New Microsoft 365 app could give you a major productivity boost

Microsoft Loop
(Image credit: Microsoft)
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At its annual Ignite (opens in new tab) conference, Microsoft has announced a new productivity tool (opens in new tab) for Microsoft 365 (opens in new tab) that will make it easier for teams to think, plan and create together.

Microsoft Loop (opens in new tab) is a new app that combines a powerful and flexible canvas with portable components that move freely and stay in sync across the software giant's apps. It is made up of three elements in the form of Loop components, Loop pages and Loop workspaces.

First off, Loop components are an evolution of Fluid components (opens in new tab) that help users collaborate and get things done in chats, emails, meetings, documents or Loop pages. They can be as simple as lists, tables, notes and tasks or as sophisticated as customer sales opportunities from Microsoft Dynamics 365 (opens in new tab) according to a new blog post (opens in new tab) from Microsoft.

The software giant also introduced several new components for collaboration including a voting table that makes it easier for teams to finalize decisions together and a status tracker which helps users gather information from their teams, track progress in projects and maintain an up-to-date status across their teams. Microsoft plans to announce additional components and specific details at its annual developer conference, Microsoft Build (opens in new tab), next year.

Loop pages and workspaces

Loop pages meanwhile are flexible canvases where users can organize all of their Loop components and pull in other useful elements like files, links or data to help teams brainstorm (opens in new tab), connect and collaborate. Pages are optimized to help teams think together and get work done but they can also start small and continue to grow as ideas and projects get bigger.

Loop workspaces are shared spaces that allow teams to see and group everything important to a project. They make it easier for teams to catch up and see what everyone else is working as well as to react to others' ideas or track progress toward shared goals. With Loop workspaces, teams can collaborate both synchronously and asynchronously so work can get done whenever inspiration strikes.

While Microsoft Loop components will begin rolling out across Microsoft 365 apps like Teams (opens in new tab), Outlook (opens in new tab) and OneNote (opens in new tab) starting this month, Microsoft plans to share more information about the availability of the standalone Microsoft Loop app in the coming months.

Whether you're working from home (opens in new tab) or your organization has implemented a hybrid work (opens in new tab) policy, Microsoft Loop looks like it will help boost productivity at a time when both teams and workspaces are becoming more distributed. 

Looking to boost your productivity while working from home (opens in new tab)? Check out our roundups of the best productivity tools (opens in new tab) and best online collaboration software (opens in new tab)

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.