Below are a range of what I’d consider to be the best reading materials and MS Office 365 books to develop your MS Office, business, and personal skills.
This includes my research on the best books in 2022 on both how to use MS Office 365 core products (Excel, PowerPoint, Word), and also how to develop your other business and personal skills. All will support your ongoing CPD (continuous personal / professional development). I hope it saves you hours of time researching/comparing, while also helps develop your skills.
MS Office 365 Books, Excel & More…
Here are my top choices for your bookshelf to get to grips with your new laptop / PC and the best productivity software from Microsoft. These are aimed to helping advance your technical skills; scroll on for more suggested reading for personal/professional skills…
Microsoft Office 365: All in one
Quick reference and all-round useful introduction to the main MS Office apps, including Teams, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Excel and more. Newly updated 2022 version to the popular 2019 original. A great value place to start on Office 365 generally and familiarise yourself with various productivity tools.
Microsoft Windows 11 in Easy Steps
Get familiar with your Windows operating system, settings, and customisation with this clear and logical MS Windows 11 explainer. If you don’t know where to start with your new laptop, want to know how to make the most of it, or just want time-saving tips, this will certainly help. There’s transferable knowledge to Windows 10, and will likely serve you well through the next couple of versions.
This all-in-one tutorial and reference guide will take you through the most important features of MS Excel in classic ‘for dummies’ easy-read style. It’s labelled as Excel 2019, but fear not; the functionality of Excel doesn’t really change that much over time, is relevant now and will serve you for years to come.
I often use MS Project for managing projects. It was a steep learning curve to start with, for which I was lucky enough to have an experienced mentor show me the ropes. If you’re not in that fortunate position, this book will nicely take you through all the features and how to use MS Project 2019 (and beyond!).
Leadership and Personal CPD Books
Technical skills alone will not be enough to help you ‘excel at the office’, advancing your career and work. It’s important to develop yourself personally and professionally to build better relationships, understand others, and solve problems; either through your own small business or working with others.
Here I share some most notable reads, all distilled for you from the glut of books available on critical thinking, emotional intelligence, leadership and other essential personal skills.
Rebel Ideas: The Power of Thinking Differently
I mention Matthew Syed in my puzzle and blog exploring critical thinking. His book will certainly have you thinking differently about ‘cognitive diversity’, something Syed speaks and writes expertly on. You’ll think more carefully in future on how you can better build teams for success with this book (I also recommend his other well-received books, such as ‘Black Box Thinking‘).
Challenge your usual biases and heuristics with this essential read by Daniel Kahneman. It is literally wisdom on a page, helping you think more critically, solve problems, understand others, and recognise everyday prejudices to help you live a better work and home life. (I also recommend his other books, such as ‘Noise‘).
Continuing the theme of wisdom, this compilation of wise nuggets from Marcus Aurelius (the last of the ‘Five Good Emperors’) will help you see the philosophical side of life’s trials and tribulations. This masterful work of succinct Roman teachings puts new meaning on the term ‘plus ça change’, where you’ll see Man’s spiritual journey is the same as it ever was.
Simon Sinek’s simple yet revolutionary approach is captured in this popular book, expanding upon the theme of his most popular Ted Talk. Transform your communication, leadership skills, and road to success with a simple model. If you don’t know your ‘why’, I would also recommend Simon’s other book, aptly called ‘Find Your Why‘.
Even older than the wisdom found in ‘Meditations’, this timeless classic uses Sun Tzu’s ancient teachings of warfare but applied to a modern context of straightforward conflict and competition. However you want to interpret the learning, it remains a fascinating read and historical insight, a whole 2,500 years after Tzu’s demise. I also really like the added-value of this illustrated version.
Generally Fascinating, Potentially Mind-Expanding Reads
All reading is learning, and as Einstein said, ‘once you stop learning, you start dying’. Therefore, I propose you can literally stave off death by reading (yes, literally… but alas, only literally!). And no, I don’t mean phone-scrolling. These are some books that fascinated me; some completely (not literally) blew my mind. I happily share with you below and hope you find enjoyment from their ponderous propositions…
This is a fascinating and potent dive into ancient history, the potential of lost civilisations, with an alternative take on Egyptology and many associated wonders of the world. Well-written and non-fanciful, the meticulously-evidenced arguments presented provide a persuasive alternative to the conventional history you may have blandly studied at school. A literal legend and potential paradigm-shifter! Here’s a link to subsequent books in the series if you become gripped.
(MORE COMING SOON)