Monday Productivity Pointers
Illustration by Neil Webb

Running a group meeting with coworkers


Monday Productivity Pointers

with Jess Stratton

Video: Running a group meeting with coworkers

Hi, I'm Jess Stratton, and welcome to Monday Productivity Pointers. This week we're talking about Google hangouts, and I'm actually going to have a remote meeting with my producer, Shea. Google hangouts is a video conferencing system that lets you and up to nine other people have a video meeting. These are great for remote workers, there's no mucking around with firewall settings, no VPN software to install, and chances are you probably already own everything that you need to get started.
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  1. 10h 57m
    1. Welcome to the series
      1m 13s
    2. Running a group meeting with coworkers
      7m 19s
    3. Recording and marketing chat on air
      8m 30s
    4. Creating a quick presentation
      5m 37s
    5. Presenting from an iPad or computer
      3m 36s
    6. Migrating your accounts to
      9m 55s
    7. Setting budgets and goals
      7m 4s
    8. Collaborating on team documents
      5m 53s
    9. Creating an online photo gallery
      4m 58s
    10. Kickstarter: Setting up your project
      10m 41s
    11. Driving traffic to your project
      5m 48s
    12. Conducting a voice call with a virtual team
      6m 40s
    13. Adding video and chat notifications
      4m 7s
    14. Accepting a payment with Square
      4m 35s
    15. Using the Square Wallet
      2m 32s
    16. Setting up shop on Etsy
      6m 31s
    17. Tracking your Etsy sales with Shop Stats
      4m 9s
    18. Raising your Klout score
      7m 3s
    19. Earning Klout perks
      4m 55s
    20. Skydrive: Collaborating on team documents
      4m 56s
    21. Skydrive: Accessing files on the go
      2m 57s
    22. Setting up Google alerts to track your data
      5m 5s
    23. Removing a page from the Google search index
      4m 42s
    24. Browsing privately in public
      4m 38s
    25. Cleaning up your session before logging out
      5m 8s
    26. Troubleshooting a remote computer with TeamViewer
      3m 42s
    27. Taking screenshots from a PC
      4m 12s
    28. Taking screenshots from a Mac
      3m 36s
    29. Setting up Find My iPhone
      3m 36s
    30. Using iCloud to find an iPhone
      3m 49s
    31. Sampling color from the screen
      5m 27s
    32. Using for inspiration
      3m 22s
    33. Get an audio clip onto YouTube using iPhoto
      5m 49s
    34. Creating playlists and customizing your YouTube channel
      5m 41s
    35. Record your screen using QuickTime
      3m 14s
    36. Record your screen using CamStudio
      2m 34s
    37. Using Tempo Smart Calendar when you are going to be late
      3m 9s
    38. Using Twist to let your customers know where you are
      3m 38s
    39. Using Wunderlist to track multiple projects
      9m 0s
    40. Use the Wunderlist browser extension to create tasks on the web
      5m 46s
    41. Using Smart Mailboxes with Mac Mail
      6m 52s
    42. Customizing the Mac Mail View
      7m 13s
    43. What's a firewall?
      7m 36s
    44. What is the Cloud?
      4m 42s
    45. Creating your own recipe with IFTTT
      7m 19s
    46. Browsing existing recipes with IFTTT
      5m 7s
    47. Installing the Feedly browser extension
      6m 34s
    48. Customizing Feedly
      6m 53s
    49. Understanding the basics of Twitter
      9m 9s
    50. Using Tweetdeck to handle multiple accounts
      9m 14s
    51. Working with URL Shorteners
      5m 45s
    52. Using
      8m 31s
    53. Creating Quick Parts to re-use text
      6m 19s
    54. Moving your Autotext to a new computer
      6m 7s
    55. Shutting off access to social networks
      6m 18s
    56. Hiding taskbars
      2m 36s
    57. Exploring the iOS 7 Update
      10m 7s
    58. Running a productive online meeting
      3m 44s
    59. Getting meeting minutes faster
      6m 47s
