9 Tools to Use While Working from Home

From health concerns to long commutes, there is an increasing number of reasons for employers to enable their staff to work from home.  Working from home can be exciting. However, working from home can also be a little intimidating if you don’t have the right tools and processes to help create a successful and productive environment. If you are part of a team, you’ll most likely need more than just email to stay connected and on the same page with projects and deadlines. However, flying solo at home does take an adjustment. Social media and household chores can certainly be tempting distractions. By putting some boundaries around your day, you will easily be productive and efficient – without the commute!

At TeamSlide, we’ve had staff working remotely for five years. We understand the challenges you’re going to face but we also have a toolkit to share. There are many productivity solutions out there, so we have identified our favorite 9 to help you do your best work remotely.

9 Tools for Working From Home


Concentration

Staying focused while you’re surrounded by things that need to be done around the house, your pets, and even kids can create a distracting environment. Find a place in your home that you can dedicate to getting your work done in. This could be a guest room, the kitchen table, or almost any desk you may have in your house. Clear it of possible distractions, like clutter, and get to work. Here are some tools you can utilize to help you stay concentrated:

Music
Freedom
  • Freedom is an all-in-one distraction blocker. If you know that you may be more tempted to get distracted while working at home, whether it’s by social media, the news, or online games, you’ll want to have a tool in place to help you stay focused. Freedom allows you to block websites, apps or even the whole internet and you can sync these settings across all of your devices. Why Use Freedom?
  • Details: Freedom offers a FREE trial that includes 7 distraction-free blocking sessions. Their Premium plan is offered monthly for $7, yearly for $2.42/month (paid at once), or forever for a one-time rate of $64.50.

Bonus: If you sign up for Freedom Premium, get 3 months FREE Todoist Premium and many other perks too! 

Time Management

Since you’re now working in a completely different environment, one that’s typically centered around household needs and personal time, it’s important to have some time management solutions on hand so that you can stay focused. Luckily, there are numerous great time management and productivity tools available. We’ve narrowed down some of the best ones for you to take advantage of:

Toggl
  • Toggl is a subscription-based time tracking software. With just a click of a button, you can easily start timing a task or project. The Toggl Desktop App reminds you when you’re not tracking, or it detects idle time, keeping you accountable. They have over 100 app integrations that put the Toggl button inside your favorite online apps in order to help you keep track of your time or you can opt to manually enter your time at the end of the day or week.
  • Details: They offer a free 30-day trial with full access to all of the features. They offer a starter plan for $9/month per user and a premium plan for $18/month per user, all billed yearly. Bonus: Toggl integrates with Todoist (read about this in the next section)
Todoist
  • If you’re in need of the ultimate task manager that can organize it all, you’re in the right spot. This task list manager is especially helpful for creatives, developers, students, small businesses, and freelancers. Todoist creates tasks with due dates (even recurring due dates), organizes tasks into projects, delegates tasks, syncs to devices, and furthermore provides productivity visualizations. It even connects to Google calendar, Dropbox, and more.
  • Details: Todoist isn’t expensive, with packages ranging from $0/month up to $5/month per user.
Boomerang
  • Have you ever been overwhelmed by the emails bombarding your inbox? So you really only have time to respond to the urgent ones? Boomerang allows you to schedule emails to send at the perfect time, set up snooze messages, add a smart calendar assistant to schedule meetings, and get read receipts. Boomerang is available for Gmail, Outlook, and Mobile.
  • Details: They offer a free 14-day trial of Boomerang Professional. They do have a FREE basic plan with limited access to features as well as a few other plans ranging from $5/month to $15/month.
Communication

If your whole team is working from home, you’ll undoubtedly need a communication or knowledge sharing tool. Communication solutions today have a vast array of helpful features such as messaging, video calling, file sharing and much more to help you stay connected. Here are some of the most helpful communication platforms:

