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In this series on productivity, author Jess Stratton takes you through the latest tools that will help you run your business and life more efficiently. Each installment covers a particular feature or technique in a different online tool, such as Google Apps, Skype, YouTube, Mint.com, Etsy, and more. Check back every Monday for tips on topics from recording and publishing video chats to managing your finances online.
Hi there, Jess Stratton here with Monday Productivity Pointers. This week we're still talking about Skype. So on the last video, we used Skype to do a voice chat with somebody right over the internet. Well this time, we're going to add video to our call. I'm going to walk you through testing your video camera first to make sure it works before you start the call, and then I'll show you a tip to show you how you can shut off the camera quickly if you have to. So let's jump right in. This is the history of the chat that Shea and I did on the last video. I've kept it up because I want to call her again, except this time I'm going to add video to it.
Before we do that though, let's just check one more time and make sure that our video camera works because it's always better to check twice than have to fix it and scramble when we're in the call. I'm going to come back up to the Skype menu, choose Preferences. Go to the Audio/Video tab. It's still here because that's where we were from the last time. I can see that it's still working, so I don't think we're going to have any problems, but if there were, I can click on the plus sign in case I had multiple cameras, because you want to know which one is active. I can close out of this. And we're ready to start.
I'm going to click the Call button. Let's see if Shea's ready. >> Hi, Jess. >> Hi, Shea. Now, our video camera is currently turned off. I'm going to click this Start Video button. And now it's going to work exactly the same way as it did with a voice call, except we've got video. Shea can turn on her own screen. And so now the two of us can have a video call together. This is great if you're using a laptop, and you can bring the laptop around or, especially if you're following a small child, it's great for grandparents to keep in touch with their grandkids from long distances.
If I ever need to turn off my screen quickly, I can just hit the camera button to stop video. It's going to tell me that my video has turned off. Shea has the option to do the same thing. And at any time we can turn it on. It turns on quickly, it's that easy. We can still do everything that we could do while our video was turned on. I can still chat, and she can read it and chat back. We can share files just like we could do. I'm going to hit Cancel because I don't need to show you how to do that again. But I'm going to hang up because there's one more thing that I want to show you how to do in a group conversation.
Remember how we could invite people in? You can invite a lot of people in. I'm going to hang up the phone, so talk to you later, Shea Remember how we could have a lot of people in this conversation? If there's a lot of people chatting, and the conversation has been going on for a very long time, sometimes it can be very tedious to scroll through and follow lines and lines and lines of a conversation that just doesn't apply to you. You can add notification settings, so that you'll be notified when certain words are mentioned. For example, your name. I've got the conversation between me and Shea highlighted.
If I click Conversations > Notification Settings at the top. Right now, it's set to notify me. So any time Shea says something, I'll know about it on the left-hand side. If I don't even want to be notified at all when this conversation is updated, I can choose, Do not notify me. But here, I can say, Notify me only if these words are mentioned. And here's where I type in single words, separated by spaces. For example, Jess or Stratton and maybe presentation, because that's what we're actively working on together.
I'm going to click OK. Now, it doesn't matter where I am in Skype. If Shea's talking, and she says the word Jess, for example, Hey Jess, are you there? I'll get notified about that. And then I can click on it and go right to the conversation. So now, I don't have to pay attention to a really long conversation that doesn't apply to me, and I don't have to worry that I'm going to miss something important. So you can have your chat, send files, and at any time turn it into a video call. That's what makes Skype so versatile.
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