TitanPad: Shared Document Collaboration for Meetings

TitanPad allows users to work and type in a document at the same time. There is no signup required. Simply click on “Create Public Pad” and a “new document” will open.  You can import a document or just create new text from scratch. You can add users to this pad by simply “inviting” them via email. It provides eight distinctive colors for each person to use. After you finish you can export the document as Word, HTML, PDF or plain text.

TitanPadThis is useful if your team is on a bridge line and conference line and need to collaborate on a document in real time. Or need to track meeting notes quickly. No waiting to get an online meeting set up or Google Doc started.

 

Time Management: Are You Late for Meetings: Try Procrastinator’s Clock

A clock that can be installed on your computer and displays the time up to 15 minutes early, you just don’t know. Good for those individuals who just can’t seem to be on time for meetings and appointments. The procrastinator’s clock shows time early to help those individuals be triggered to leave for meetings and appointments and hopefully arrive on time or maybe not as late.

Here are the options for Procrastinator’s Clock

  • clock on deskProcrastinator’s Clock: Free download from CNET
  • iGoogle: Google has their own procrastinator’s clock that you can add to your Google homepage.
  • Dave Seah designed a procrastinator’s clock that just opens in your browser if you prefer not to download any app.

Meeting and Note-Taking: Recommended Apps

Evernote has been the dominant app for meeting and note-taking. It has a streamlined interface and interacts with other programs such as Microsoft Outlook. There are competitors to Evernote recognizing that everyone needs a place to track meeting notes, tasks, ideas, recommendations and other pieces of information. Below are some other recommended applications for note-taking.

Google Keep is a simple platform to iStock_000007485287_Smalltake notes. Google Keep integrates with a user’s Google platform and notes can sync with Google Drive. Users can make unlimited lists, add photos and graphics to notes and also color code notes. Although the functionality for Google Keep is fairly basic, knowing Google it probably will get enhancements in the coming year.

Microsoft OneNote is part of the Microsoft Office suite and an alternative to Evernote. OneNote was specifically designed as a meeting note application and does a great job of organizing meeting notes by type and date of meeting. The integration with Outlook is also a key feature as it allows users to import emails and tasks between the applications. OneNote has an app and notes can sync to mobile devices. However, attached files such as Word, Excel or email documents may not open depending on your platform. The free version of OneNote is limited to 500 notes, with unlimited use available for $4.99 via an in-app purchase.

SpringPad is a free app that allows users to save ideas, notes, project tasks, photos, products, checklists and recommendations. SpringPad has a very nice visual interface that provides photos and images to note topics. It works with multiple device platforms.

Online Meetings: Improve Communication by Using the Camera

Studies show that online meetings are more effective when the camera is in use and participants can see each other. Having the camera on for one-on-one meetings as well as small groups enables better communication during the conversation. It will also assist in keeping participants focused in the conversation.

Make sure to position the camera from a straight on view so it looks like the person is looking at themselves in the eyes.  If a person is looking to the left at the image of other people and the video camera is on the right, it looks like the person is just staring off to the side. Be sure to test the camera before an online meeting to make sure a person sees them from the participant’s point of view.

Be also aware of what is in the background behind where the person is sitting. Be mindful to keep a home office organized and clutter free. Be mindful of objects or items shown in the background of cameras that could be distracting and/or unprofessional.

Best Practices for Conducting Online and Virtual Meetings

Online meetings can be a valuable time saver and are becoming the standard way many people work in a telework or remote work environment. Since body language and non-visual cues are sometimes not available it is important to be mindful of communicating effectively using online meeting tools such as WebEx or Go to Meeting. To conduct quality and effective meetings means being more familiar with online meeting tools and protocol. Here are some tips;

Be Prepared

Make sure to be prepared before an online meeting. Video conferencing will tend to magnify any lack of preparation. Make sure to have all documentation easily accessible and within reach. In real life, leaning over to look at a paper portfolio may not be a big deal, but if a person disappears from the screen to get something, it can make the person look disorganized.

Connect 5-10 minutes early to online meetings. If there are any technical issues, make sure to know about them ahead of time. This is particularly true if a person is using a web conferencing system that they are not familiar with.

Document Sharing

Use the document sharing tool in the online meeting tool to review, edit and view documents. Learn about the annotation tools within tool that can highlight, mark and review documents for easy visual recording of changes.

Chat

When conducting online meetings, use the chat feature to engage the audience. Ask questions and allow participants to chat in their answers then, review and share responses. Use the chat function to ask and answer questions or make comments during the meeting with one, some, or all of the participants.

Start and End on Time

Meetings that start late or run over can create unnecessary stress for everyone in attendance. Respect attendee’s time by adhering to the online meeting schedule. Most web conferencing applications have automated reminders that will notify attendees via e-mail when the online meeting has started.