Connect Google Calendar to Your Zoom Account
To start off with, let’s connect the most common calendar to Zoom which will allow you to keep track of all the meetings you set in one place. In order to connect the two apps, log into your Google calendar, go to Settings in the right top corner and select Get add-ons. Then find Zoom for GSuite in a pop-up tab with all the apps you can connect with the calendar. Granting permission to install the app will enable you to manage Zoom events in Google calendar, manage emails in Gmail and connect to external services. Then all you need to do is to create an event in your calendar and choose Zoom as your video conferencing option. This will automatically create an ID and password for your call which you can copy by clicking on a Copy icon conveniently located next to the meeting details. Now that this is done, let’s integrate Zoom to Slack so that there is no excuse to miss meetings.
Connect Zoom to Slack
This integration between the two most used apps amongst workers helps you instantly start or join a meeting directly from Slack. Before you start, ensure that both your Zoom and Slack accounts are connected to the same email address and that you have either a Zoom Pro, Business, Education, or API plan. After that log into Zoom, find the Slack app in the Zoom Marketplace and click install. From there you’ll be able to promptly create Zoom invitation in Slack by simply typing in the /zoom command into the message field of any conversation.
Once all the add-ons are installed, it’s time to explore the app itself and discover many useful tricks hidden in the Settings section of the desktop and online versions of Zoom.
Save Your Time With General Settings
Before diving into keyboard shortcuts, familiarize yourself with General Settings in your Zoom account. Here you will find hidden gems for your audio, video, and permissions. Some of the useful features are ability to automatically copy a link to the meeting which will save you time searching for it. Additionally, you can set a reminder about an upcoming meeting and enable notifying other participants of the time you enter the meeting. Now let’s go into the keyboard shortcuts themselves.
Quick Invite Shortcut
When you are already in a meeting and you need to send someone an invite, spare the trouble exiting the call tab in order to find and copy the invitation. Instead, use a shortcut Cmd+I for Apple or Alt+I for PC. This will open a new tab where you can copy the invite and a password for the call or send a pre-filled email via Gmail, Yahoo or a different email hosting.
Record your meetings in Zoom so that you can come back to them at a later stage. To quickly start and stop a recording, press Alt+R or Cmd+Shift+R. If you need to pause and then resume recording, use Alt+P or Cmd+Shift+P. Once you exit the meeting, Zoom will automatically save the video in a separate folder on your computer.
Share Screens and Whiteboards
Once you’ve started a meeting, a quick way to share screens and documents is to press Alt+S or Cmd+Shift+S to open up a new window with sharing features. Here you will be able to swiftly share your full screen, a part of it, allow for remote control, share documents and go to cloud storages like Dropbox or Google Drive directly. Here you can also pull up a whiteboard for any visual aid during the meeting and allow your device’s audio to be played for everyone in case you’re sharing a video. To pause or resume a screen share, use Alt+T or Cmd+Shift+T shortcut.
Mute Audio and Turn Off Video
When it comes to business meetings, it is considered common practice to mute your audio while someone else is speaking. However, the more participants you have, the more unpredictable their actions can get. And as a host you have the option of turning off audio for each member separately by going into Manage Participants and select Mute All. You will be prompted to allow participants to unmute themselves at a later stage in the meeting. There is also a shortcut that you can share on a slide that allows to mute the audio – press Cmd+Shift+A (Alt+A for PC). Similarly, to quickly turn off your video, press Alt+V or Cmd+Shift+V.
Explore Video Settings of Your Account
When you log into Zoom and press Settings, then Video, you will be amazed by the cool features listed in this section. Here you can turn on video enhancement and HD mode or apply reflection to your video. Moreover, here you can enable a useful feature for those meetings where you don’t know everybody personally. Use the “always display participant’s name on the video” feature to never have to worry about addressing other participants.
Change Your Background
Zoom allows you to use a video or an image instead of your actual background. This can come in handy especially for those working from home. Virtual Background feature works best with a plain background and uniform lighting. You can apply both the featured background such as the Golden Bridge and your own images and videos uploaded from your device. To do that, go to the Settings in the top right corner of the Zoom homepage, then click on Virtual Background and the + icon to add photos from your device. To delete any photos you uploaded for the background, tap the X in their top left corner.
Use Breakout rooms to work in smaller groups
Just like we could once divide participants into smaller groups to work on a task and then come back together with the whole group, Zoom has a feature that allows you to do just that. It’s a thoughtful tool that comes in handy for group exercises and saves time creating another call and adding all the participants to it. To allow for breakout rooms, go in the Settings, search for Breakout rooms using a Ctrl+F shortcut and allow host to split meeting participants into separate, smaller rooms. There is an additional feature that allows you to assign participants to breakout rooms in advance when scheduling the call.
Enable Shortcuts Outside of Zoom
This feature allows to use Zoom shortcuts when the app is not in focus. To allow it, log into your Zoom desktop client, click on your profile picture in the right top corner, open up the settings and find the Keyboard Shortcuts icon. You will see a long list of all shortcuts that can be applied to speed up most of the actions on Zoom. Here you have an option of enabling each individual shortcut within Zoom and globally which means you’ll be able to use it outside the app. Visit this page to find all the hot shortcuts available in Zoom.
With as little as 20 minutes, you’ll be able to change the Zoom settings according to your wants and needs and save time worrying about them in the future. Now that you are aware of these shortcuts, it’s just a matter of time and practice to become natural at them.
Photos: Shutterstock / Photomontage: Martina Advaney
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