SoftwareONE LifeHacks

Create Surveys with Quick Poll Add-In

SoftwareONE LifeHacks: Easily Create Surveys with Quick Poll Add-In

Although it has always been possible to create polls in Outlook, many users have preferred to draw on third-party solutions like Doodle & co. Now, a new Microsoft Add-In for Outlook is improving the obsolete poll function.

Email Ping-Pong

So far, there has only been one way for colleagues in organizations to coordinate things on the fly. The senders and recipients tie their fingers in knots writing emails back and forth to reach agreement. This is a laborious and deeply inefficient procedure, especially when people want an ‘immediate’ – i.e. quick – response.

To avoid this email ping-pong and speed up the process of coordination, employees have tended to use third-party solutions like Doodle and co. But this has established a culture of shadow IT, so a process in which employees create their own solutions to problems if they are not dealt with by in-house IT.

Some users may interject that the feature has already been included in Outlook for years. I have used it myself on multiple occasions, but have to say that it is everything other than an ideal solution to this issue.

The Simplest Solution: Microsoft Quick Poll Add-In for Outlook

Microsoft works tirelessly to improve its services, especially those offered with Office 365. In keeping with this policy, Microsoft has rolled out a Quick Poll Add-In for Outlook based on Office 365 Forms. The solution can also be used for emails sent to recipients outside the employee’s own organization.

With the Quick Poll Add-in, It only takes a few clicks to create a real-time poll in Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Outlook Online. The best think about using this Add-In is that employees can send their responses in the email itself and will then be shown the current results in a Voting Card.

How to Turn on the Quick Poll Add-In for Outlook

The Add-In is installed within Outlook. But it can also be made available on the Office 365 portal.

To use the feature, launch Outlook, go to the menu bar and then select the icon Get Add-ins.

Turn on Quick Poll Add-In in your Outlook
Turn on Quick Poll Add-In in your Outlook, source: Microsoft Outlook 2019

Enter the name in the search bar, go to the Quick Poll by Microsoft tile and then click on the Add button. You can use Quick Poll as soon as it has been activated.

Add the Quick Poll Add-In, source: Microsoft Outlook 2019

How to use the Quick Poll Add-In for Outlook

For detailed instructions on using the poll, click here.

The following provides a few handy examples on using the add-in:

Start a new poll, source: SoftwareONE
Attendee view of a quick poll, source: SoftwareONE
Review the results of a quick poll, source: SoftwareONE

What Else Does it Do for You?

The Quick Poll Add-In is also a good way to coordinate appointments. But I would contend that there is a more efficient Microsoft tool to manage this task that is also easy to integrate in Outlook – Microsoft FindTime.

Not only does this solution help to coordinate appointments, it also takes the planning off your hands. Once everyone has cast their votes for the preferred dates, an invitation is sent out directly, for instance in Microsoft Skype for Business. For more information about using FindTime, check out my blog article ‘8 Ways to Save Time - AI in the Workplace 365 AI & You’.

Add-ins like Quick Poll, FindTime and Translator for Outlook are valuable and useful tools for my daily work. I can use them directly in Outlook and am no longer reliant on third-party solutions in order to optimize tasks.

This is essentially why I prefer the best of suite approach to best of breed. If I am facing a new challenge or task that I want to optimize, the first thing I do is to check which added value I can obtain from a current solution, before trawling through the broad selection of third-party tools.

I hope that the new Add-In will help you to overcome your daily challenges more efficiently by creating polls directly in emails and by putting an end to the endless back and forth of messages.

Trying to Get the Most out of Your Office Applications?

Besides the Poll Add-In Office 365 offers even more benefits. Get in touch with our experts to learn more about the solution.

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Thino Ullmann, Senior Technical Presales Executive

Thino Ullmann

Go-To-Market Manager Central Europe

Microsoft products with a focus on Modern Workplace and Cloud Computing

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