Basecamp
  • This platform offers one organized place for projects, teams, and communication. Basecamp eliminates messy email chains that let attachments consequently fall through the cracks. It allows you to create “Projects” and within each project. You have a lot of features to get work done productively: Message boards, to-dos, schedules, documents, files, group chat, and auto check-in questions. A pretty neat feature is the ability to minimize interruptions by adjusting notification settings to only receive notifications during specific times of the day. That’s a great work-life balance feature! Basecamp also has dozens of app integrations, such as Toggl.
  • Details: You can try Basecamp for FREE with a 30-day trial. They offer 2 plans – Basecamp Personal and Business. The Personal plan is free but only allows for up to 3 projects to be created. The Business plan is $99 per month and includes unlimited users, projects and clients. Learn more
Asana
  • Asana helps you build projects, coordinate tasks, and hit deadlines with your team. It features a Gantt chart timeline, portfolios, workload, forms and automation. Asana helps you visualize your work using boards that are organized into stages, lists, timelines, and calendars. Even more, you are able to assign tasks and even group tasks into sections to match workflows. Asana also provides powerful reports to help you to understand what’s happening in your business. Many well known, large businesses take advantage of Asana.
  • Details: You can try Asana for free and then decide if you want to commit to the Basic (Free with limited functionality), Premium ($11/mo), Business ($25/mo) or Enterprise version. Learn More
Krisp
  • One component of remote work that you may not have considered is background noise. Krisp removes the background noise going from you to other call participants and coming from the call participants to you, allowing everyone to have a productive call. Krisp uses the best innovative noise cancellation technology that adds an additional layer between your physical microphone and conferencing apps.
  • Details: Krisp offers four different plans. The FREE plan is great for professionals who occasionally work remotely. You can purchase the Pro plan for $5/month and Teams plan for $5/user/month. Krisp’s Enterprise plan is great for call centers and enterprises.
Microsoft Teams
  • Microsoft Teams allows you to chat, have meetings, call and collaborate with your team. It’s a great solution for remote work that you can have on all of your devices. Even more, it’s an effective way to host a demo for your potential client as you can easily share your screen over a web conference.
  • Details: Teams has a FREE plan (limited functionality) and is $5/user/month with Office 365 Business Essentials, $12.50/user/month with Office 365 Business Premium, and $20/user/month with Office 365 E3.

Working remotely can propel you into increased productivity and efficiency but it can also hinder you if you aren’t prepared to be in a completely new environment. Using tools for time management, concentration, and communication are essential to your success remotely or at home. We hope you can take advantage of some these fantastic tools to boost your productivity when working remotely.

PowerPoint Reuse Slides: How to Use, Pros and Cons

If you create presentation slides or even manage presentations for your company, you’ve likely wanted to find a slide or graphic in an old presentation that you or a colleague has created. Reusing slides versus creating new ones helps drive productivity, promotes knowledge sharing, and aligns communication across your team. 

However, scanning through dozens of files in a variety of locations (e.g Box, email attachments, SharePoint) to finally find the slide you want to use only to copy-and-paste it into your new PowerPoint presentation is extremely frustrating. Depending on the number of presentations you have and how sharp your memory is (like you could remember the exact location of the Gantt chart you created 3 years ago), this process could waste a significant amount of time.

Thankfully, it’s no longer necessary to copy-and-paste slides from a previous presentation into the new one you’re working on. PowerPoint offers a “Reuse Slides” feature to appease this issue. 

In this article, we will evaluate the pros and cons of PowerPoint’s Reuse Slides tool, show you how to use it, and highlight a few other Microsoft features. 

PowerPoint Presentation Teamplate

Benefits of Reusing Slides in General

It’s no secret that it’s a waste of time and energy to duplicate efforts. There are a few benefits of reusing the PowerPoint slides that you’ve already created.

Don’t Waste Your Time – Work Smarter not Harder

Reusing slides that you already took the time to create is a no-brainer. Don’t duplicate efforts. 

Align Communication Across Your Team

By using SharePoint and OneDrive you can make sure your whole team is able to access presentation slides and PowerPoint templates easily in one place. Sharing slides helps ensure your team is using a consistent voice when communicating internally and externally.

How to Use PowerPoint’s Reuse Slides Feature

  1. In PowerPoint, open the presentation you want to work on. 

2. Whatever slide you want to insert will be inserted after the slide that is selected. Click on the appropriate slide.

PowerPoint Slide selected
Since the 1st slide is selected in this example, the new slide inserted will be placed after the first slide.

