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Three Personal Knowledge Management Tips for MS 365 Subscribers

If you subscribe to the Business Standard or Premium versions of Microsoft 365 there are many features that can be useful to your law firm. Other Microsoft products, like Bing and Edge, are supercharged when you are logged in with your business subscription. Here are three ways you can get see a daily dashboard of your activities, search across email, files, and more at once, and search your own document repository to easily drop text or images into a current document.

Reuse Files in MS Word

Insert text from a Word documentIn the MS 365 version of Word, you may have noticed a new button on the Ribbon called “Reuse Files”. Reuse Files has been in the Ribbon for PowerPoint for a while, and it is very handy for inserting slides from other decks without having to open each one and copy/paste. The Reuse files button in MS Word has similar features. Clicking on the button will pull up recent files, including MS Word files, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint decks. Scroll down and you will also see that it reveals notes from MS OneNote and recent web searches from Bing. You can also look for media with Creative Commons rights, and data types.

Insert Text in file in Word with Reuse Files

If you want to reuse text from a document you have created you can choose “Files” from the “More” drop down menu. You can browse for files from your machine (which includes files from OneDrive or SharePoint if you are synchronizing them between your local drive and the cloud storage). Browsing for files will open the file and you can copy and paste text. The real magic is using Search. You can type keywords into the Search bar in the Reuse Files column and the files will appear. Go to the file you want to reuse text from, click on the ellipses, and choose “Reuse Content”.  You can scroll through the document and when you find a paragraph you want to insert into the current document, mouse over it and click on the Plus symbol. The text will be inserted without having to open the document and copy/paste.

Reuse Files has a lot of potential, but it could be better. Search does not take you to the keywords in context for the resulting documents, and the inserted text inherits formatting from the parent document so you’ll have to reapply Styles/formatting to match the current document. However, it is a handy feature to help save a few steps when you are reusing text, inserting images or charts from Excel, adding web links, and more. Reuse Files is also in the Ribbon for MS Outlook and PowerPoint under the Insert tab.

Use MS Bing to Search Across MS 365

MS Bing local file search

Click to Expand

If you find that the search built into MS Windows 10 is not particularly robust or it is cumbersome, try using Bing to search across your files, emails, SharePoint sites (including Teams) and more. You will need to use the MS Edge browser and log into your business account. Then go to (go ahead and bookmark this or add it to your Live Tiles in the Start Menu). The search defaults to “All” results, but the results seem to focus on documents. It is easy, however, to narrow your search to email (Messages, which includes Teams chat and emails), Sites (SharePoint sites and Teams), Groups (automatically created when you create a Team workspace), People (internal to your MS 365 account), Yammer, and of course Files. Files include files stored in MS OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, and more.

Search results look much like results from a web search. There is a title, link, author, date and abstract. You cannot sort results by date or other parameters. However, you can use search parameters and advanced search options to get better results.

MS Edge Dashboard

If you are a MS 365 business subscriber and if you use MS Edge and IF you are logged into Edge with your business login you can open your browser to a dashboard that shows you your recently opened or edited files, SharePoint sites, Quick Access to recent files and upcoming events from your Outlook calendar. If you set your default search engine to MS Bing in the browser, you can also access the MS 365 internal search from the search bar at the top.

You can also follow news that is important to you by personalizing “My Feed” to see specific news types, like business, local news, finance, etc. Choose “Personalize” in the toolbar and then click through the tabs at the top under My Feed, My Interests, My Saves, Experience Settings, and Notifications to customize your news feed. You can save articles for later reading and find them under “Saved Stories”.

You can use this dashboard instead of going to to access all the MS 365 apps, your recent documents and projects, upcoming events, important news PLUS search.


There is always more to learn with MS 365 and MS tools. The more you immerse yourself in the MS world the more the products “talk” to one another, giving you access to your content across the ecosystem and your network. While many of these tools have a long way to go, they are already useful.