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The ultimate how-to guides for working, playing and connecting

A compilation of the most useful how-to guides

“Normal” these days is very different from what it was just a few short months ago. And that takes some adjusting to.

We don’t know about you but we’ve found ourselves scouring the Internet, looking for guides on how to use different video conferencing tools, how to work from home effectively and even how to play virtual games with our friends. 

This research took us from site to site to site and was pretty time-consuming. It got us thinking, if only there had been somewhere that had all this information in one place. 

That’s why we decided to compile the most useful of these how-to guides in one place, so that you don’t have to spend hours trawling the Internet for them.

You’re welcome.

Getting started with video calling

Woman talking on a video call, holding a cup of coffee.
Photo by Matilda Wormwood from Pexels

We’re pretty sure that we’ve made more video calls over the last couple of months than we had in our entire lives prior.

Using tools such as Zoom may be second nature for some, but others will need a bit of guidance on how to use them. Here’s a little list of how to get yourself set-up and get started on some of the most popular tools out there currently.

Zoom offers a comprehensive set of articles and videos on how to get started on their platform. We should, however, note that Zoom has had some security issues recently and you may want to read about them before you commit to using their platform. 

We also found guidance on how to get set up with Google Hangouts, and how to use Houseparty, a relatively new platform. Its popularity has soared in recent months. 

We even wrote our own article around Skype, giving you some guidance on how to video conference without having to sign up or install anything.

Finally, for all the Apple fans out there, here’s some guidance on how to get started with Facetime. 

How to video call 

Getting set up on these platforms is only half the battle though. 

A lot of people struggle to video conference effectively so we’ve got some guidance, both from our very own Director of Content and from The New York Times, on how to video call properly.

While these tips are specifically for video conferencing for work, a lot of the same principles can be applied to social calls too. 

Regardless of whether you’re on a video call for work, or just for a chat, no one wants to see you eating. Period.

Working from home

Speaking of working from home, there’s a whole lot of information out there on how to maximize your productivity, retain your motivation and generally perform as best you can.

The Ting staff, many of whom work from home even in normal circumstances, got together and laid out some of our top tips for working from home

Woman, sitting on a sofa, working on her laptop while her daughter jumps on the other side of the sofa.
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

If that’s not enough for you, PCMag put together this great list of 20 WFH tips, Computerworld produced some tips on how to stay motivated and the LA Times provided some tips on how to stay healthy and avoid getting sore or stiff.

Our favorite working from home tip, however, comes from Ting’s very own Richard Howard. In this article, he talks you through how to use your tablet or phone as a second screen.

We can’t tell you how much we were missing our dual monitor set up in the office, and Rich’s advice was truly a lifesaver. 

How to play from home

But as the saying goes, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” so it’s important to find ways to kick back, relax and retain some semblance of a social life.

Organizing a trivia night with your friends is super easy and requires nothing more than getting everyone on the same platform and designating someone to think of some questions (or just pinch some off the Internet).

Some people, however, like to take things a little further. 

There are some great games out there, like the Jackbox Party Packs, that we have talked about previously in our Family game night 2.0 article and are definitely worth looking into. 

But if this isn’t really your speed, then why not try playing classic card games with your friends online

Not into card games either? Well we’ve got good news, Tabletopia has a selection of over 800 great board games that you can play online. You can play from your browser or use the Steam, iOS, or Android app. Even better news is that you can play a lot of their titles for free by signing up for their Bronze plan. 

How to save money on your phone bill

Chances are you’re spending a lot more time at home than usual and, because of this, we’re guessing that you’re on WiFi a lot more.

If that is the case, then now could be the perfect time to try Ting because with Ting you only pay for what you use. So if you don’t use any data, then you won’t pay for any. It’s that simple. 

If you’re looking for ways to save money, then why not check us out? Have a look and see if you can bring your own device and number over to Ting today!