By in Technology

I Bit the Bullet and got Office 365

You might wonder why I am showing a picture of my dinner in a post about Office 365, but for some bizarre reason the Microsoft suite reminds me of food. It makes me think of a smorgasbord. I hope they don't get us all hooked and then yank up the price on this, but right now the personal subscription to this relatively new product which allows one person to use Microsoft Word, Excel, OneNote, Access, Powerpoint, etc. on one PC and also on one tablet is affordable. When it cost $9.99/mo I was put off by the price, because aside from OneNote I really don't use the other programs every day, or even every week. But now the $9.99 subscription is a family plan and the personal subscription is almost half of that if you pay a year in advance. Additionally, the account comes with 1T of OneDrive cloud storage. Yes, a whole terabyte, that is one trillion bytes. Yes, you can put 12 zeroes after that 1. That means my OneNote data is for my intents and purposes no longer limited in size, as well as being accessible anywhere. Another benefit of using 365 is they automatically update all of the programs at no additional charge, so that subscribers will always have the newest and presumably best software. I never thought I would say this, but at the moment I am very happy with Microsoft.

I call OneNote my brain. I have been using it for years to store everything from the code on my padlock to the serial number on my sewing machine. This is where I store product keys. I keep photo copies of invoices I have paid and recipes. You name it, it is typed, handwritten, or photographed and stored there. With Windows 8.1 you can even click on an icon on the status line to capture text anywhere on your screen and pop it into the correct section of OneNote. The drawback used to be that it was awkward to synch. Now it is a breeze.

It is not widely advertised that they give a discount for prepaying for this service. I first signed up at $6.99/month and only after I had paid for the first month did I learn that that also "rent" these powerful programs for $69.99/year, so I stopped my autopay and will switch to annual when the month is over.

Does anyone else use this?

Image Credit » My dinner, my photo!

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Ruby3881 wrote on September 19, 2014, 9:54 AM

I hadn't even realized you could get the software on a subscription basis! I use a free office suite, but occasionally I would like to be able to use the Microsoft suite for a specific reason. I may look into subscribing....

Feisty56 wrote on September 19, 2014, 1:29 PM

I had no idea that one could subscribe to Microsoft Suite like this! I couldn't justify the price of Suite when I purchased my computer, but will definitely keep this subscription info in mind. Sharing to social media to shine a light on this!

BarbRad wrote on September 19, 2014, 3:39 PM

You mentioned clicking. I thought it was all touch screen to use Windows 8. I'm helpless without a mouse, since reaching up to the monitor on my desktop gets it grimy and also isn't good for my back.

nbaquero wrote on September 19, 2014, 7:08 PM

JanetJenson I see you have a good reason for using this suscription, but have you compared OneNote to Evernote? I am no expert, but I think those two application do pretty much the same, and Evernote works across platfoms.

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on September 19, 2014, 8:19 PM

That's still out of my price range at the moment. I'm perfectly happy with my old Works, and hope I can keep using it for some time yet. 99% of the time, it's all I need.

JanetJenson wrote on September 20, 2014, 4:56 AM

Thank you, nbaquero I certainly have and there is no comparison in my view. OneNote provides a tight structure which is in line with the way I think. Evernote has a loose structure, and extreme limitations on how much data you can move around in it. Even with their premium account there is a monthly limit and I think a max of 100,000 notes for something which costs almost as much for one single program as my 365 which is a whole suite of tools. EverNote is a neat product, but I see it more as a toy than a productivity tool. On the plus side some people find Evernote easier to use than OneNote.

JanetJenson wrote on September 20, 2014, 5:01 AM

Heck BarbRad Touch Screen or no, the mouse rules in my house, rflol. Hey, you could put an extension on a stylus and navigate with your mouth if you had to. But seriously, 8.1 is made for touch and supports it, but I control mine mostly from a USB keyboard. I got the touch mostly for &golfguy because he can't type.

JanetJenson wrote on September 20, 2014, 5:11 AM

ruby3881 and &fiesty56 For a while I just had Word on one computer and exported the data to a free office suite to use on my other computers and it burned me to have to keep buying the sofware for this minimal use. For me, the subscription is much better.

I think that occasional users could profit immensely by subscribing by the month just for special projects that might come up. For example for the last few years I have had one huge job where I needed Word and Excel for heavy use in March and then hardly at all for the rest of the year. Having to buy an upgrade just for that was really expensive.

JanetJenson wrote on September 20, 2014, 5:16 AM

Oldroadsoncetraveled I didn't have an Old Works, so it was buy it or rent it and rental was much cheaper and gives me Access, which I have always wanted to try.

nbaquero wrote on September 20, 2014, 7:35 AM

JanetJenson thanks for sharing your view on these two products, I see you did your homework which is what every educated consumer should do. I need to learn that from you!

BarbRad wrote on September 20, 2014, 12:58 PM

So what happens to your work during the months you aren't subscribing? Do you convrt the documents to Open Office or such?

Ruby3881 wrote on September 20, 2014, 2:57 PM

Excellent question! What do you do with the data? Do you save as PDF once complete, or convert to another document format like ODT?

JanetJenson wrote on September 21, 2014, 2:00 AM

barbrad and ruby3881 It is not necessary to be a licensed user to read the files, only to create them. Personally, I don't care for PDF if I can find anything else to use. For me, unless they really raise the rates, I will probably just keep the subscription as $5.40/mo is not a lot to pay for tools this powerful which sync across all my devices.

MarshaMusselman wrote on September 30, 2014, 2:58 PM

While I don't have this program, I do use onenote to a degree, but mostly I use Evernote for similar storage purposes. Just keep in mind that any cloud storage facility can crash or get hacked, so don't only keep your stuff stored there, use some other method also to be safe. Also, I wouldn't advise storing passwords there unless you can code them in some way where anyone that may in the future hack it, wouldn't know what they went to.

Is the 365 version only the cloud software, or does it have regular capabilities also? We're using an older program, 2007, I think, but it works find for our needs currently.

JanetJenson wrote on October 3, 2014, 2:06 AM

I have other software to store encrypted passwords, marshamusselman and those that I also keep on OneNote are indeed encoded.