10 highly useful add-ins for Microsoft Office

You can easily extend the productivity suite’s capabilities.

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The tools available in Microsoft Office are highly versatile, but sometimes you want to do something that Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook can’t accommodate. Chances are good, though, that you can find an add-in that will give you that little extra something.

Hundreds of add-ins are available, but surprisingly few stand out. Here are 10 (in alphabetical order) that we think can be really useful for a lot of people. All of them install just like an extension for a web browser, and they’ll all give you a boost whether you’re using desktop Office apps or Office Online. Some require Office 365 subscriptions.


Developer: Baydin
For: Outlook
Works with: Outlook Online, Outlook 2013+ for Windows, Outlook 2016+ for Mac (requires Office 365 mailbox)

Boomerang adds a lot of features to Outlook. The most useful for everyday work: It lets you schedule an email to be sent at a later time or on another day. You can also tag an email that you’ve sent with a reminder to notify you on a later day and time you choose, so you can follow up on it. It helps you schedule meetings by embedding a table of potential times in an email — recipients can click on the times that work for them. All incoming emails can be paused, or only emails containing certain keywords or from a specified domain or person can be let through.

You can get limited access to Boomerang’s basic features for free. When billed annually, personal plans run $5 per month, and the pro plan $15.

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