    60. TextExpander for Mac
      7m 6s
    61. Breevy for Windows
      3m 44s
    62. Using Smart Folders on a Mac
      5m 52s
    63. Using Windows Libraries
      4m 25s
    64. Finding large attachments in your email apps
      5m 13s
    65. Use Ninite to install all your PC apps at once
      3m 30s
    66. Use Get Mac Apps to install your Mac apps at once
      2m 56s
    67. Creating a disposable email address with Guerrilla mail
      4m 7s
    68. Creating an email address that lasts only 10 minutes
      3m 16s
    69. Finding and adding local vendors to enhance your iOS reminders
      3m 45s
    70. Adding geofencing to Find My Friends
      3m 20s
    71. Turning a Word document contract into a PDF
      4m 1s
    72. Turning a PowerPoint presentation into a PDF
      4m 10s
    73. Resetting browser site passwords
      7m 11s
    74. Disabling toolbars, resizing screens, and accidentally closed tabs
      7m 42s
    75. Identifying your wifi's weakest link
      7m 59s
    76. Setting up dual band speed on your router
      7m 36s
    77. Add your social media activity to your website
      8m 54s
    78. Using WordPress mobile to update on the go
      4m 48s
    79. Matching the header row on your spreadsheet files
      8m 20s
    80. Using a formula to merge first and last name columns
      5m 58s
    81. Using JoliDrive to browse cloud app data
      5m 11s
    82. Using JoliDrive on an iPad
      4m 31s
    83. Finding deals on eBay using misspelled listings
      4m 18s
    84. Searching for promotional and coupon codes online
      5m 52s
    85. Sending real postcards from your computer with Postagram
      4m 25s
    86. Using Postagram to send a real postcard from your smartphone
      3m 55s
    87. Getting to Inbox Zero
      11m 4s
    88. Using existing GMail labels with Mailbox
      3m 19s
    89. Adding 2-step authentication
      3m 39s
    90. Enabling in-app PIN codes
      3m 31s
    91. Accessing your digital movies
      5m 20s
    92. Copying movies onto a device
      3m 25s
    93. Using Genius Scan to scan your documents
      3m 34s
    94. Sending your scans
      2m 41s
    95. Using Acrobat to ink sign a PDF
      4m 49s
    96. Writing a letter of recommendation
      7m 49s
    97. Constructing a successful press release
      4m 48s
    98. Troubleshooting wireless security
      4m 48s
    99. Writing a claim letter
      5m 22s
    100. The best reasons to try online chat customer service
      5m 9s
    101. How to do a firmware update
      6m 34s
    102. Siri, your iPhone assistant
      4m 48s
    103. Writing an email that gets read
      4m 51s
    104. Writing an email that requires action
      2m 54s
    105. Your Blu-ray questions answered
      3m 50s
    106. Using LittleBit to photograph your goal progress
      3m 9s
    107. Exporting WordPress blog entries
      3m 28s
    108. Understanding how Office 365 works
      5m 9s
    109. Using Waze for crowdsourced GPS
      2m 58s
    110. Downloading your Facebook timeline
      3m 10s
    111. Scheduling email with Boomerang
      4m 24s
    112. Google Labs for Calendar
      2m 58s
    113. Finding missing songs in iTunes on your iPhone
      2m 10s
    114. Requesting your Twitter archive
      2m 59s
    115. Using Doodle for easy group scheduling
      4m 59s
    116. Easily remote to another computer with
      3m 47s
    117. Keyboard shortcuts for YouTube
      2m 58s
    118. Easily annotate images with Skitch
      6m 4s
    119. Migrating to Google Apps
      9m 31s
    120. Get your Google Calendar schedule by email every morning
      3m 3s
    121. Blurring photos for posting on social networks
      6m 41s
    122. Using supplemental To Do apps
      3m 43s
    123. Getting alerts for Amazon price drops
      2m 36s
    124. Four tips to teach kids about websites
      8m 19s
    125. Caring for family members from afar
      4m 39s
    126. Using Google Sheets to make templates
      4m 35s