3. Under the ‘Home’ tab, click the ‘New Slide’ dropdown menu

4. At the very bottom of the menu, click ‘Reuse Slides’. A new pane will open on the right-hand side

Reuse Slides button in PowerPoint

5. PowerPoint offers a basic version of Reuse Slides and an enterprise version. The basic version will only allow you to choose a file. The enterprise version will allow you to actually search for the slide you are looking for.

For the basic version,

Click ‘Browse’ and choose if you want to ‘Browse Slide Library’ or a file. If you use SharePoint and have a slide library set up, then this may be the best option to select. If you don’t use SharePoint, then you can browse the PowerPoint presentation files on your computer 

Select the PowerPoint presentation file that you want to search and click ‘Open’

Browse using Reuse Slides in PowerPoint

For the enterprise version,

Resuse Slides - Enterprise search

Search for any slide on your PC, OneDrive, or SharePoint. The Reuse Slides pane will show you a preview of the first slide in the presentation that has slides that match your search. Select the title slide for the file you want to explore further.

Note: Reuse doesn’t surface the exact slides that match your search. It only provides the first slide in the file/presentation. You have to follow the steps below to manually find the slide

6. The file that you selected will be opened within the Reuse Slides pane and will be displayed as slide previews. Click on the slide you want to insert.

Note: If you want to keep the source formatting of the slide you are inserting, check the box at the bottom that says ‘Keep Source Formatting’. Otherwise, the inserted slide will take on the formatting of your current presentation. 

7. Right-click on a slide to see more options

Ta-da! You have now utilized PowerPoint’s Reuse Slides feature and have saved a bit of time. Now Let’s take a look at the Pros and Cons of Reuse Slides. Was it really worth your time?


What are the Pros of PowerPoint Reuse Slides?

There are certainly some obvious pros of using Reuse Slides but let’s spell them out:

Search & Save Time
The enterprise version of Reuse Slides allows you to search for slides and presentations, which is much more helpful than the basic version where you have to manually browse and open a presentation.

Slide Search Connections
Reuse Slides can connect to SharePoint & One Drive so you don’t necessarily have to have the file on your computer. 

What are the Cons of PowerPoint Reuse Slides?

Not a Slide-level Search Tool
When you search for a term, let’s say “sales”, Reuse Slides will show you the title slide of the presentation file that matches the search term NOT the actual slide in the Reuse Slides pane. So you have to actually click into that file to see the slide previews and determine if it contains the “sales” slide that you were looking for. 

No Filters
You are very limited in your search by only being able to search for a term. There are no filters for date, SharePoint columns, or other metadata (e.g. author). 

It Doesn’t Always Work
Sometimes the “Browse” option on Reuse Slides will completely go away, most commonly after updates. A common search on Google is “PowerPoint reuse slides not working” – red flag alert! Microsoft moderators state that the reason people can’t select files or browse files is that you have to have Office 365 for the enterprise version of Office. A workaround “solution” is to run PowerPoint in Safe Mode.

It Only Connects to Microsoft solutions
The enterprise version of Reuse Slides only connects to solutions created by Microsoft – so that leaves you with SharePoint and OneDrive. If you don’t use either of those solutions and use Box, Egnyte, Dropbox, etc. you are out of luck if you want to use PowerPoint’s Reuse Slides.

Access Rights
On the enterprise level, Reuse Slides does not take into consideration who has access to different files which can cause difficulties in finding the slides you’re looking for.

Images
You are unable to search for images in Reuse Slides, only PowerPoint presentation slides. 


Changes to Microsoft Products

No More Slide Libraries

In 2013, Microsoft discontinued slide libraries in SharePoint due to a “Design limitation in SharePoint Server”. As a workaround to this inconvenience, Windows suggests that PowerPoint users insert slides from PowerPoint files using their Reuse Slides feature. 

Microsoft Tap feature

In 2016, Microsoft rolled out a new feature for Microsoft Word and Outlook called Tap. Tap lets users quickly select documents, presentations, and spreadsheets that are frequently used by you or your coworkers so you don’t have to leave Word or Outlook to find them. This feature is not yet available to use in PowerPoint. 


The bottom line is this: If you don’t have a ton of PowerPoint presentations on your computer or in a drive, reuse slides could be a helpful solution if you have the enterprise version. The basic version is not really a helpful tool. But in the case of large marketing and sales teams that have thousands of presentation slides, this feature may be more of a pain than it’s worth. Especially since there are other, better slide management solutions out there. 

