Brought To You By Emily Parks
Productivity Consultant at Organize For Success, LLC...
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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Top Ten Favorite Tools for Communicating Remotely

Organize for Success® Turns 10 
In honor of 10 years of business for Organize for Success®, I will be posting a "top 10" list to this blog each day through Wednesday, May 31st. Each Sunday, my team will randomly select from those who commented on the prior week's "top 10" blog posts for a gift card giveaway and free download of one eBook at The grand prize for celebrating Organize for Success, LLC's 10 years will be awarded on Thursday, June 1st, randomly selecting from all those who commented on any of the month's "top 10" blog posts as well as those who have subscribed to my eNewsletter for a winner to receive downloads of all 5 eBooks, a pass for my Stress and Time Management online video course as well as a 60-minute video productivity consultation.

Today, it's my top 10 favorite tools for communicating remotely:

10. UberConference - Make conference phone calls for free without ever needing to enter a PIN. Participants choose whether to call in for themselves or have the conference line call them; then, all folks on the conference line can see on their screens whoever else is on the call, be alerted as to who is speaking at any point in time and easily connect to participants' social media profiles. Plus, if you are leading the meeting, you can seamlessly share your screen with all those on the call, adding a visual element, too.

9. Voxeet - Using technology it calls TrueVoice, these conference calls pride themselves on superior sound quality, including "No garbling. No static. No dropped calls." Whether connecting via your Firefox or Chrome on your computer or an app on your mobile device, you can join a call without ever needing to enter a password or PIN. This tool integrates with Box, Dropbox and Google Drive, offering powerful group messaging to collaborate during the call via voice, text, photos and documents. Each call's host can easily record the meeting or presentation for later sharing and replaying. Further, this tool integrates with Excel, PowerPoint and Word to launch presentations for participants.

8. TeamViewer - There are three instances where this screen-share technology is the ideal solution: If your tech support personnel needs to take control of your computer to solve issues remotely, if you need to access your own computer securely from a distance without using a VPN or if you need to share your computer screen content with folks collaborating remotely who need to view images of complex details. Its powerful security features allow private data, private conversations and private meetings to remain private. Although there is sometimes a delay in moving the mouse versus when you see the cursor move or type, it's a shorter delay than comparable alternatives. Finally, it's free for personal use.

7. Google Hangouts - If you have a login for Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive or any other Google product, you get complimentary access to this tool for video calling, phone calls or messaging others. It is easy to login via an Android app, an iOS app or your Chrome web browser. Whether a one-on-one conversation or a group chat, this tool's messaging allows for sending emoji, photos, GIFs and maps; plus, those conversations can be synced between devices via your Google login. Further, my favorite feature is turning meetings into video conferences with just one tap, where I can see up to 10 participants on-screen at once.

6. GoToMeeting - Subscribers can host unlimited meetings for web audio, screen sharing, a dial-in conference line and HD video conferencing, but there are tiered prices for how many individual logins can participant in each meeting. Those higher tiers also add features like tools to draw on the screen, the ability to record each call, a personal meeting room for participants to chat, mobile apps as well as keyboard and mouse sharing. This is the only solution integrating with Outlook, Gmail, HipChat, Zapier and Salesforce.

5. Skype - This tool allows you to make free video or voice calls to anyone in the world that has a Skype account. Up to 12 participants of group video calls can be seen on-screen at once or you can choose to use this tool for instant messaging that can include emojis, photos and video messages alike as well as regular, ol' phone calls. Plus, Skype calls offer the addition of screen sharing to give great presentations or display step-by-step instructions.

4. Viber - Many families utilize this tool for secure communications with students studying aboard, particularly as it offers cheap international calls and messaging from computer desktops as well as phone apps. This tool enables free text, calling, photo messages and location-sharing between users with no registration, aliases or invitations required and instantly integrates with your contacts.

3. Tango - Video calling via this mobile app is viewed as the best quality available for free. Additionally, it offers free international and domestic calls to any number in the U. S., Canada, Mexico and India as well as low rate calls to anywhere else worldwide. Like Snapchat, this tool offers the ability to paint atop what images are created; meanwhile, you can send stickers, add filters and play games while on a call. Further, its messaging offers the ability to send and receive text, stickers, photos, video and location messages both one-on-one as well as in groups.

2. ooVoo - This free tool lets you video call one-on-one or with up to 12 contacts, recording calls and sharing your screen as you desire. Alternatively, you can choose to message within ooVoo, sending text, pictures and video messages. Choose between Amazon Fire Phone, Android phone, Android tablet, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mac, Windows phone, PC and Intel® RealSense™ devices for your device on which to use it, and be aware that ooVoo normally has the best quality among similar tools.

1. Zoom - Whether communicating via video conference or simply sharing your screen images, companies love this tool for its ease of use, flexibility and high quality. Adding cross-platform messaging and file sharing, it makes collaboration easier. The free option offers a robust range of features; however, there is tiered pricing to add features like larger meeting sizes, reporting and recordings.

Bonus - FaceTime - This video conferencing tool is included with purchase of any iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch as well as any Mac computer or laptop. If you are a fan of Apple products, before delving into the many cross-platform options available, consider whether this built-in tool might work well enough.

What are your favorite tools for communicating remotely? Are there any on this list you'd like to try implementing? Do you prefer communicating in-person, over the phone, through email or via video conference?

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