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Watch the Online Video Course Monday Productivity Pointers
10h 57m Appropriate for all Mar 25, 2013 Updated Oct 20, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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,, Etsy, and more. Learn about topics ranging from recording and publishing video chats to managing your finances online.

Note: Monday Productivity Pointers is currently on a break, but stay tuned for new tutorials!

Business Education + Elearning
Jess Stratton

Running a group meeting with coworkers

Hi, I'm Jess Stratton, and welcome to Monday Productivity Pointers. This week we're talking about Google hangouts, and I'm actually going to have a remote meeting with my producer, Shea. Google hangouts is a video conferencing system that lets you and up to nine other people have a video meeting. These are great for remote workers, there's no mucking around with firewall settings, no VPN software to install, and chances are you probably already own everything that you need to get started.

You need a browser, like Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari, with an active internet connection, and you need a webcam and microphone. Now, you can use a headset or even your monitor may already come with the built-in webcam and microphone like a lot of them do nowadays. These are great for corporate meetings. If you're a remote worker, chances are you go long stretches without seeing any other faces, so it's great to see some real face time with your co-workers and employees. Also, sometimes on a conference call, the sound can be so muffled that even though you hear what's being said, you're not sure who said it, and sometimes that's important.

But in a Google hangout, the active person who's talking becomes larger on the screen, so everybody knows who's talking and what they're saying. Now, there is one drawback: you have to have a Google account, and everybody who's going to need also has to have a Google account. So if your company doesn't use Google, then you'll have to give them your information so that they can add you as a contact. If you don't want to give them your personal Google account, then just set one up just for your meetings, all right? Let's get started.

I've logged into, I've signed in as myself, and now I'm going to click the Plus beside my name to get into Google+. From here, on the right-hand side I'm going to click Start a hangout. This is going to open up the Google Hangout screen, and from here I have a couple of choices. I can invite people into the hangout, or I can check my microphone, start the hangout, and then invite people in. But before we start, I'm going to test my microphone and my video camera and make sure everything's working just perfectly.

Over here on the top right, I can go into Settings. This is going to pop up a screen where I can check my microphone and my camera. As you can see, the camera is working just fine. Now I can check my microphone. I know it's working because as I talk the green bars are going up. This means that it's getting a signal. If I had another device that I wanted to use, I can select it here. Lastly, I'm going to play a test sound. (phone ringing) I hear the tone.

That means my headphones are working just fine. This means that I'm going to be able to hear everybody else who's also in hangout. When I'm happy that everything works, I'm going to choose Save Settings. Now, we are ready to start inviting people into our hangout. I'm going to invite my producer, Shea Hansen, and give my hangout a name. In this case, I'm just going to call it Meeting because we're not doing anything special, it's not going on air. We're just having a meeting. When I'm ready to go, I can click Hang out.

Now all we have to do is wait for Shea to get the invitation, respond, and enter the hangout. And here she is. Hi Shea! Shea: Hi! Jess: So, here's what's neat about a hangout, because this is my screen and there's only two people in here, Shea is on a larger version of the screen. At anytime I can click my name, and there I am. Now, if there's many people in here, the person who's currently talking will be big on the screen so you'll never miss what's being said, and you'll never have to wonder who said it.

Let's go through what some of the things are that you can do in a Google hangout. The first thing that you can do up here on the top right here is mute the microphone. If I check this, Shea can't hear what I'm saying right now, and I do get a reminder that I'm muted. What a lot of people tend to do his keep their microphone muted until they're actually ready to say something. This way you won't have a dog barking or something unfortunate enter your meeting that you didn't want other people to know about. I can also turn my camera off. If I click this button, the picture changes to my default Google+ profile picture.

This is useful if I want to minimize the browser and do something else. A lot of times it's very easy to minimize the browser, keep working while you're in a hangout, and completely forget about the fact that your video camera is still up and running and everybody can see you. Over here on the left, we can click Invite People if at any time there's more people that we want invite into our hangout. I can also chat with Shea. I can click Chat and on a little box on the right-hand side, I get a chance box, because sometimes it's useful to just start typing things rather than talking.

I can close it out anytime. I can click Screenshare. Screen share is excellent because I can share what's on my screen while the video camera's still running. I actually have a Word document ready to go in the background because this meeting is actually about a presentation that we're giving later on. So, I'm going to click on this document that I already had open, select Start Screenshare, and now Shea is actually seeing what I'm doing here. So, we could work collaboratively on this document while we're having our meeting.

To get back into my hangout, I just open up the browser and uncheck Screenshare. I also have Google effects, which is more for fun, not so useful for a meeting, but you can add things like sounds, silly headwear, silly eyewear, things like that. Again, just click on it and it'll go away. We also have the Hangout Toolbox. This gives us useful items and neat things that we can do, such as embed videos right in our hangout.

We also have the same silly things that we could do with the Google effects, but we can also mute the entire hangout, and we have some more utilities that we can do. Finally, you can get tons more apps from Google by clicking View more apps and choosing Add apps. From here, you can browse featured apps, see what they do, and if any one of them sounds interesting or sounds like it could help you, select Add to this hangout. I'm going to hit cancel because we're not going to actually add anything to our hangout right now.

When you're all done, the meeting is over, and you've said everything that you had to say, to end the meeting, go up to the top right and choose Exit. Bye Shea. It's going to take you back to your Google+ site, and now you can go on with your day. So that's how you can have a Google hangout and work collaboratively and actually get some face time with some workers, especially if you're remote. You'll find that it's just nice to see other people's faces once in a while.

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