Highlights from the 20th Digital Workplace Conference

Last month I attended the 20th Digital Workplace Conference (formerly known as Share the Point), two days packed full of SharePoint and Office 365 goodness.

Thanks to Debbie and Mark for inviting me, and congratulations on a successful 20th event. I picked up a bunch of great tips and information which I have already been putting in to practice. Here are some of my highlights.

Creativity is key

The event opened up with a keynote from Jordana Borenszatjn emphasising the importance of creativity in the digital space. Espousing an idea that I wholly agree with, that creativity is not something that only those we call “artists” have, we can all be creative and it is something that can be taught.


Techies can get Uxy

While I have attended many presentations about user experience (UX) over the years, it was refreshing to hear about UX from someone who way more on the technical side of the table. Mark D Anderson is an absolute guru in the SharePoint space so it’s no surprise that the room was over capacity. He emphasised that people in technical roles can, and should be thinking about user experience.

I think my favourite piece of advice from Mark is to get users self-servicing, so you can focus on the special stuff. Why spend every day in the weeds of repetitive requests when you can get the system to do the work and deliver value elsewhere.

OneNote pro tips

I had only really dabbled with OneNote, but it has now become my go-to desktop app. On the strength of some great tips from Debbie and Mark I’ve been using it for meeting notes, brain storming and sketching:

  • Link to meeting notes and share notes from meetings (with Outlook)
  • Send emails to OneNote (with Outlook)
  • Create templates by section for regular notes
  • Email a notes page (including a link)
  • Record meetings with Skype and

One I haven’t checked out yet, but intend to:

  • Onetastic (add in): runs macros like to add breadcrumbs, show calendar items , sorting, tables of contents

Get mobile

Joel Oleson gave a great practical demonstration of some of the mobile offerings available for free from Microsoft. The high level call out is that there are a heap of mobile applications that Microsoft offer that you probably aren’t aware of, over and above the Office suite.

My current favourite is Office Lens. Introduced to me by a colleague a few months ago, this powerful tool is my go-to app for taking snaps of whiteboards, drawings, photographs and documents. It does some voodoo magic on your snap to turn the angled image you took of a whiteboard into a flat, more useable file (in your choice of format). Something I didn’t know, which Joel demonstrated, is that if you take a snap of something with a table or text in it (like a presentation) and save it using Office Lens into Word format, it turns the text and tables into editable text and tables. Very speccy.

It’s worth checking out all of the mobile offerings for the standard Office suite available in your Apple or Android app store, just search for ‘Microsoft’.

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