How to update your PowerPoint master slides

Are your corporate PowerPoint templates out-dated or just messy? Do your teams waste time formatting presentations to spruce them up before client meetings? Updating your presentations using PowerPoint’s Slide Master tool will not only ease your frustrations and save you a lot of time, but aligns your team in the process. A concise, up-to-date template also helps create uniform messaging and a common identity. In this post, we’ll explain how to update your master slides and layouts using PowerPoint’s Slide Master.

What is a Slide Master?

Microsoft describes a Slide Master as “The top slide in a hierarchy of slides that stores information about the theme and slide layouts of a presentation, including the background, color, fonts, effects, placeholder sizes, and positioning”

How to update your master slides in PowerPoint

  1. Open PowerPoint and choose the presentation you need to update

2. In the View tab, click “Slide Master”

View slide master

In this view, you’ll see the master slide at the top, with the layout slides beneath it

Slide master

3. To make changes to all layout slides, edit your master slide. For example, you can change the background, logo, fonts, and place holders

TIP: Now that your presentation is updated, make sure that it is easily accessible.

What is a slide layout?

Microsoft describes a slide layout as containing the “formatting, positioning, and placeholder boxes for all of the content that appears on a slide. Slide layouts also contain the colors, fonts, effects, and the background (collectively known as the theme) of a slide.”

Deleting & Renaming Layouts

1. To remove any layouts that you don’t need in this presentation, simply right-click the slide and select “Delete Layout”

delete layout

2. Where possible, try and maintain a layout naming convention across your masters. As layouts are shared across masters (or used with newer and older masters), if PowerPoint cannot match the layout name, a specific layout in one master will be replaced with a generic layout in another – this may not be ideal.

To name or rename a layout slide, right-click on the layout and click “Rename Layout”

rename layout

For example, you could rename your layout “Table of Contents” instead of a generic term like “Layout 1”.

Rename layout

Edit Placeholders

1. To edit the placeholders on a layout slide, click the layout you want to edit.

In the Slide Master view, click the “Insert Placeholder” dropdown arrow

Insert placeholder

You will see a variety of different placeholder types to choose from. Select the placeholder you’d like to add to your layout

placeholder options

2. Drag the mouse in the area of your slide that you want the placeholder to be. You can insert placeholder text in the box to clearly communicate what the placeholder should be used for

3. To apply the layout updates to a presentation that you are currently editing, click “Close Master View” to go back to the normal view

close master view

4. Select the slide in your presentation that needs an updated layout

5. Under the “Home” tab, click “Insert Layout” and select the layout that should be used

insert layout

The layout should be selected from the “Master” section

master layout

Once you choose the layout you want to use, click it. The slide in your presentation will be updated accordingly

By keeping your master and layout slides up-to-date, your team is more likely to abide by visual identity standards and preserve your brand’s integrity.


Related Articles

Solution: Automatically update old slides

How a slide library can help

Video: Placeholders, Footers & Slide Design

How to make your PowerPoint template accessible

Establishing your PowerPoint template as the default option allows it to be easily accessible to your team and propels efficiency. Communicating with your customers with a consistent brand voice and visual identity can support your growth. Whether you are in sales or marketing, keeping your approved templates a click away will ensure you utilize it. Plus, if you find it difficult to get your team to use your templates, this will make it just that much easier for them. In just a few steps, we’ll explain how to make your company’s template your default in PowerPoint.

What is a custom template? 

A custom template in PowerPoint allows people and organizations to create uniform, on-brand slides. Through PowerPoint’s Slide Master, creators can easily apply headings, fonts, and colors to all slides. This is a great way to maintain slide organization and consistency.

How to make your custom PowerPoint templates accessible 

  1. Create your custom template using Slide Master and save it as a PowerPoint Template (.potx). It will automatically be saved in the “Custom Office Templates” folder

2. Let’s set this custom template as your default when you open PowerPoint. Select “New” and click the “Personal” tab

Using PowerPoint, go to "New" and "Personal"

3. Click the template you want to set as your default

4. In a new window, you’ll see a preview of the template. Click “Create”

Create a new template

5. In the “Design” tab, select the “More” arrow in the “Themes” group and a list of themes will appear

6. Right-click your custom theme under the “Office” section and select “Set as default theme”. Every time you open PowerPoint, this will be your theme

Set your template theme as your default theme

Whether you’re just starting out in the world of PowerPoint or you’re an experienced pro, making sure your custom templates are right at your fingertips will boost your efficiency and uniformity. In addition, take into account the size of your template as well. Large templates weigh down your files, so creating a separate library of slides that are not included in your base template can help simplify your template. Consider a slide library solution to manage slides that you want to share with your team but don’t belong in your template.


