Not heard of Office365 yet? I am sure you will in the coming months as it is Microsoft’s ‘next big thing’ which is currently in Beta and about to be launched soon.
So what is Office365 and why do I think it’s the perfect service for any freelancer? Here are 6 (and a half) reasons to get you thinking:
Hopefully you won’t be on a POP3 email account – if you are then you should definitely listen up as this is not a great way to manage your email. Even if you are proud to have made the transition to IMAP and you are happy that you can sync your emails between your phone and laptop then you should know that there is an even better way and it’s called Exchange Online.
This allows you to sync your email, calendar and contacts between your computer and any combination of devices. Not only that but everything is backed up online, so you never need worry about losing your calendar items or contacts if you lose your mobile. Having email, calendar and contacts combined in this way is hugely time saving and you never need do a manual phone sync or backup ever again.
One of the most appealing features of Office365 for a freelancer starting out and on a tight budget is that it includes a basic website. Just purchase a domain name and off you go. No need to buy hosting space or pay a designer to do the simplest of holding pages or basic site. It’s so easy, you can do it all yourself in no time.
You might be working for yourself but you will still need to share documents with others – say with a client. Instead of emailing it to them and getting muddled with different versions or having to move something to your Dropbox account and setting up a shared folder, your files can stay where they are and you can decide what you share with who.
It’s also great for working on the go as you can access your documents from anywhere and you can even sync them to your phone.
Spreading out the cost is important when you are a freelancer, as is having access to great technology without having to pay a premium for being a ‘one man band’. Office365 is available at just £4 per month (For Professionals and Small Business Plan P1). So, for the price of a couple of coffees a month, you can have access to the same reliable technology used by global corporations.
Microsoft is so confident about the reliability, availability and performance of this service that they are offering a financially backed 99.9% uptime guarantee.
Office365 is available for both Mac and PC and syncs to all smartphones.
6.5 This is probably only half a reason but I think it’s a great one – you get all this with just the one login!
When you are running a business on your own it’s really important to use the best affordable technology to save time and money but, most of all, to come across as professional. Office365 is a great new service which perfectly meets the needs of even the smallest business and that surely is worth checking out.
This guest post was by Francesca Geens who runs an IT consultancy called Digital Dragonfly, which just works with solo-entrepreneurs, freelancers, consultants and all sorts of one-person businesses. She is especially interested in productivity and the use of technology to improve people’s day-to-day business lives. Find out more about how Digital Dragonfly can help you at www.digitaldragonfly.co.uk or say hi on twitter @f_dragonfly