You’ve probably used some form of cloud-based storage before, for storing photos, collaborating on projects, or backing up data. OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage system, much improved from the former SkyDrive, with many of the best features from the various cloud storage platforms available.
I personally do all of my schoolwork in OneDrive (and also kept track of all my wedding planning in it). I think it’s a really great app for organization and collaboration. Here are a few of the reasons that I think it is really helpful:
Full Microsoft Office Integration
While any cloud storage platform allows you to organize all your files together in one place, many of them don’t allow for the familiar ease of working in Microsoft Office. With OneDrive, you can work on files stored in the cloud in the full version of Microsoft Word. I particularly like this for heavily formatted documents, like lab reports and powerpoints, which are cumbersome to edit in online document editors, but effortless to an experienced Microsoft Office user. Some features, such as autoplaying video in powerpoints, are only available in Microsoft PowerPoint. With the newest update, multiple users can work on the same document in Microsoft Office at the same time, which is particularly helpful for making professional-looking group presentations and reports.
Office Online Use
OneDrive documents can be created and edited in Microsoft Office Online, which offers almost the full functionality of Microsoft Office for free online. There are some limitations, but overall it has the majority of the features and a similar interface to the offline version. This allows you to quickly edit, share, or download your documents from any device with internet.
OneDrive is available as a website, but also has apps for iOS, Android, and Windows devices. From my OneDrive app, I’ve opened up notes to study in the few minutes before exams or had class slides open on my phone so I didn’t have to bring my laptop to class. Not that I’m recommending this, but I have also submitted homework assignments while walking to class, by emailing them directly from my OneDrive app. If you also install the free Word, PowerPoint, and Excel apps, you can work on your documents directly from your mobile device. Having everything saved in OneDrive also made the transition to a new computer seamless, as all of my documents from earlier in the semester were downloaded on my computer as soon as I logged in.
How to Get It
OneDrive is free to anyone, but UCONN subscribes to Office365, which gives you access to all of the benefits of OneDrive, plus additional storage and installation of Microsoft Office on your computer. You can check it out at office365.uconn.edu. You’ll sign in using your UCONN email address with your NetID password.