5 Online Meeting Tools That Really Work

by Mahesh Kukreja · 0 comments

in Computer Tricks


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Cavemen—or should we say cavepersons?—probably surveyed their digs back in the day and couldn’t imagine anything better than their nice dry caves decorated with a few flat rocks. Eventually, wooden structures got these guys out of their caves.

Will online meeting tools eventually push us out of our comfortable conference rooms with their shiny oak tables? Maybe not completely, but online meetings are certainly becoming more common.

Here are five online tools that work. They’re free, mostly, so can save you money as well as time, which, the old adage tells us, is also money.

The first four tools I want you to look at are designed to make dealing with documents easier within the online meeting environment & the last one is related to video conferencing.

Online Meeting Tools

[Photo via Flickr]

Google Docs

Between spreadsheets and word processing documents, you have about 90 percent of all business world work products. Google Docs allows for collaborative input and editing. No matter where people in your online meeting are located, be it Tampa Bay or Timbuktu, you can all edit the same documents and see the results in real time.

Along with being free, Google Docs is good because many of your associates already have accounts. If you call a meeting quickly, there’s a good change people won’t have to go through a signup procedure. Google Docs can work well in a video conferencing environment.

Sync.in

If you often collaborate on notes, or word processing documents, Sync.in could be a good choice because it offers more bells and whistles than you get with a standard Google Doc. You can create “public notes,” share them and work on them in groups at no cost. The “Pro” level runs $2 a month for each user. However, there is a 30-day free trial period.

Your sessions are recorded, so you can go back in time to review what has been done, including an infinite “undo” option. Additional features include:

  • great color coding,
  • changes instantly reflected on participants’ screens,
  • a built-in chat window, and
  • the option for audio conferencing.

Twiddla

What would a meeting in the conference room be without a white board? Twiddla allows you to bring white board brainstorming to an online meeting. Twiddla is browser based and the basic service is free and allows you to password protect your sessions. Online chat and audio conferencing is built in, but when I tried the free service, I got a “sorry all voice lines lines are busy” message.

Even more handy than being able to scribble on a white board is that you can upload images, or navigate to web pages and use them for your “markups.”

Teamlab

If you’re looking for a more complete “office solution” rather than just a way to hold online meetings, this might be for you. Teamlab is an open source project that so far includes project management, business collaboration, document management, instant messaging, a calendar, customer relationship management, email management and a full mobile version.

Vyew

With documents and organizational matters out of the way, we move to what meetings are all about: face time with your coworkers and clients.
Vyew, which vows to keep its free version free forever, has built video conferencing into its system, which also allows for document presentations, document review, drawing, screen capture and desktop sharing. Up to five people can broadcast video. Like many of these services, there is also a paid version available.

Another good feature is that the meeting “room” is accessible to anyone with permission at any time. So people can “attend” a meeting after it has occurred or you can go back and review the meeting at a later time.

Conclusion

I encourage you to further explore these five online meeting tools that work, so you can get a better idea how they might fit into your style of conducting business. Also, keep your eyes open for additional entries into this category of applications.

 Author Bio

Chris Turberville-Tully is a marketing strategist for NewNet, a resource for businesses and individuals. NewNet’s services include broadband, VOIP, web hosting, leased lines, business ISP and dedicated servers.

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