“Techorating” tips to simplify your life with Office 365

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Today’s guest contributor, Janna Robinson, is the host of DIY Network’s Hollywood Hi-Tech and a renowned expert on lifestyle technology. Janna’s mission is to educate and empower people about technology by making it approachable, fashionable and fun.

Office 365 One Office Five DevicesI love all things high-tech and I appreciate a beautifully designed home, so it makes me feel good when I combine both. Enter the concept of “techorating,” the seamless blend of devices, services and style that will help you transform your everyday spaces and places into functional miracles.

We’re all busy and expect things NOW. Thanks to services like Spotify and Netflix, we can access our entertainment anywhere, so shouldn’t the same be true for the information we use every day? To help, Microsoft Office is now available as a software service–Office 365 Home Premium–so everything from your documents and family calendars to shopping lists roam with you whether you are on a PC, phone or tablet.

Streamline your life

 It’s a fact we don’t always manage our time wisely, but we don’t have to make big changes to make an impact. Any little tip or trick that I can share with folks to help them save time, be better organized and streamline their lives is huge. For example, use OneNote to keep a shopping list up-to-date and accessible on your phone. Microsoft’s new Office 365 provides the right tools to be more productive and efficient by making it easier than ever to manage our projects, stay connected, organize and personalize our lives. 

OneNote groceries










I’m a bicoastal entrepreneur, and I’m often working with people around the globe. As well, I’m getting married in a few months. (Might I suggest OneNote for all your wedding planning needs!) My wedding planning is even trickier because I’m not in the same state or time zone as the event. But through Skype videoconferencing–one of the great features included with an Office 365 Home Premium subscription–I’ve been able to view flower arrangements, table linens, cake choices and many other wedding items from anywhere.

SkyDrive gives me access to all my project content in Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint, and on my smartphone, tablet, desktop and laptop, anytime and from virtually anywhere in one location. And because Office 365 automatically saves things to SkyDrive, I’ll be able to access documents from anywhere.

By using the new Word templates, my documents are more clear, concise and visually appealing. New comments features eliminate a lot of back and forth via emails and phone calls. I rely on Excel for all my home remodel budgets, spreadsheets, timelines, reports and charts. SkyDrive allows me to send a link of my files to people and to set viewing and editing permissions. I love knowing my team can work together seamlessly and is always up-to-date with the latest information.

Word calendar templates










Outlook keeps my to-do lists in check, tracks my calendar, organizes my contacts and syncs my emails. I’m able to easily share my schedule, which eliminates the phrase, “what works best for your schedule?” And through the improved search function, I can quickly find emails, attachments and contacts using keywords.

Here are some examples of getting the most out of technology and saving some precious time.

the kitchen nookThe kitchen nook

Mom can sit at her command post with her tablet and spill-resistant keyboard and catch up on emails. Organizing her family’s busy schedules in the kitchen is easier (and sometimes safer) and she can keep an eye on dinner. A tablet mount on the fridge allows her to follow recipes easily when they are at eye-level, front and center.


Home office trend

The slim design and state-of-the-art feel of the Microsoft Surface tablet makes it perfect for any room in the house. It’s an especially good fit with sit-and-stand desks, which promote better circulation, rev-up metabolism, increase productivity and enhance concentration. Use it also to Skype, share docs with contacts via SkyDrive, and assemble PowerPoint presentations.

A little nudge to get you started

There are tons of online resources that can save you time and money as you tackle your next project. A DIY calculator can help you properly budget your home projects. Home design apps can help you design floor plans, place your furniture and take measurements on the spot.

Online painting tools allow you to download a paint fan deck or upload your own photos so you can visualize and see virtually your paint color candidates on your walls.

Need some inspiration for your next report or presentation? Visit the Office Store for hundreds of newly designed apps that can help you get a head start on any project.

When it comes to techorating, simple, smart and effective is what I go for. Same rules apply for software, which is why I’m so excited about the new Office. A beautiful blend of form and function, Office 365 Home Premium is truly designed for the way we work and live today.


Janna Robinson author photo

In addition to consulting to celebrities and non-celebrities alike on how to bring the latest technologies into their homes, Janna Robinson has appeared as a tech expert and correspondent in the media, including EXTRA, TODAY, Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood, Dress My Nest, LXTV, TIME, Real Simple, Home, InStyle Home and Sound & Vision.

For more information on Office 365 Home Premium, visit the Microsoft News Center.






  1. bigoals365

    OneNote is my organizing hero! I used Evernote for a few months but OneNote does so much more. I just got my Windows 8 installed and the Windows Store has OneNote running on Win8 for free.

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  2. laursaurus

    Thank you Microsoft!
    When the Home Preview edition could no longer connect to on EAS without locking up with a "too many devices are syncing to this account" error with no fix available, it felt as if my life had turned upside down. This began the first week of December. At least 6 threads on this topic accumulated in the Help Forum with hundreds of users posting in despair because this was the only support option available. The moderators copied/pasted the same confusing instructions offering a "back-end fix" only after posting your affected email address in the forum, which did not fix the problem. When 2013 was finally available for purchase I paid for a subscription knowing that they’d have to fix the problem for me as an actual paying customer. That annoying error message popped up again! Then Outlook .com would not connect. That evening, I got a real person on the phone who got it all working beautifully. My life is getting back to normal as I fill in the new calendar. I am delighted with the new Office 2013! The Preview didn’t do it justice for the last 6 weeks.
    There is no substitute for Outlook. Gmail doesn’t quite cut it for me. I am so happy with the final product. Thanks for fixing the problem with The other apps and the cloud-based format are great! I forgive you Microsoft! I was pretty mad at you for the last 2 months. My faith is restored:)

  3. laursaurus

    I got a bit off topic! Sorry!
    I love OneNote. I wish it was as ubiquitous as Evernote, because it is so much better. I hope Microsoft makes friends with Apple and Google. Thanks for having a OneNote app for IOS! And for the iTunes add-in that syncs with iCloud. Since there is no Outlook on the Surface RT, I held off to wait and see how the Surface Pro turns out. It sure would be nice to have it all in one ecosystem.

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