Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions for freelancers
Microsoft 365 is a really great solution for freelancers.
Office 365 applications included in the plans are really everything necessary for the daily work for the independent consultant.
Microsoft 365 plans are a great package of applications that could help every freelancer in daily work. Multiple options could help you to choose the best subscription to your needs. I would like to highlight key differences in Office 365 plans to help you to choose the package that fits the best your needs.
Challenges connected with choosing Microsoft 365 by the freelancer
Microsoft 365 plans thanks to great flexibility could be a perfect package of the application needed for a freelancer, but … you need to remember about few things:
- Apps work perfectly well with Apple and Android platforms, but still, this is Microsoft. If you hate solutions provided by them it could be difficult for you to adapt.
- In Office 365 you will find many apps that duplicate other SaaS solutions, like Teams vs. Slack, Planner vs. Trello, or OneDrive vs. Dropbox. You can mix Microsoft 365 with third-party solutions
- Microsoft 365 gives the biggest advantage if you are using as many as possible apps. There’s a lot of them, you will need to spend some time to fit in and choose the right apps for right business cases
- This is SaaS so you can use it as it is. There is space for changes and customizations, but it is strongly limited.
Benefits in using Office 365 as a productivity tool by the freelancer
Office 365 is a quite cheap and flexible solution that you can adapt to your needs. You have multiple options you can choose to fit into your expectations.
- There are multiple plans and you can switch between them in time. It gives you a lot of freedom in cost control.
- External accounts are free. You can invite external parties and share your files with them without additional costs.
- You can start small with one account or play with it using trial or developer license (details below)
- The platform is constantly improved so new features coming every month
- You can cancel it anytime
What is Office 365 subscription
Microsoft offers a few plans you can choose. Every plan contains different applications. Based on your needs you choose the right option for you.
You can also choose between two types of subscriptions:
- monthly – you paining monthly,
- annual – you have a yearly commitment and save around 10-20%
For the freelancer, I recommend choosing the monthly commitment model. It gives more flexibility and easier way out.
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Applications and functionalities that could be useful for every freelancer:
- Office Suite client application – You can get access to the most popular applications from Office Suite for your PC or Mac: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
- Business e-mail – Secure and reliable business-class email with a 50 GB mailbox per user hosted on the custom email domain – email@example.com. A professional email solution is a must-have for every company. As a freelancer, you can use Exchange Online which is an enterprise-level solution.
- Collaboration platform – SharePoint is really great solution for document management and record management. Manage your files, automate processes, manage, and monitor your processes. You can also use SharePoint for the external clients and share the data and files with them in a structured format. External users are free.
- Complex chat-based collaboration – One of the most popular collaborations and communication tool. You will be able to create the project spaces, collaborate based on file, chats meeting, and much more. It is an alternative for applications like Slack and Zoom.
- Personal files storage – Cloud storage for your files which you can manage from any device, work offline and share externally with your clients and business partners. It is an alternative for applications like Google Drive, Dropbox, or iCloud.
- Task management – a very user-friendly task management solution based on Kanban. Create buckets and manage progress on your tasks It is an alternative for applications like Trello.
☝ There’s no free or separated license for Planner
- Webinars – You can use Microsoft Stream to store your video files, but more useful you can organize webinars using Microsoft Stream with Microsoft Teams.
☝ There’s no free or separated license for Stream
- Meeting reservation – You can use Bookings to automate the process of semi-automated bookings of your time. Could be really useful if you part of your business is based on time reserved by your clients. Could be easily integrated with Facebook.
☝ There’s no free or separated license for Bookings
- Your Personal trainer – My Analytics could be your personal trainer that helps to improve your productivity during “Office work”.
☝ There’s no free or separated license for My analytics
- Reporting – You can use Microsoft Stream to store your video files, but more useful you can organize webinars using Microsoft Stream with Microsoft Teams.
Which Microsoft 365 plan choose and how much it costs
I prepared for you a detailed comparison of the available Microsoft 365 plans that are suitable for the freelancer. You can choose the right one based on costs and available features.
In case of additional saving Microsoft 365 Business, annual licenses are cheaper per month but you need to commit for the whole year. In the case of Office 365 E licenses, annual licenses are at the same price as a monthly subscription.
|MICROSOFT 365||OFFICE 365|
|Business Basic||Business Standard||E1||E3||E5|
|Monthly commitment - price per user||$ 6.00||$ 15.00||$ 8.00||$ 20.00||$ 35.00|
|Annual commitment price per user||$ 60.00||$ 150.00||$ 96.00||$ 240.00||$ 420.00|
|Exchange - email solution||●||●||●||●||●|
|SharePoint - collaboration||●||●||●||●||●|
|Teams - chat based collaboration||●||●||●||●||●|
|OneDrive - personal files||●||●||●||●||●|
|Planner - kanban task management||●||●||●||●||●|
|Bookings - apppointment management||●||●||●|
|Stream - webinars||●||●||●|
|My analytics - personal perfomance||●||●||●||●|
|Office Siute - client applications||●||●||●|
|Power BI - Advanced reporting||●|
|Plan details||Plan info||Plan info||Plan info||Plan info||Plan info|
What is important in a monthly plan you can easily switch between Office 365 subscriptions.
How to cancel Office 365 subscription
You can cancel Microsoft 365 subscription anytime. In the case of the cancelation of the Office 365 monthly payment plan, you will reduce the risk of lost cash. After cancellation of the annual payment subscription, you can ask Microsoft for a refund but there’s no clear rule about a possible refund.
To cancel your Microsoft 365 plan open Admin Center (1), go to Billing (2) and Your products (3). On the list of owned licenses, you can Cancel subscription (4).
After the cancelation of the Office 365 plan your account will be set for Disabled. The functionality of the whole platform will be limited to read-only. After 90-days your data will be deleted without the possibility to restore it.
Can I get Microsoft 365 for free
In general Microsoft 365 plans are not free, but … you can start with the 30 days trial subscription and play it before you will decide to put investments in new tools or get totally free license for the testing, development purpose.
Microsoft Office 365 Trial licenses:
Free Microsoft 365 Developer license
If you would need Microsoft 365 plan for the testing, development or deliver Proof of Concept for your client you can use totally free Office 365 Developer program
Microsoft 365 plans can deliver great applications for the freelancer. Choose the right Office 365 subscription for you, control costs, and improve your productivity. Centralize your daily applications with Microsoft Cloud solution. Cancel the Microsoft 365 subscription anytime.
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