As you are exploring how to step up your PowerPoint game, consider checking out the following articles:

3 Reasons Your Slide Library Needs a PowerPoint Add-In

How to create a custom template in PowerPoint

Where are the PowerPoint files that drive your slide library?

Reuse Slides in PowerPoint searches for files and not slides

Copying slides from another presentation is a practice that likely began with the second presentation ever built. Reusing content when developing sales pitches, financial updates, or other PowerPoint presentations leverages existing thinking, ensures consistency, and drives productivity.

To support this practice, Microsoft released the Reuse Slides search feature with its best version only available with Office 365 for enterprises/Office ProPlus.  

However, this feature is a file search tool that works from within PowerPoint and not a true slide search solution. As such, Reuse Slides is not helpful for locating slides. Further, it’s missing critical features that are required for successful deployment.

How does the PowerPoint Reuse Slides feature work?

  1. Open the Reuse Slides pane in PowerPoint and run a search. Note that you need Office ProPlus to access the search bar.
  2. PowerPoint finds files from across your computer, OneDrive, and SharePoint that match the search. A thumbnail of the title slide is shown.
  3. Select the file you are interested in and thumbnails for all the slides in the presentation are displayed. Click on any of the slides that you want to reuse to insert them into your active presentation.

Reuse Slides finds files from within PowerPoint. It doesn’t reveal specific slides that best match your search. You can’t quickly find the slide you need and well-matched slides in poorly matched presentations will never be surfaced.

TeamSlide provides a true slide search solution with an enterprise-ready feature set

TeamSlide is a PowerPoint add-in that enables you to search across your PowerPoint presentation repositories to find slides that best match your needs. Instead of returning files, TeamSlide surfaces the best slides from across all your presentations with a thumbnail preview of the slide. With TeamSlide you can search local folders, Outlook attachments, cloud drives like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive, and content management systems like SharePoint.

Top 5 Enterprise-ready Features of TeamSlide:

#1: Search

TeamSlide Leverages metadata and the known structure of slides and knowledge repositories to improve search relevancy

  • Filter search results based on any metadata property
  • Identify the title of slides and treat differently
#2: UI

Detailed design to match the unique needs of PowerPoint users

  • Modify the size of preview images
  • Provide insight into slide details (e.g.  metadata)
#3: Security

Protects data from potential abuse

  • Access control: only access slides after logging in and potential checks (e.g. role, project-based, limitation per time frame)
  • Integration with internal systems (e.g. deny login based on specific conditions)
#4: Integration

Tightly integrates with non-Microsoft services to unlock critical value

  • Automation options (e.g. links on your website opens TeamSlide search in PowerPoint)
  • Integration with non-Microsoft services like Box
#5: Advanced

Processes slides to meet advanced workflow demands

  • Automatically update old slides on users’ computers
  • Content update workflow (e.g. allow users to suggest new slides and slide updates)



3 Reasons Your Slide Library Needs a PowerPoint Add-In

Your Slide Library Needs a PowerPoint add-in

Slide libraries establish a central location for storing, accessing, and sharing PowerPoint slides. Slide libraries enable employees with appropriate access rights to effectively compose a variety of presentations including marketing and sales collateral.

While Microsoft discontinued support for slide libraries with SharePoint 2016, third-party partner solutions, like TeamSlide, replace and significantly augment SharePoint’s lost ability to manage slide libraries.

Rather than accessing content through a web browser, TeamSlide relies on a PowerPoint add-in or plug-in for seamless access to the slide library from within PowerPoint. Here are 3 reasons to access slide library solutions through an add-in:

1. Increase productivity

Web interfaces, including SharePoint’s portal, are not intuitive and finding slides and presentations is a cumbersome process. If users are unable to find content quickly, they resort to duplicating existing work or using old slides.

