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Office software & email reccommendations

Suggestions for Office & email resources for a small, one man, part time practice

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I have been using the copy of Office 2016 and a dedicated email address to deal with the email, Word docs & spreadsheets, but have just upgraded to a new laptop with a smaller SSD drive for speed, so a little lacking in storage space (ignoring the multiple external drives I have for backup. 

I have been looking at Office 365 and wondering about getting a monthly Business account as that would seem to get much more in the way of secure hosting, meaning that I can work from anywhere and (I believe) securely share files with clients, which would help with storage generally. It also gives email hosting with a lot more 'room to breathe', and access generally from 5 devices, so laptops, smartphone and tablet which should cover all eventualities.

I could justify the annual cost even for the few clients I currently have but it does seem a bit of overkill with all the sharepoint and team doohickeys I'll have no call for, so am wondering what others in a similar boat do about this?


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04th Sep 2018 12:38

Whilst I know that you are a 'one man' band (we're not much bigger being three of us!) and Office 365 works well for us. All our client files are on the SharePoint, so we're all accessing and working on the same data. We can access it anywhere we want, handy for me as I can work when abroad as well, and my work is there when I return to my office.
I understand that the Microsoft servers are secure, plus we have no worries about backing up data.

Recently we've been upgrading our computers with SSDs, wiping off all our old legacy software and reinstalling Windows 10 on to clean reformatted hard drives, and one great plus is that our data is just sitting there in the cloud so all we've done is reinstalled some of our software. It's saved us loads of time where we would have previously had to back up and then copy data back etc etc.

And the monthly subscription for Office 365 is excellent value, in my opinion.

Thanks (2)
to John Savage
04th Sep 2018 14:35

This was my thinking on it. Business looks to be secure and means I can get at stuff from anywhere (internet willing).

Google Biz mentioned by Paul Scholes below also looks interesting. More research to be done I think

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04th Sep 2018 13:02

I too am a one man band and use Google for biz for email and all docs - spreadsheets - forms etc which can all be shared with and worked on by clients via google drive. £3-£4 a month

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05th Sep 2018 22:27

Right then, that's Office 2016 sorted after some remote support from MS, a bit scary with all the "This is MS support..." spam/phishing calls there are about but I had initiated it myself through a secure link. In which case Office 365 Business essentials for the secure mail & sharepoint alone look like a good idea.

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06th Sep 2018 11:29

I am in a similar position and use Office365, I have yet to find anyone who needs to share a file (for which you also need to use One Drive, i.e. you save to One Drive and then share). I mostly will share a file be emailing a copy. I do not use any of the advanced features either. However I do find it useful to make sure I am getting the latest version of office and the support. The subscription allows use on other PC's in the office. I pay annually for the Home version. I think it is worth it. Roy Price

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to Roy Price
06th Sep 2018 13:01

I find file collaboration is great for things like accounting or tax return queries, ie I post a Google doc (equiv to Word) on the G drive and invite the client to share, they can edit or leave comments and I get notified when they do.

Similarly, with clients keeping accounts on spreadsheet (a dying breed) sharing a single spreadsheet where both of you can access and edit/comment is so much more efficient/safer than tennis matching excel files.

You also get Google forms (questionnaires) which I've used for client surveys and info gathering and slides (equiv to Powerpoint) that I've used to create help guides for software and other stuff.

All online, no desktop software and all for £3.30 pm

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to Paul Scholes
07th Sep 2018 13:56

It's really coming down to this or Office Essentials for Business that look to be very similar in price and flexibility

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