If Sandra Bullock is known for being Miss Congeniality, Microsoft Word should be dubbed Mr Versatility.
It is such a popular application yet its full potential is rarely explored by users. It really is a workhorse filled with wonders. Just think about what it can help the modern VA, PA and EA with.
Word allows you to create a complete range of letters, formal and informal, in any style or format with ease.
When linked with Mail Merge, Word helps you get letters out to multiple recipients in a timely and time-saving way. Such a powerful combination for the busy assistant.
In business, writing, editing and polishing reports are among the most common tasks people may have to do. Whether it’s for a one-pager or dozens of pages, this is the Microsoft application everybody turns to.
Checklists are very popular, as they can help with efficiency, being organised and ensuring everything gets completed. The versatility of Word makes it simple to create lists and tick that task off your ‘to do’.
You may be asked to take a document and create a summary of the key points. Word is perfect for this job. You can highlight text, pull out great lines and set it out in a logical order.
Instead of working on one document, you may prefer to have two Word documents open, side by side. One has the original content for reference, the other is blank, ready for you to create the summary. Work whichever way is best for you.
Weekly bulletins, monthly news and regular updates can be shared via a newsletter. You might be asked to put together one for the organisation you work for, or you could create one for your own business. It helps keep you connected with your audience.
7. Fillable Forms
Judging by the comments and questions I see in various online communities, this is one of the tasks that professional assistants get asked to do the most.
In fact, there were so many people wanting to know how to create fillable forms in Word that I made it a priority to design an online training course for them.
8. Flyers and Posters
When traditional direct mail was all the fashion, creating flyers and posters would have been a very popular use of Word’s design versatility. And they still have value today. Leaflets are still widely used so it pays to know how to put them together.
9. Brochures and Catalogues
So much of marketing today is digital but that’s by the by. Whether you’re putting together a physical publication or an online one, the approach is the same. Showcasing products and services in their best light remains an important task in business.
10. eBooks, eGuides and Lead Magnets
The rise of digital marketing has led to a growth in demand and deployment of digital publications and products. For some assistants, this has become a niche market where they can show off their specialist expertise at putting things together.
Know how to do this well and there’s a potential goldmine out there. Digital is NOT going away and demand is only going to be on the rise. If your creative versatility is a little bit rusty, you may find my Creating E-books and Lead Magnets online course just the ticket.
11. White Papers
There appears to be a resurgence in the popularity of white papers. It may be to do with the perceived value of thought leaders. Organisations and bosses are keen to promote their brand, tell the world what they stand for and share their ideas.
Similar in a way to a white paper, a manifesto is another form of branding or statement for an organisation. It captures the essence of a company – which may include its vision, mission and values – and can form the foundation for subsequent marketing and sales.
As with reports, Word is very much at home as a tool for creating articles. With its agile versatility, you can create template styles for different documents, use building blocks for frequently used elements and deliver a piece to suit any size or situation.
14. Blogs and Posts
Social Media is part of the marketing activity for most businesses. Write, batch and collate in Word, then drop into the scheduling tool of your choice. Simple!
15. Emails and Email Sequences
If you’re only writing one email, you might just use Outlook. If you have a series to put together, such as for onboarding a new client or a nurture sequence for a marketing campaign, you can type each message into a single Word document. When required, copy and paste each one into your mailing system.
16. Web Pages
Marketing typically involves having a website and running campaigns. The words for all that digital stuff usually get typed in Word and then transferred to the tech side.
17. Academic Papers
Word has neat features for creating and publishing long, complex and research-based papers. These include style and formatting, table of contents, bookmarks, references and footnotes.
Have you noticed how so many books, guides and articles today include quotations, to support the chapter or topic? Having a Word document to store a list of great, inspiring and thought-provoking quotes saves search time when ready to write.
19. Applications and CVs
The versatility of Word allows it to serve all parties. Use it to create an application form, whether a paper version or online interactive. Use it to put together an impressive CV for prospective employers.
20. Notes and Memos
Jotting down notes on sticky notes or bits of paper is a messy way of doing things. Word can act as your online notepad and keep ideas or threads together, for ease of organisation and search.
For iterative work, you can create different versions of the same document. Simply label them V1.0, V1.1, V1.2, etc, or V1, V2, V3 if you prefer. Everyone can see how the document has evolved.
22. Brand Building
If you work for an organisation it will probably have a brand look and feel. If you have a range of clients, they’re going to want things done in their own house style. Word lets you create different style sets, insert logos and signature lines with ease.
People usually think first of PowerPoint when it comes to presentations. But many do not know that there’s a lovely trick for creating the text in Word and converting that into presentation slides in PowerPoint.
24. Proposals and Invoices
The ying and yang of business finance is covered in one application. Create branded proposals and produce smartly designed invoices for that professional touch.
25. Tables, Charts and Diagrams
Word’s versatility is demonstrated by its ability to handle a wide range of visuals. Incorporate classic or trendy tables, charts and diagrams to support the document data and text. It helps the reader to view, understand and analyse the information.
26. Mind Maps
Ideal for planning, brainstorming, organising and sharing, dazzling Mind Maps can be created in just a few clicks.
And let’s not forget, Microsoft Word is a powerful editing tool. Creating, revising and publishing documents made simple.
And there you have 27 wonders of Word. The list is not exhaustive. I’m sure you can think of other things it can do. What do you use it for most?