Did You Know That Microsoft 365 Has Free Apps? Here’s How to Use Them, According to 2 Content Creators

how to use microsoft 365 free apps mobile
TikTok/McKenzie Cordell for PureWow

We grew up with Microsoft Word, so we love it as much as the next millennial. (Remember “Clippy” the virtual assistant paperclip?) Now, fast-forward to 2024 and instead of an animated character, the thing we’re most about is that you can access Word right from your phone thanks to Microsoft 365 apps for free.

We partnered with TikTok foodies (and college students) Emmy, aka @sophisticatedspreads, and Mariella, aka @mariellamahal, to showcase how they use the suite of Microsoft 365 apps to power their side hustles. Emmy runs a catering company, Mariella is a chef, and both are content creators who spend their time planning, prepping and testing new recipes. The free apps, which include Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneDrive, help the two creators seamlessly switch from desktop to mobile, allowing them to take their work on-the-go.

Here are four ways the two creators use Microsoft 365 apps for free that will hopefully inspire you to unlock your own creativity and pursue your passions.

1. Use Microsoft Excel for Scheduling, Inventory and To-Dos

“Days like today when I have no orders or events are my housekeeping days, when I like to work on checking our inventory, scheduling our content calendar for the ’Gram, and pulling together our to-dos all via Excel, thanks to the free apps of Microsoft 365,” says Emmy. “It might seem like an easy feat to stay on top of the trends of social media, but with whipped brie being hot one day and baked feta pasta the next, my Microsoft Excel spreadsheet of content ideas is the only thing keeping me relevant and organized.”

2. Use Microsoft Word for Grocery Lists

“When creativity strikes, I like to use Microsoft Word to create grocery lists on my computer to really get down to business. But for a girl who is always on the go, being able to easily switch to the mobile version of Microsoft 365 is essential,” says Emmy. “I wouldn’t be caught dead with an old-fashioned paper grocery list, so my phone comes with me wherever I go. If I’m searching through the cheese aisle at the store or chopping the ingredients in the kitchen, Microsoft 365 lets me do this efficiently in one place.”

3. Use OneDrive to Save Photos and Videos

With the OneDrive mobile app you can save, edit and share your photos, videos and files wherever you go. The best part? Changes you make to your files and folders are updated across devices, and you can even access them offline. In Mariella’s case, she saves handwritten recipes using OneDrive and then easily translates the ingredients into Microsoft Excel. And if something happens to your device, you can rest easy knowing that everything is backed-up via cloud storage so you won’t lose your files.

4. Use Microsoft Excel for Budgeting

Saving money is a big focus for Mariella, so creating a budget is critical. She says that Microsoft Excel has always been her “go-to system for budgeting—not only because they have free versions of the apps but also because I can access them anytime, anywhere, even on my phone. And once I’m home, I’ll follow my own recipe and calculate exactly how much I spent on each ingredient based on how much of it I used.”

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