding text? Hate formatting documents? With Tell Me you can simply enter a text command and Office will immediately locate and make the fix for you.
Want to change your font to Times New Roman? Enter "change font to Times New Roman" and click on the corresponding command in the Tell Me search bar.
It's been rumored that voice commands will be recognized by Tell Me, but it's immediately unclear if this feature will be available when Office 2016 goes live.
8. Office Lens
Similar to Adobe Cloud Connect, Office Lens lets you take a camera phone image of a document and then turn that image into an editable Office document.
Let's say you want to file a hotel receipt with your Accounts Payable department, but you don't want them to see that nightcap you accidentally charged to your room. You can take a photo of your receipt, run it through Office Lens, redact the line item you'd like to avoid showing and send the document to your company for processing.
You no longer need to scan items, save them to your PC and then make edits. You can just snap, edit and send.
Most companies create so much data that it's impossible to keep track of it all. Want to find a brilliant presentation one of your colleagues created at some point two years ago? Rather than search through thousands of emails in your inbox, you can access your company's Delve repository.
Available for enterprise Office clients, Delve is a hub for all Office documents and creations. Think of it as Pinterest for work.
You can organize each item based on subject matter, content type and date. You can search the hub to find relevant content that applies to the work you're doing. You can start a board to encourage your coworkers to share content that you might find useful.