Put Your Screen Where My Eyes Could See

Image courtesy of MP3WAXX.com’s photostream

I don’t know about you, but I’ve often asked myself if there was an easy way to share what I’m looking at on my computer with someone else.  Whether it’s explaining how to navigate a complex web tool, or something as trivial as helping to locate the refresh button in a web browser, I’ve often scratched my head as I struggled to describe what it is I’m looking at.  Luckily, there’s a solution to this dilemma, and best of all – it’s free.

So enough foreshadowing, let’s get down to business.  The solution I’m talking about is Join.me.  It’s an easy, free way to share your screen with someone.  If I need to assist someone with a web editor – I use Join.me.  If I’m dealing with someone that’s not tech savvy and needs some help navigating Google Chrome – I use Join.me.  If I’m hungry….well in that case I’d get a sandwich.  I might share the local deli’s online menu with a friend, though, using Join.me.

It’s pretty simple to use, and getting started is easy.  Go to https://join.me/ and click on the ‘Basic’ tab to start the free download.  Once everything gets setup on your computer you’re ready to start sharing.

When you open Join.me it’s really simple to start sharing your screen.  Just click on ‘Share’ and you’re ready to do exactly that.  You’ll get a little popup that looks like this:

If you click on the join link in the top bar (where it says join.me/296-820-263) you can copy the join link to your clipboard, or email it to someone.  The bottom buttons (from left to right) do the following:

• Conference Access:  Access the audio through the internet (normally join.me sends a phone number to dial for audio).  You can upgrade this feature by getting the Pro version.
• Chat: This icon has a drop-down box for easy chatting with your participants.
• Pause Screen: Does exactly that.  Handy if you need to access something you don’t want your participants to see.
• Participants: Will list who’s watching your screen.  Normally this will be ‘Viewer 1’ and so on.
• Share Control:  This is blocked out on the free version so it looks like you’ll need the Pro version to use this

There are a few more options that you can use, by clicking the arrow next to the ‘Share Control’ button.  You’ll get a drop-down box where you can select your screen (if using dual monitors), upgrade to the Pro version, or end the session.  Try it out – you can even join your own session – although you’ll get a funny visual effect:

If the free version isn’t enough for you, the Pro version is $19/month, or $149/year. You can even download an App for your Smartphone, and join meetings from your mobile device.  Well that’s all I’ve got for today folks.  Be sure to catch my next blog post, where I’ll show you a free and easy way to keep tabs on your Android or iPhone.  In the meantime, give Join.me a try, and see how easy it is to share!

Until next time,

Tom Zobel

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