With the update for the Office.com portal currently being rolled out, users will be offered new options on the home page. The roadmap ID is 85662, but there is only sparse information about the new features in the public roadmap. With the latest update, we get a bunch of new features to efficiently work with our content directly within the Office Portal. In this blog post, I will talk you through all the new features and provide you with some screenshots of the new experience!
What´s coming to the Office Portal?
The new Office Portal experience is still rolling out to GA Tenants, and it might take some days until you see these features. Microsoft aims to finish the rollout by the end of February.
The update includes a bunch of new features without changing the overall look of the office.com page. The updates include an enhanced “Recommended” section, a new “Quick access” bar, an improved “Create” feature, and an updated list on the left menu called “My Content”. If you are interested, you can find more information in the screenshots below, showing the roadmap item in the Microsoft 365 admin center.
Improved “Recommended” Section
The improved “Recommended” section offers you more capabilities to quickly achieve certain goals. After the update, you will be able to join upcoming Teams meetings directly from this section or create new To Do tasks on the fly. Even specific comments in office documents will be displayed here, and you can take action directly from here.
The all new “Quick access” Bar
Within the new “Quick access” bar, there is pretty much just one new feature, but it´s pretty powerful. Using the new content filter feature, you can create your own filtered views on the content you have access to, whether you need to filter for specific people, content types, or locations. Setting the filters up is super simple, and it can provide you with a better overview of your and even shared files.
The only downside, from my perspective, is you cannot delete the standard content filters. I would like only to have the filter options showing up. I personally decide to be there, but this might be different for your work!
The improved “Create” Feature
We are getting a more capable feature to create content, files, and more directly in the Office.com experience with this new feature. Event tools like Forms, Sway, and OneNote are included here.
For some reason, I couldn´t find any option to create a new Microsoft List from this point, even though I could use template filters for lists, planners, trackers. Hopefully, this capability will be added shortly.
The new “My Content” List
The “My Content” list offers you yet another option to search for content within Microsoft 365 using some of the same filters as your “Quick access” bar, but also some additional ones like the general “People” filter or even “Meetings”. You cannot really customize anything at this stage, but some really helpful filter options even go down to activities like @-mentions, tasks assigned to you, and more.
Updates to the Triple Dot Menu
One of my personal highlights is the update to the triple dot menu. It´s now offering some interesting new features which may save you some time in your day-to-day work. The menu will now offer you a more convenient share option using email, links, or Microsoft Teams with the new office portal. This brings a more integrated sharing experience than the old UI and the standard sharing option using much more copy and paste. There is also a new shortcut adding a file to the favorites list or even hiding it from the “Quick access” bar.
The two most capable options in this menu will be the “Add to” option and the “Convert to PDF” feature. Using the “Add to” feature, you can add the selected files directly to the calendar invite or create a new To Do the task for yourself linked to this file. I quite like this option since many tasks are related to a special file in my case. Using the “Convert to PDF” feature, you can create a pdf from an office document without opening anything and directly send the pdf to your colleague or whoever needs it – again, a lot of time is saved here!
Sven´s Point of View
I think this update moves the office portal to a more active role in everyone’s day-to-day work. Looking back a couple of months, the office portal was more like a place you would go whenever one of your applications don´t work, and you need the web app to accomplish a task; this might be still true for some users, but there is more and more actual benefit in this portal. I see some really cool workflows here, and including handy features like converting something to a pdf is definitely the right move to provide more value.
If you are keen to learn how you can leverage some of the new capabilities with Microsoft Loop, make sure to read my blog post on this. And in case you are asking yourself now, what the hell Microsoft Loop is, or why we can already use it more or less, make sure to give my Microsoft Loop Introduction a quick read to get up to speed with Microsoft Loop!