A slide library add-in allows users to find slides from within PowerPoint and without switching context (no Alt-Tab necessary). As such, they are able to easily search, evaluate, and insert slides from the library. This streamlined process helps maximize the value of the firm’s PowerPoint content and drives user productivity.

2. Improve presentation quality

Because they are embedded in PowerPoint, add-ins enable new features (that are otherwise not possible) which improve presentation quality.

For example, you update slides in the library directly from within PowerPoint (rather than uploading it again through a browser). The add-in also notifies users when they have an out-of-date slide that might have been updated by a colleague. Marketing no longer has to worry that sales might be using old or stale slides.

3. Drive adoption

Instead of introducing a tool, an add-in or plug-in extends PowerPoint’s native capabilities. Because the features are provided within the familiar PowerPoint interface, the learning curve is drastically reduced.

As such, team members will be able to start using the slide library immediately and without extensive training.


Where are the PowerPoint files that drive your slide library?

Many sales and marketing organizations are often willing to transfer their PowerPoint files, their source content, to a proprietary slide library or management platform. While this approach has advantages, there are significant drawbacks, too. Another option is to automatically sync content from a third-party content management system (CMS), like SharePoint or Box, into the slide management solution.

In this article we compare the differences between the two approaches:

Connecting to a CMS

How it works

In addition to examining file content, the slide library also pulls in all related metadata.

Rather than uploading content directly, the slide library solution replicates content from a CMS like SharePoint. While your PowerPoint slides are copied, this is a seamless and automatic process. The library connects with the CMS on a defined scheduled, evaluating new, deleted, and updated presentations. It then crawls through each affected presentation to determine new, updated, or deleted slides.

Benefits

  1. Your content remains in its original position and for, enabling your team to maintain their current workflows from a single source of truth
  2. External tools (e.g. CRM) can still leverage the files (a slide library solution likely won’t connect with as many external systems as a CMS)
  3. You can leverage all your existing metadata rather than duplicate it in another solution

Drawbacks

  1. The slide library won’t directly write to the CMS. Most library solutions focus on pulling content from a CMS and not pushing; instead the library will sync with the CMS to capture updates
  2. Connecting to a CMS may require permission from your IT organization
  3. Adding new metadata on slide-level is difficult/tedious

When to connect to a CMS

If you have a large repository (1000+ slides), don’t want to change your workflows or have other tools that leverage the content, connecting to a CMS is likely the best path forward.

If you’ve lost your SharePoint slide library, a solution like TeamSlide can quickly connect to SharePoint and replace the lost functionality.

Uploading directly to a slide library

How it works

Select the PowerPoint presentations/slides and launch the slide library’s batch upload process. During the process, you can also add metadata.

Benefits

  1. A simple process that eliminates any IT approvals required to connect to a CMS
  2. Directly pull and update slide with the slide library’s native features
  3. Easily add new metadata on slide level

Drawbacks

  1. May require a change in your current workflow; external tools likely can’t access the slides
  2. File/content management features native to the slide library are typically not as powerful as a CMS

When to upload directly to a slide library

If you are building a small repository (<1000 slides), uploading directly to a slide library is likely the best path.

At TeamSlide, our batch upload feature enables customers to drag and drop to quickly build a library with hundreds of slides. Whether you are creating a new library or cleaning up an existing one, contact us and we’d be happy to share best practices.



How a slide library can help build winning proposals

For proposal managers, building well-structured PowerPoint proposals that balance client requirements, key selling points, and standard marketing collateral is a critical task. However, building presentations takes time away from selling and is an art form that may not be mastered by the entire team. Careless mistakes, poor messaging, and stale content can have a significant negative business impact.

Slide library solutions help proposal managers streamline the presentation creation process, ensuring that all team members build winning proposals. They enable high-performing slides to be shared and help create strong presentations.

The problem with managing PowerPoint proposals manually

While preparing for a meeting, proposal managers edit and modify proposal presentations that align with their client’s requirements. In these situations, however, there often isn’t much time to make edits or create new slides.

Hunting for old presentations, modifying formats, making content edits, and collaborating with others is time-consuming and stressful. For example, version control can spin up multiple conversations and delays as team members struggle to determine which slide is the latest.

Slide libraries, however, make presentation management completely seamless and help proposal managers focus on telling winning stories through their presentations.

