Microsoft, AI, And Your Best Self

A supplement to an article of the same name published in the May/June edition of OfficePro magazine, written by Vonetta Watson MA Ed., CPC, MCT

When famous cartoonist Carl “The Duckman” Barks coined the quote, “Work smarter, not harder,” in the 1930s, he may not have realized how it would apply to AI in our lives today. As a developed mindset for daily workflows, our constant drive to manage ourselves, along with others, all while developing healthy work habits, prioritizing, sustaining positive attitudes, accepting change, and creating focus time for ourselves, can seem far from this concept. All in the name of productivity, we triage the heck out of our Outlook with FlagsCategoriesRulesFolders, and Task to review it all again the next day, week, or month; yes, I am guilty, too. So, the question can stand, “how productive are we?” In the background or our work life are micro-tasks that drive productivity to larger unified projects and tasks. What may not be evident for Microsoft 365 end-users is that there is a slow feed to intelligence apps such as My Analytics (Insights).

Productivity Check

Do you ever have days where you know you worked all day but cannot quite pinpoint how productive you actually were? No, just me? I have to raise my hand on this one; please don’t judge me (smile)! So, although I worked all day, the question at the end of the day is how productive I. We have said it to ourselves and our cohorts, “I got a lot done today,” “I was productive,” or “I feel accomplished.” You may have even adopted David Allen’s productivity methodology of Getting Things Done, but how do you measure your productivity without writing down various timeslots of your task. Microsoft MyAnalytics was created for precisely this purpose. 

Fig. 1: MyAnalytics Dashboard-Network
Fig. 2: Insights

With AI’s help, the MyAnalytics Insights dashboard shows you how time was spent, productivity insights about work patterns, how to improve them, and how well you collaborate with others. Aligned with Outlook as an add-in, Insights provides activity cards for suggested tasks, focus time, work well-being, and follow-up requests. I like to think of MyAnalytics as a personal assistant and KPI Bot.

How does it work exactly? MyAnalytics, monthly takes qualitative and quantitative diagnostics of your daily workflows, emails, meetings, team interaction, and work-life balance, thus clarifying how to avoid burnout. 

Check it off

Fig. 3: Cortana Daily Briefing Email

Stay committed and follow up with little effort. The truth is with a full plate, we can run the risk of tasks slipping through the cracks. MyAnalytics is intuitive and adaptive with smart integration with Outlook calendar, To-Do (Outlook Task), Cortana, and Planner. Cortana’s Daily Briefing emails can be modified and sent at a time of your choosing. Cortana’s briefing helps manage outstanding commitments, daily meetings with possible related documents, follow up on tasks, book your daily focus time, plan your workweek with activity cards to mark Done, Not Related, or add to To-Do. Yay!  


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OfficePro Magazine is an award-winning publication from IAAP. Each issue is filled with useful content, special offers, and association information.


About the author: Vonetta Watson MA Ed., MCT, CPC, an Instructional Technology and Software Education Specialist, is the CEO and Founder of TechGem Educational Technologies. With over 20 years of technology experience, she is a SME, trainer, instructor, mentor, speaker, author, coach, consultant, and software migration and implementation specialist. Vonetta is an enthusiastic, dedicated, and committed educator with an innate ability to understand and motivate learners using unique combinations of educational technology. Learn more at www.techgemtech.com

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