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Disclaimer: I was invited on an all expenses paid trip to Seattle to visit Microsoft. I was given a Windows 8 computer and a year of Office 365 Home Premium to try and so I could learn more about the product. All opinions and final exams are my own.

This past week was finals week; AKA the worst, most stressful week…and it happens more than once a year.


Here’s why.

Skydrive. DUH.

For my history class, I was able to write up my study guides in Word, save them to my Skydrive folder, and view them on my phone for a quick review before my test.

After I wrote up my study guide in Word, I transferred it to my “History Notebook” in OneNote which kept all of my notes organized. I will now have them forever, all together, and I don’t have to keep around clunky binders by my desk.

(Isn’t it pretty!?)

The new Word has this great feature I used when looking at my study guide. Have you ever had the feeling that there was too much going on with the text of your document? Well, I did. I could focus on one chapter at a time by closing it under the header.

(Where did chapter 31 go? Simple. It’s hiding.)

After you’re done writing and just want to read your wonderful piece of work, you can view it in read mode which doesn’t have any distracting editing panels at that top.  Another thing I found helpful when I was studying (over a period of days because I’m a hard worker) is Resume Mode. A little flag on the scroll bar puts you one click away from where you were last reading.

Now, these next features I didn’t have any use for when I was studying, but I didn’t think they could go unmentioned. The new Office 365 is a little bit of a mind reader. In Excel, you can use Flash Fill to detect what it thinks you will do, based on your filling pattern. Another great predictor is in Outlook. Have you ever sent an email, said you would attach something and then forgot? I have…quite a bit. Outlook will remind you to attach a file if you haven’t already and said you would. With all of the things I have to remember, it’s easy to forget something so little, yet important.

Speaking of school, I’ll probably have to do another Powerpoint presentation at some point. With the new Presenter Mode, I can view my notes and a running timer that only I can see on my screen. Good bye note cards and stopwatches!

I’m really looking forward to using my new Windows 8 computer with Office 365 Home Premium during school. With the touch screen, I can handwrite notes during class in OneNote, and save them all to my Skydrive. Then I can type them up later if I need to since I write faster and more efficiently than when I type. Perhaps this will be my most organized semester yet!

Are you a student or know someone going away to school soon? With a “.edu” email address, Office 365 University is available for only $79.99 and includes a 4 year subscription. If you want Home Premium, it is an annual price of $99.99 and you can install it on up to 5 computers. You also get 20 free GB of SkyDrive space and it comes with the latest Outlook, Word, Excel, Access, Powerpoint, OneNote, and Publisher.en-INTL_L_Office_2013_365_University_3D_R4T-00009_mnco





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