Microsoft Copilot Is Changing the Game for Office Productivity

You hear about AI, automation, and the future of technology all the time. More recently, AI has finally started to convince people outside of the tech industry that it’s already a big deal and widely useful.

Microsoft, keen to stay ahead of the trend, has now integrated an AI build off of GPT models directly into Office products. They call it Copilot, and it is very much worth taking a few minutes of your day to learn more.


What Is Microsoft Copilot?

Microsoft Copilot is an AI companion that integrates directly with Office 365 products. If you already use Office, you can add a Copilot subscription, and it will be available with all of your products. You do not need a separate subscription for each Office tool.
Getting into functionality, this AI companion utilizes large language models (LLMs) to process information and assist with office-related work. It can help you read, write, organize, communicate, and more.
As you see some of the specific functions in action, you will come to realize that this tool is going to change office work as dramatically as the first personal computers.


What Does It Do?

Copilot is a big tool with a lot of functions and endless possibilities. We can review some of the key aspects as they relate to common Office products.



In Word, the copilot offers resources for text and content generation. You can give it prompts or have a conversation with the copilot, and it can write complete pieces for you. It can also edit and add to existing pieces, giving you freedom and flexibility.
Perhaps just as important, you can feed the copilot word files as a data source to build context for a specific project. It will limit the use of that information to the project at hand, making it a dedicated AI writing assistant.
That’s still not all. The copilot can read documents that you feed it, and it can then summarize them and help you understand them. For instance, you can have it make an FAQ out of documents that you give it. It can write curated summaries, or you can ask it direct questions about the documents you provide.



The copilot once again offers advantages through content generation. With just a few prompts, it can create an entire presentation. It can also make presentations out of Word files or other Office files that you feed it, consolidating information and rapidly improving production time.

Like with Word, the copilot can create summaries of presentations. It can create entire Q&A exchanges, and perhaps most enticing, it can push format changes through to an entire deck.



The copilot offers the same content generation and information processing advantages for Outlook, but there are some unique options here.

For starters, the copilot offers coaching tips for writing your emails. You can tell it a tone or feeling that you want to convey, and it can touch up your email in seconds to improve communication.

More than that, it can explain the changes to you to help you get more effective expression into your email writing.

The copilot can also perform message assessments and consolidate information from entire email threads.

Naturally, it can draft entire emails for you, too.



Teams is where you will find the most depth using the copilot. There’s too much to cover it all here, so let’s focus on some highlights.

First, the copilot can work with any chat, and you can focus it so that information from one chat is not incorporated into processes for another chat.

In practice, the copilot can summarize up to 30 days of information in a single chat. With that information, it can suggest pre-written prompts for you, make clickable citations, and speed up your chat communication in general.

Teams offers more than just chat, though.

In meetings, the copilot can answer questions in real time for any team members, and those answers are based on the transcript that it maintains throughout the meeting.

If it needs more information, you can give Copilot access to your Office 365 suite, and it can pull information into the meeting to answer questions better, keep everyone on the same page, and dramatically shorten meeting times by preventing redundant conversations.

Last of the highlights for Teams, the copilot can compose ideas onto the whiteboard from prompts inside the meeting. Given permission, any member of the meeting can use this function to visually express ideas in real time.


How Can You Use Copilot In Business?

Seeing some of the tools built into this AI, you probably already have ideas about how you want to use it. Still, there are ideas you have not yet considered. In fact, the AI is powerful enough that none of us are ready to maximize its potential yet.

That said, you can review a few ideas for inspiration.


Content Creation

The most obvious use case is content creation. Using Word as an example, you can write reports, memos, and other content very quickly by offloading much of the process to the AI.

The best practice does not use the AI to completely automate writing content. Instead, you can feed it information and let it create a draft that you then tweak and edit as needed. The AI is not designed to replace you in the process — instead to help you work faster and more accurately.

As you work with the copilot, you will find production time for content production drops dramatically while improving overall quality.


Information Processing

AI is amazing at big data, but that’s a long and complicated topic. Just using Copilot with Office, businesses of all sizes can automate elements of information processing.

As you read earlier, the AI can take in information from files you give it. It can catalog and summarize that information, making it much easier to keep track of everything.

This works whether you’re writing a research paper, creating a sales pitch, managing marketing, or even just working through payroll. If you have information in an Office-compatible format, the copilot can organize and simplify information processing for you.

Remembering previous examples, after you feed it documents, you can ask it questions, and it can answer accurately according to your own records. As an example, a doctor could ask what medications a patient is taking, and based on records supplied to the AI, it can answer that question.

In a different context, it can remember everyone listed in a group of memos to make sure all team members receive the same information. Or, it can read financial statements and answer your questions about specific or general numbers from last quarter.


Task Automation

When you have content creation and information processing in the same tool, you can start to automate tasks. Even if you aren't outsourcing all of your writing or content creation to the tool, elements of the process are easily automated.

For instance, you can write a single email (even using the AI to help) that needs to go to a number of business contacts. The AI can then personalize the email for each recipient. It goes beyond simply adjusting the address and name at the beginning of the email. The copilot can make references to previous parts of the conversation in personalized ways.

The possibilities of automation are endless, and because this tool is so intuitive, you will stumble into your own unique automation ideas as you work with it. You now have the power to customize automation according to how you work, and you don’t have to hire a tech firm to build it.

The truth is that all of this is only the beginning. Copilot is in early iterations. It will grow more powerful, more useful, and more intuitive with future updates. You can improve your own productivity while lowering cognitive strain, and you can extend those benefits to your staff.

If you want to look into adding this tool to your existing tech resources, we can help. Contact us for a conversation about Copilot and other AI options.

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