Productivity has an altogether different meaning today than it did ten years ago, let alone five. It doesn’t mean just getting things done anymore — it means being able to get more complex things done in the same amount of time. This is especially true for content creators.
If you’re a blogger, freelance writer, analyst, presenter or online marketer, then creating content in MS Office is your bread and butter. It requires meeting tight deadlines and turning over projects quickly. Productivity-wise, it means your workflow and tools have to keep up.
One problem, though. The plugins that worked before won’t work effectively now. With the complexity of digital tasks increasing, you need a better list.
That’s why we put together a super collection of 12 productivity plugins for taking your work to the next level.
Note: Using any of these plugins requires an account with MS Office and in some cases an account with the plugin’s website, as well. To install add-ins, click on My Add-ins from the Insert menu. A window will appear that will display your options. Double-clicking an add-in will open it. Or you can click on the arrow next to the button and you can pick one of your recently-used add-ins from there.
Plugins For MS Word
Working in Word is all about content creation and document management. The following plugins will get you ahead of the game and working more efficiently.
Can’t find the right template? Curly can help. Once installed, this plugin allows you to create a template out of your own documents so that the templates you create are exactly what you need. The plugin will open a side panel where you can create your template by creating placeholders for your text.
With Dictate your productivity level increases with the app because you don’t even have to be at a keyboard to create your documents. You can dictate your content into MS Word. As you start talking, your text automatically appears on the page. Perfect for working on the go or multitasking when you’re on a tight schedule.
Here’s a must-have: Pixabay Images. If you’ve ever created a blog post, then you know all about adding images in. Pixabay has some awesome photographers and graphic artists uploading their photos under the Creative Commons CC0 license. Simply use the Pixabay Images side panel and insert your image with one click without leaving MS Word.
If you create content that relies on numbers in Excel, this is one plugin you need to check out. DocSync 365 connects Excel data with content in Word, keeping both instances updated. The aim is to help cut down on the time needed to update content across both files.
When you’re referencing material in your content, you don’t have to fuss about it when you can have Sorc’d pull your collected research material for you into your documents. This plugin requires an account to be created with the service, from which you can paste it in your content. It works very much like a citation tool with sticky note capabilities.
Plugins For MS PowerPoint
Despite the extent to which video, images, and social media are being used nowadays, nothing beats a good ol’ PowerPoint slide deck to present your content. These plugins are aimed at making your work with presentations just as easy as it is with social networks.
Scan&Paste for Office 365
This free app lets you use your phone to scan a picture into PowerPoint slides with your phone. It’s as easy as snapping a QR code with your phone and inserting the photo through the Scan&Paste tab as you would any other image. No account is needed for personal accounts, but you can sign up for a Scan&Paste business account if needed. Data is deleted from their servers after 7 days.
Web Video Player
Where would this list be without a plugin like this? The Web Video Player add-in bridges that gap between your PowerPoint slides and YouTube. This plugin lets you paste in a a video URL and play YouTube or Vimeo videos directly in your slides, making it easy to vamp up a pitch deck with live demos, event recordings or branded videos.
Lucidchart Diagrams for PowerPoint
You may already know about Lucidchart diagrams. They offer wireframes, flowcharts and other diagram styles that you can use to map out or illustrate anything. This plugin carries on in that same vein and gives you easy access to all that in one single plugin.
Mentimeter – Audience Interaction Tool
If your presentations are meant to engage your audience, Mentimeter is one plugin to checkout. It lets you insert quizzes and questions which your audience can vote on in real time. They simply go to the developer’s website on their phones and enter a code that will give them access to your presentation question. Here’s a demo from their site which you can test out.
Plugins For MS Excel
It’s a challenge to keep up with creating articles from Excel datasets or checking on tracking sheets without getting tangled in the endless rows of data. The following plugins will help you work faster with spreadsheets.
When you’re creating content, sometimes you just need some stand-in text to create screenshots or test out a formula in Excel. But you can’t expect to come up with rows and rows of dummy text.
That’s why Random Generator makes this list. It lets you populate spreadsheet cells within seconds, which you can then use for whatever purposes you need.
Locating duplicates in a spreadsheet is a nightmare! While you can use Excel’s functionality for it, Duplicate Remover is a user-friendly alternative that may be easier to use if you aren’t too Excel savvy. This plugin will let you customize your search and show you the dupes in your selected rows quickly and easily. This works with Excel online or Excel 2016.
It’s only natural to work with other tools and apps on the side. Well, if you’re using Trello to keep you projects in order, Extracts.io is a plugin that integrates your Trello account into Excel so you can keep track of how far along you are when working in Excel.
Every facet of our daily work is becoming digitized, and our tasks are becoming more and more complicated. Fortunately, calling on the help of a few plugins can easily lighten the load and even improve your workflow altogether.
Try a few of the plugins listed above. You have nothing to lose and all the productivity in the world to gain.