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Alex's 30-Day "Office Online" Challenge

Posted by Alex Henry | Mar 12, 2020 8:45:00 AM

I'm slimming down the number of apps running on my computer

This week, I am challenging (or punishing) myself to only use Microsoft Office Online apps this fall.  Half of me is wondering if I’ll even make it two weeks before I crack and go back to Desktop Teams and Word, while the other half of me is wondering why I even have them downloaded in the first place. 


Browser applications aren’t always as feature rich as their desktop equivalents. Applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint will have more features packed into their desktop apps than the web version, typically because the Desktop application came before the Web app.

As a learning exercise, I’ll volunteering to be your guinea pig and find out where the Office Online apps shine, and where they fall short. 

  • Starting 2019-SEP-15 through 2019-OCT-15, I will only use Office Online apps modern internet browsers (Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari)Sorry in advance, but I will not be using any version of Internet Explorer for this challenge
  • I must try all the Office apps that have a desktop equivalent at least once, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Teams, Outlook, To Do, Sway and OneDrive for Business
  • I will provide a short review on how each web app, noting it's strengths, weaknesses and close by giving you my thoughts on who these web apps are really for.

For the sake of simplicity, special use-case applications like PowerBI, PowerApps, Visio Online and Project Online won’t be included in this challenge. However, my rubber arm could be twisted into reviewing them in the future, if there’s enough demand.


If you're familiar with using other popular web apps (i.e.: Dropbox, box.com, Slack, Trello, Jira, Asana, Wrike and Evernote) then you'll find something in Office Online that is for you

If you're using a computer that you cannot install applications onto (such as a Chromebook), you have Office Online to fall back on.

If you're coming from Google's G-Suite or free apps (Gmail, Google Drive, etc), you'll already feel right at home accessing all of your files and communication from your favorite internet browser.



Now that I've hidden all of my Office desktop applications and disabled their notifications, I'm ready for this browser-first challenge.  Let's see what we can learn!

Topics: Modern Workplace, Remote Work

Written by Alex Henry

Alex is a passionate champion of the Modern Workplace philosophy and continuous learning. Learning new technology for collaboration and communication is a hobby. Helping friends, family, clients, and colleagues find smarter ways to use this modern technology to solve old problems is a passion. In the parting words of Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes: "It's a magical world.... let's go exploring!"


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