4 simple tips to being more productive in 2020 with AI and Cortana in Microsoft 365

Time is our most valuable resource and with the rapid pace of work and ever expanding amount of information we need to process, it’s often hard to find time to manage our work.  AI and Cortana in Microsoft 365 puts you at the center so you can do your best work with intelligent, natural, and personalized productivity experiences.  Here are four tips to being more productive in 2020 with AI in Microsoft 365.

  1. Make time for focus
  2. Put your personal assistant to work
  3. Get a head start on your day
  4. Stay informed

Make time to focus

Create a focus plan in MyAnalytics and rule your day.

Productivity preferences are different for everyone, but experts on deep work report that setting aside regular blocks of time to focus on challenging work can have massive benefits. With a focus plan, MyAnalytics will help you establish a daily focus time routine. The focus plan will offer you the flexibility to have daily focus time booked automatically based on your availability, or surface suggestions to book focus time manually as you work in Outlook. The automatic booking algorithm will prioritize booking morning hours, if they are open, so you can be at your peak capacity for tackling challenging analytics tasks.

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The focus plan in MyAnalytics helps you set aside regular focus time for your top-priority work. This plan helps you schedule one to two hours every day to focus, with an option to book that time automatically. During the booked focus time, it silences chats in Teams and in Skype for Business.

Learn more about focus plans in MyAnalytics at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/workplace-analytics/myanalytics/use/focus-plan.

Put your personal assistant to work

Get control of your calendar with Scheduler.

Often the hardest part of meetings is scheduling them, whether finding the right time or the right location.  Let Cortana help manage the logistics so you can focus on the purpose.  Simply let Cortana know your meeting needs in the body of the email. You can tell Cortana the duration, timing, or location, or simply say “Find a time for us.” Since Cortana understands natural language, there are no special commands to use.

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With the speed of artificial intelligence and the personal touch of a human assistant, it’s the best of both worlds. Cortana communicates with your contacts by email to provide a natural, almost human, scheduling experience.

Learn more at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/scheduler?rtc=1 and sign-up for the exclusive preview.

Get a head start on your day

Get productivity tips from where you’re already working.

Information moves quickly and it’s not always easy staying on top of tasks and commitments.  Have you ever missed an important email or forget a commitment you made to your co-workers? Do meetings and emails tend to take over your calendar? Do you ever wish to see reminders for 1:1 meetings with your manager, direct reports, or other top collaborators? Would you like to be notified if an upcoming meeting doesn’t have a quorum?

Let the Outlook Insights add-in help you stay on top of your e-mail, tasks, and more.  The Outlook add-in provides actionable insights to help you stay on top of your tasks and get more done. This add-in is an extension of your Outlook experience and works within Outlook to help you gain focus time, maintain your work relationships, and improve your overall work-life balance.


MyAnalytics can also help you follow up on requests you asked of others in email. MyAnalytics will automatically find tasks you requested of others based on your sent mails. For example:

  • “Can you send me this year’s latest report?”
  • “Everyone, please complete your performance evaluations by the end of the week.”
  • “Cancel my RSVP for Carrin Patman’s lunch scheduled early next week.”

Learn more about the Insights Outlook add-in at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/workplace-analytics/myanalytics/use/add-in.

Stay informed

Let Microsoft Search help you find what’s important and trending around you.

Let’s face it, we’re inundated with more information than ever.  Microsoft Search helps you discover what’s trending around you so you can keep informed and get back to what you were working on easily.  Whether you’re looking for a file in SharePoint or a conversation in Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Search is there to help.

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Learn more about Microsoft Search at https://aka.ms/MicrosoftSearch.

Learn more about AI and Cortana in Microsoft 365 and get more productivity tips at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2019/11/04/ai-cortana-microsoft-365-people-at-the-center/.

A Fibonacci guide to the 2019 SharePoint Conference

With 200+ sessions across all things Microsoft 365 at 2019 SharePoint Conference there’s no doubt you won’t be able to make them all in the 3 core days of the conference. Whether you plan to be there in person or watch the keynote live here’s a Fibonacci guide of key Microsoft 365 sessions organized by topic of interest.

SharePoint Portal Server 2001 Sessions (0)

Session Title Session Code

SharePoint Conference Keynote (1)

Session Title Session Code
Content collaboration in the modern workplace KEYNOTE

Kaizala Sessions (1)

Session Title Session Code
What’s new and what’s next: Microsoft Kaizala BRK171

Employee Engagement Sessions (2)

Session Title Session Code
Building employee engagement with Microsoft 365 – 5 Strategies for a collaborative corporate culture BRK016
Drive employee engagement with Yammer, SharePoint & Stream BRK017

Live Events Sessions (3)

Session Title Session Code
Hosting and Managing Live Events in Yammer BRK164
Reach large audiences with immersive video and interactive discussion using Microsoft 365 live events BRK154
Transform how your organization uses video with Microsoft Stream live events, mobile and integrations across Office 365 BRK103

Microsoft Graph Sessions (5)

Session Title Session Code
Consuming the Microsoft Graph and 3rd party APIs with SPFx BRK025
Integrate OneDrive and SharePoint files, collaboration and sharing using Microsoft Graph BRK053
Microsoft Graph Data Connect: A Case Study PART006
Microsoft Graph with Microsoft Teams BRK068
Use Microsoft Graph to integrate data and services to your business applications BRK130

Corenote Sessions (8)

Session Title Session Code
What’s new and what’s next: Content services (ECM) BRK111
What’s new and what’s next: Microsoft OneDrive BRK112
What’s new and what’s next: Microsoft Search BRK113
What’s new and what’s next: SharePoint administration BRK114
What’s new and what’s next: SharePoint development for enterprises BRK115
What’s new and what’s next: SharePoint team sites and integration with Teams BRK011
What’s new and what’s next: Transforming processes with SharePoint, PowerApps & Flow BRK077
What’s new and what’s next: Yammer BRK116