The benefit of slide libraries

Create an approved central repository
Rather than editing previous proposals, a slide library allows for a central repository of approved content. All team members can quickly access these slides and assemble them to create strong client-focused proposals. Slide libraries can typically be extended to include images, too.

Up-to-date slides
With a slide library, users get seamless access to the latest PowerPoint proposal slides, while avoiding stale and duplicate content. However, slides are often updated and while the main repository will house the latest version, team members may still have old slides on their computers. To solve this use-case, slide libraries can automatically check slides and suggest slide updates, ensuring users always have the latest content.

Improved productivity and clear business outcome
With easy access to PowerPoint slides, simple management tools, and strong search capabilities, slide library solutions drive productivity. More importantly, they help improve the quality of proposals which in turn increases the win rate.

Find the right application to manage slide libraries

While support for slide libraries was removed from SharePoint 2013 onwards, third-party tools like TeamSlide can help manage proposal presentations and slide libraries.

TeamSlide is a PowerPoint add-in or plugin that lets you build a slide library or connect to an existing repository like SharePoint or Box. It even imports fields and metadata properties which fuel the search and filter capabilities. In addition, TeamSlide can include a central repository for images, including product shots, stock images, and leadership biography photos.

Final words

Slide libraries are a necessity for proposal managers looking to organize and maintain proposal slides. TeamSlide helps streamline the proposal creation process which in turn drives productivity and increases the team’s win rate. 

Slide library: LEGO for building presentations

Slide libraries are like LEGO for building presentations

At TeamSlide, we’ve described slides and slide libraries a number of ways: shared location for PowerPoint assets, a system to effectively retrieve PowerPoint IP, or a tool to better organize your PowerPoint content. However, a customer recently compared PowerPoint slides and libraries to LEGOs – a simple analogy that we had to share!

LEGOs are standard well-built plastic bricks and can be combined in a variety of ways to build different structures. Similarly, slides are individual components, typically with a specific message, that can be arranged to build presentations.

While bins are used to organize LEGOs by shape or size, slides can be organized using slide library solutions, like TeamSlide, that provide search functionality and quick retrieval.

At TeamSlide, we see two primary use cases:

  • Marketing: A small number of PowerPoint slides that are used on a regular basis and frequently updated. This is like LEGO in the 1980s; standard blocks in a few colors
  • Research: A large number of PowerPoint slides that are each used infrequently. This is modern day LEGO, with its licenses (e.g. Star Wars, Batman) and specialized pieces.

This ‘Explain like I’m Five’ analogy is fun, interesting, and helpful in communicating the value TeamSlide creates.

3 questions to ask when considering a SharePoint slide library replacement or alternative

Much to the dismay of its many users, SharePoint stopped supporting their slide library feature with SharePoint 2013. As organizations have updated their SharePoint implementations, marketing, sales, and product teams have suddenly lost an integral tool to share slides and ensure members have access to the latest PowerPoint content.

A number of vendors are positioning their solutions to close this gap and support improved slide sharing. However, a deep dive reveals that most are not suitable plug-n-play alternatives.

Here are 3 critical questions to ask when evaluating a SharePoint slide library replacement or alternative:

1. Does it integrate with SharePoint?

Adopting a new slide library shouldn’t impact your current content strategy – your new slide library needs to connect with the content you have in SharePoint. If you have a large repository (2000+ slides), uploading it to a new platform will greatly impact user adoption. Further, other systems may no longer be able to access the content.

2. Can you leverage your metadata?

Over the years, your organization has likely added a significant amount of metadata to SharePoint, helping users find the content they need. It’s imperative that your new slide library solution can use and display this metadata to help fuel its search. In addition, the library solution should also allow users to browse content by metadata.

 3. Does it work from within PowerPoint?

Implementing a new slide library solution should drive productivity without a significant learning curve. Solutions that require users to navigate to a website or a separate application significantly hamper productivity. However, providing access from within PowerPoint through an add-in or plug-in can help teams quickly realize benefits.

Slide libraries create immense value to organizations that use PowerPoint on a regular basis. However, selecting one that meets your specific needs requires a thoughtful process. We hope the questions above help frame your approach.

At TeamSlide, we’ve built a SharePoint slide library alternative. Feel free to request a demo and free trial.