Office Live Workspace on it’s own is a very useful tool. For instance, the 5GB of free storage space can be used as a backup for important files. The browser preview of Office documents allows full fidelity viewing of those files from any internet connected computer, even if Microsoft Office is not installed. Personally, I find this very useful for viewing content whilst travelling for business or pleasure. It really reduces the need to carry a laptop everywhere.

image However, Office Live Workspace really comes alive when the add-in for Office is installed. This small download facilitates the opening, editing and saving of documents from Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It works with Office 2007, 2003 and XP, meaning you can open files directly from Office Live and then save them back to Office Live. This effectively allows you to use Office Live Workspace as an extra 5GB of disk space that is accessible from anywhere, with the ability to invite others in to view and comment on files.

Here are a few of the more common scenarios we hear about :

  • Planning a wedding – create all the required files on your PC, save them to a Workspace, then collaborate with others involved in the wedding organisation.
  • Organising a holiday for multiple families – groups of friends often get together and rent a big villa between them for a summer break. Rather than spending hours on the phone and emailing files around, store them centrally in a Workspace and keep them updated centrally.
  • Storing documents from a club, society or school group – avoid the need to email around lots of attachments by uploading them into a Workspace and sending out a pointer after each meeting.
  • Working with an supplier external to a small business – set up a WorkSpace to store contracts, invoices, parts lists, minutes of meetings, and so on. Reduce email traffic and keep an audit trail.
  • Charitable organisations – use a Workspace to store minutes of meetings, lists of donors, plan future events, store materials used to promote the charity.

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