Online Communication Tools

Image: online communication tools: Google, mobile

by Anna Rathbun

May 2018 Presentation at Coast Women in Business

I use a variety of cool, online communication tools to run my business—following is a list of my favorites. I use these tools to help people recover from stress and illness using food, supplements, and lifestyle adjustments.

Talk Face to Face on the Computer while Viewing Files

Zoom allows you to talk face to face to another person while sharing a screen. Screen-sharing allows you to go over material, written documents, diagrams, anything that you can see on a computer that needs to be shared with a client while you’re also looking at them face to face via computer. Zoom is free for unlimited conversations under 40 minutes, then monthly depending on desired features.

Schedule Emails to Send Later

Right Inbox for Gmail allows you to write an email with the address and choose the time to send it. It automatically sends the email at that time whether or not your computer is open. You can also schedule emails to remind yourself to deal with things and set up recurring emails. The first 10 emails are free; after that it’s about $70 per year.

Invite Others to Your Events through Your Calendar

Google Calendar has an option to add emails to your calendar events. Just create an event, add your recipients’ email addresses, and click on “yes” in the dialogue box about sending the emails. Google Calendar will automatically send the recipients an email that they can accept or deny. With just a couple more clicks, you can ask Google Calendar to send a reminder right before the event.

Email to Text

Every cell phone carrier has a text code that you can use to send a text through an email account. You need to know the cell phone carrier as well as the text number you want to reach. This is useful so that you can also schedule text reminders within Right Inbox for Gmail. Just enter the number@carrier code – for example, for US Cellular and for Verizon.

Text to Email

Simply enter an email address as you would normally, and you can send a message from a text message to any email account. When the email is received, it will show you the carrier code.

Phone Call and Text Online – No Land-line

Google Voice allows you to call or text from any device very efficiently. It transcribes your voice messages so they read like text, but you can listen to the audio if necessary. You can choose your own free Google Voice number or transfer any land line to Google Voice after first transferring it to a cell phone.

Share Files and Edit Files on Screen

Google Drive allows you to keep files that you’re sharing with colleagues or clients neat and tidy. You can allow other users to just view files or to also be able to make changes to them. Document Hub is also useful to make notes directly on these files while screen-sharing with Zoom. Document Hub allows you to make notes on picture files (such as pdf and jpg), then save, share, or print the files for free.

Accept Credit Cards

Square is an extremely simple application that allows you to take credit cards by swiping on any computer, tablet, or mobile device. After first setting up an account, Square sends you a card reader that fits right into the phone jack of your device. You can also key in credit card numbers, accept payments online, and send invoices online. There is no upfront cost, and the fee for swiped cards is only 2.75 percent.

Online Scheduler that’s Simple and Free

Square Appointments is a good, free, online scheduler. This allows people to schedule time to speak with you whether it’s just a phone conversation or an official appointment. Playing email and phone tag just to find a time to talk can waste too much time, and most online schedulers can be cumbersome. Square Appointments is very clean and neat for users.

I hope you’ve found my list of cool, online tricks to run a business useful. I invite you to use my online scheduler to schedule a time to talk about cool online tools or nutrition and health.

About the Presenter

Anna Rathbun helps women recover from stress and illness using food, supplements, and lifestyle adjustments. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature as well as Nutrition Consulting Certification. Working in the public arena, Anna has helped local school districts, preschools, food banks, and other nonprofits with nutrition practices and policy. Today Anna helps clients in her Mendocino office or afar by phone and Internet as well as at the Corners of the Mouth health food store in Mendocino.

About Coast Women in Business

Mendocino Coast Women in Business Network supports the business community on the coast. We meet monthly to foster entrepreneurship and professional development on the Mendocino Coast and beyond. Membership fees are $50 annually or $10 per drop-in meeting. Your first meeting is always free, and we offer a limited number of need-based memberships—please inquire. We’re sponsored by the Women’s Business Center at the West Business Development Center. We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting!

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