In recent years, video conferencing tools like Google Meet, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams have become household names, and not without reason. It is almost impossible to do without one of these tools in our new normal.
And Google Meet, previously known as Google Hangouts Meet and part of the Google Workspace, is one of the top video conferencing tools out there. According to Google’s blog post, since January 2020, Google Meet’s peak daily usage had grown by 30x. And soon, Meet was hosting 3 billion minutes of video meetings and adding roughly 3 million new Google Meet users every day.
So, with the surge in popularity of Google Meet, knowing a few hacks might come in handy to help you stay on top of your video conferencing game.
Let’s start with the basics.
While the below functions might be second-nature to the Google Meet veterans, this one is to help out the first-timers and the folks from other video conferencing platforms.
To remove a participant from the meeting,
On Windows and macOS: Move your mouse pointer over the image of the person you want to remove, and click on the “Remove from the call” (⛔) icon. Once the confirmation box appears, select “Remove” once more.
On iOS and Android: Find the person you want to remove on your screen, tap the three dots adjacent to their name, and select “⛔Remove”. Once the confirmation box appears, select “Remove” once more.
Note: Only meeting hosts can mute or remove participants.
To mute a participant in the meeting,
On Windows and macOS: Move the pointer over the image of the person you want to mute, and click on the “Mute” (🎙️) icon. Once the confirmation box appears, select “Mute” once more.
On iOS and Android: Find the person you want to mute on your screen, tap the three dots adjacent to their name, and select “🎙️Mute”. Once the confirmation box appears, select “Mute” once more.
To pin a meeting participant,
On Windows and macOS: Move the pointer over the image of the person you want to pin, and click on the “Pin” (📌) icon.
On iOS and Android: Find the person you want to mute on your screen, tap the three dots adjacent to their name and select “📌Pin”.
With the shift to remote, weekly meeting time jumped by 10%. This translates to an average of three additional meetings per week per employee.
And over three-quarters of people (78%) reported that their meeting schedule is either always or sometimes out of control.
Planning your meetings better, avoiding off-topic conversations, and using old-school note-taking not only cuts back on your meeting hours but also leads to more efficient and productive meetings.
This is where Google Meet add-ons (Chrome extensions) like Airgram come in to help you get more out of your meetings.
1. Login with your primary Google account and sign up for free on https://www.airgram.io/.
2. Download the Airgram extension from the Chrome web store.
3. Pin Airgram to the browser.
Setting up a meeting agenda is the only sure-fire way to keep your meetings on track and avoid wasting anyone’s time.
Well, unless you want to hear a “This could have been an email!” from your attendees.
Creating a meeting agenda that includes time-blocking for each topic when setting up a calendar event can help you steer clear of such incidents. And Airgram facilitates such a setup.
You can schedule, plan, and organize your meetings directly from your Google Calendar with Airgram for a collaborative, hassle-free remote working experience.
1. Go to Google Calendar and click on a meeting. Or, click on the Airgram icon at the top right corner of the calendar window.
2. Click “Write notes with Airgram” for the meeting you need to participate in.
3. Write down the meeting agenda on the screen that appears.
Recording important meetings ensures that you don’t miss anything, especially when there are a lot of people speaking.
Or, if that’s not your thing, taking a power nap, and catching up with the recorded meeting later, is also an option.
So, to record your meetings, click the Airgram icon and select “Meeting notes”. You will find “Start recording” in the menu that appears; click that. The Airgram bot will join your meeting and start recording.
You can watch the recorded meeting on the Airgram website and view the segmented video recording based on the agenda.
With effective note-taking, you can capture what’s needed and cut through the noise to save yourself the trouble of having to recall everything.
And Airgram enables you to take notes without leaving your meeting window, with pre-built meeting templates, checklists, and more.
What’s more, you can separate your action items from the other information you need and seamlessly assign, share them with your colleagues, along with the due date.
Yay! No more tab-switching!
Google Meet provides you with live captions or subtitles that you can turn on by clicking the “cc” icon at the bottom of your screen.
But Airgram goes one step further to give you a real-time transcription of your meeting with timestamps that help you navigate to the key parts of your meeting. It also allows you to transcribe up to 8 languages.
A shareable, real-time transcription of your meeting automatically starts when you click “Start recording”.
Transcriptions are a great alternative for meetings where you’re too tired or lazy to take notes.
If you want to liven things up in your meetings, then these Google Meet features are for you.
Thousands of creative filters and a variety of backgrounds are available for Google Meet, and you can play around with them for some snazzy looks.
Background - To change or blur your background, click the three dots at the bottom of your meeting screen and select “Apply Visual Effects” to pick a new background or blur your existing one.
Filters - Though Google Meet doesn’t have any native filters, you can access a wide range of fun and quirky filters via the Snap camera application. You can download and install the application here. Once you complete the installation, proceed to Google Meet settings, and switch your video from integrated camera to Snap camera to enable these filters.
Collaborate, brainstorm, and conceptualize ideas with Google Meet whiteboards.
Click the activities icon (the one with different shapes) at the bottom of the meeting screen and select whiteboarding.
Create a new whiteboard and start working together.
Give your Google Meet a whole new look.
Choose from the four different video layouts available - Auto, Tiled, Spotlight, and Tiled, and opt for the one that suits your viewing preferences.
To pick a new layout, click on the three dots at the bottom of the meeting screen and select change layout from the menu that appears. Pick your preferred layout, and voilà, you have your video feed in a new layout.
Given below are some Google Meet shortcuts for quick access to essential meeting functions: