Here’s how our busy culture editor uses Microsoft 365 | Wender Mind Kids

Here's how our busy culture editor uses Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365/Moon Kyung Chang

Ask any editor and they’ll tell you: Being organized is a must. (Just knowing how to use semicolons properly comes second.) At work, I can keep up with emails, meetings, calls, and stories with ease. Outside of the 9-to-5 things start to get tricky.

When I was looking for a way to stay on top of my social obligations and grocery lists, an idea dawned on me. I decided to apply the same Microsoft 365 tools that haunt me all day at work to my personal life. I did it that way.

Easy scheduling with Microsoft Outlook.

At work, I use my Outlook calendar to schedule meetings, schedule calls with my other editors, and conduct interviews with celebrity talent. I also use it to track work events like movie screenings, concerts, and networking happy hours and dinners.

In another folder on my calendar called Personal, I record all of my external appointments: medical exams, dinners and drinks with friends, birthday parties—you name it. Viewing them side by side in their contrasting colors (red for work, green for home) allows me to see where things might clash – like a deadline with a job interview – and streamline my life in one place.

Task management with Microsoft To Do.

Erica Gonzalez

Erica Gonzales

I used to write my tasks on paper just so I could feel the satisfaction of crossing out something done—until about a year ago, I discovered To Do, which increases that sense of accomplishment tenfold. When I use the To Do app on my phone and computer, I can’t forget that handwritten note on my desk. Anything I add on one device syncs to the other.

I organize my work items by their due dates, so I have three lists that I look at several times a day: Urgent, EOD (end of the day), and EOW (end of the week). It’s a lot easier to manage my tasks when I can schedule reminders and due dates for each task, assign the labels I use in Outlook, and even upload files — like a draft story in Microsoft Word — to come back to later. I can also prioritize by putting a group of action items in My Day so I can focus on a compact list of things and not get overwhelmed.

My favorite work feature: flagged emails in your
Outlook mailboxes become their own list in To Do.

The app on my phone inspired me to create an entirely separate list for personal tasks: I needed to convert euros back into dollars from a recent trip to Spain, get a present before going to a birthday brunch, and pick up a bag that I had loaned it to my sister (otherwise I would never see it again). As a culture editor, I have many films and TV shows to keep up with professionally. It’s helpful to have lists of screeners to look at and check off each title as I see it.

Home renovation planning with Microsoft OneNote and Microsoft PowerPoint.

Erica Gonzalez

Erica Gonzales

I recently moved into a new apartment in Brooklyn, so I have quite a few items that I still need when my apartment comes together. I have a OneNote list of furniture and knick-knacks ready as I shop for everything from a new couch to under-the-sink organization.

My focus right now is the living room, which is depressingly bare without a couch and coffee table. And even though I’ve searched for weeks, I still can’t find the right piece that isn’t out of print or over budget – so I take all that creative energy and put it into my PowerPoint mood boards. I love seeing all of my design inspiration laid out super neatly. I add photos saved from social media and online retailers, and conveniently, design ideas for each slide appear in the sidebar, offering to align the photos and put them into a template. It only took one click and they turned out so pretty. (If only decorating my apartment was that easy.)

With PowerPoint on my phone via the Office Mobile App, I can access the file and reference it directly in the furniture store.

power point

Erica Gonzales

Seamless file sharing with Microsoft OneDrive.

Erica Gonzalez

Erica Gonzales

Undoubtedly, traveling to work is one of the coolest parts of this job. Just recently I was lucky enough to visit Mallorca in Spain – which I will write a story about. I took a lot of photos but I can’t post anything on my personal social media before the task is complete.

Of course, my mother was excited about what I was up to, but there was far too much to send individually. Using my personal OneDrive account, I uploaded everything through the mobile app and shared the album. What’s even better? I erased everything from my device when I saw it was saved to the cloud.

I’ve always known how easy Microsoft 365 makes my workflow, but applying the same tools and principles to my life outside of the office is a real game changer. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have about 9 trillion TV shows to catch up on and I still don’t have a couch to watch them on.

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