August 2018 – Looking for Some New Ideas?

August 2018 – Looking for Some New Ideas?

Dan Bremner, President, Castema Technology Services, Inc.

As the summer draws to a close and as the kids head back to school with new supplies, new books and new teachers, it might be an opportune time to look at some new ways of doing things at work, too. I came across a blog post from Microsoft about some of the new developments they've been working on for their Office 365 subscribers. Check out the link for more details, but here are a few highlights.

Microsoft Planner is a simple task and project management app that allows you to create timelines and assign tasks to members of your teams, and it's now integrated with SharePoint, so you can embed plans in SharePoint and your teams have easy access to it. Planner had earlier gotten integrations with Outlook calendars and Microsoft Teams as a tab and app within Teams. Planner certainly won't take the place of a full-fledged project management tool like MS Project, but if something like that is overkill for your needs, Planner might be just the thing for coordinating the tasks and steps of some of your projects. We're trying it out here at Castema to manage some of our customer deployments, so that we have a good idea of how it works and where it makes sense to recommend it to our clients.

Speaking of Microsoft Teams, I've written about Teams in earlier posts in this space, and that's something that has become an integral part of our daily workflow at Castema. We use its messaging and chat features throughout the day to keep the team informed and in communication with each other, and we also share files and hold meetings through Teams. If you think your office could benefit from a collaboration tool, and you're already an Office 365 subscriber, you should check out Teams, since it's included in many subscription plans.

I'll close with the mention of a brand new app, Microsoft Whiteboard. It's been in preview since December and was recently released to general availability. As you might guess from the name, it's a virtual whiteboard that lets you write, paste, draw, annotate, etc. just as you would on a whiteboard in your office, but you can be sharing and collaborating on the whiteboard with your colleagues from down the hall to halfway around the world. It's available on Windows 10 devices now, with an iOS app coming soon, and a web client in preview.

Hope you had a great summer, and your fall is shaping up to be a successful one! If you want to discuss some new technology or workflow ideas as we head into the coming quarter, feel free to reach out to me.