OK, so why have I partnered with Microsoft Office 365?

 In Apps

You may have noticed that I’ve been talking about OneNote lately. Not just OneNote but the entire Office 365 suite. There have been a few giveaways and some fun updates on what is coming down that pipes at Microsoft. This isn’t a coincidence. There is a purpose behind this. Last summer I signed on as an Office 365 Champion. Yup. That’s right. I’m working with Microsoft Office 365 to bring you a few tools that will make your travel life just a smidgen easier. But why?

Products I believe in

I’ve been using the Office suite for as long as I can remember. My parents had it for our old Mac and then a Gateway PC (remember those?). I typed papers in high school in Word and quickly picked up Excel and Access while working at an insurance company in college to help pay my tuition. The Office suite has been my constant companion throughout every stage of life.

Even now I use Word to write my posts for the blog and freelance articles. I plan trips in OneNote and even coordinated our cross-country move with the program. I track our household budget and all of my freelance invoices in Excel. Over and over again I find ways to use the Office suite to make my life easier.

Why Office 365?

I learned about Office 365 through a fellow blogger, Kristin from Camels and Chocolate. She was running a giveaway and I won! I’d been updating my Office Suite every few years, and the idea of a continually updating Office suite was intriguing to me. Could it save me money in the long run? Only time would tell. But what I do know is that it saved me when I forgot my laptop when I went on a trip to Mexico.

You see, when I took my boys to explore Loreto, Mexico in March 2013, I thought I had everything packed. I even packed a little early. We got to security; I unzipped my backpack and took out my laptop. Only there was no laptop in there. I’d left it plugged in at home, where I’d hoped to leave with a full charge, but in my rush to get us out the door I’d forgotten to throw my laptop in my bag. I had a mountain of work to do and no computer to do it on.

Thankfully, I used a little savvy, grabbed a cheap laptop on our layover in LA and had my husband upload everything to my SkyDrive (part of Office 365) so I could download my files and work from the road. I instantly downloaded my Office 365 subscription (you can download the software using the same code on up to 5 devices) and had all of the software I needed to get the work done before my deadlines hit. I was able to upload everything back to the cloud after our trip, return the cheap laptop, and go back to my own laptop once we got home. True, this is not always the best thing to do, and it was lucky that we had that long layover in LA, but it got me through when I was in a bind.

Becoming a Microsoft Champion

After winning the one-year subscription to Office 365, I stayed in touch with the Microsoft team. They heard about my escapades in Mexico and loved how I had used their software to save the day. About a year later they asked me to join their blogger ambassador program.

What does this mean? It means that I get to check out their software and talk about how it works in my life, as a traveling mom and freelance writer, just like I am doing right now. Do I feel comfortable with this? Yes, 100 percent.

Becoming a brand ambassador is no easy decision. You have to really love the brands you work with in order to essentially be a spokesperson for them. If you aren’t passionate about the product it will show.

I’ve been using the Microsoft Office products for years. Now I will have the chance to share new software information, updates coming out that can help you plan your travels, stick to your budget, and in general, make life a little more fun through software.

Am I a tech head? No, but when I find a product, especially a tech product, that I love, you better believe I’m going to make it work for me and I’m going to get excited about the news I share with you.

What can you expect?

You will receive the same high quality content you always expect to see on Walking On Travels. There will be some giveaways (who doesn’t love free software?) and updates on what is coming down the pipes at Microsoft (Skype family chats for the win!). Above all you won’t get a phony product pitch. You will hear about how I am using Office 365 in my planning, travels and freelance work. If I’m not passionate about the product, you won’t hear about it.

Want a peek at the news I’m getting from Microsoft? Well they just released the Outlook app for iPhone and iPad users. This product will help you manage your mail, no matter what service you use (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.). The app is in preview for Android devices, but don’t despair Android users–  Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Android tablet are officially out of Preview and can be downloaded for free in the Google Play Store.

Have questions about Office 365 and
why I have partnered with them? Just ask!

I am a Microsoft Office Champion. With this title comes compensation and products to review. As always, my opinions are my own. When they aren’t you will be the first to know. 

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Showing 3 comments
  • Steve

    I definitely love your posts on travel. To be honest, I have no interest whatsoever in Microsoft products, even the mobile ones. I completely understand that some other travelers might appreciate tips on using tech when they travel; I just would rather not see too many of them on your blog. Or better yet, maybe you could make different mailing lists for your travels and the Microsoft tech?

    • Keryn Means

      Hi Steve, I totally understand why you wouldn’t want to suddenly get flooded with tech posts. I’ve actually been writing about Microsoft Office for over a year now. I do one post ever other month almost and it always has to do with travel. I’m a strong believer in the fact that some tech can help your travels run more smoothly and is definitely essential to the planning process, which is how I present my posts when I incorporate Microsoft Office into them. Since I don’t write very much about tech, it doesn’t make sense to split my mailing list at this time. I hope you will bare with me or just ignore the tech posts when they come across your email. Thanks for understanding!

      • Steve

        Definitely understand and not a problem for me to see the occasional tech post. Thanks for explaining your policy to me and (as always) I look forward to your posts.

        And now that I think of it, I would enjoy reading a review of the Office apps on iOS especially from a traveler’s point of view.

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