Most of my working relationships are long distance. We communicate constantly by email, text and phone. But we rarely sit across the table where we can point at the same document or screen and discuss improvements.
That’s one reason I love Jing. It’s a screen capture tool that makes it much easier to communicate ideas visually—a great example of how a picture is worth a thousand words.
Use Jing to easily snip anything you see on your monitor, such as portions of web pages, photos, Word documents, .PDF files, email messages, etc. If you like, add text or arrows to explain or emphasize various points. Then paste this custom image into any other electronic document, or save it as a url.
I find it extremely helpful to snip portions of web pages and other digital images and add comments. For example, if I’m working with a programmer to modify parts of a web page, I could type out an explanation such as:
“On the page for product XYZ, please 1) enlarge the featured image and left-align it with the box below; 2) add a “Download Brochure” link in the first position under Learn more; and 3) add a “Related products” box under “Learn more” listing these items, in this order: Guide to Developing New Products; Special Report: New Opportunities in Niche Markets.”
OR…I could say the same thing this way:
Isn’t that much better?!
You might want to use this technique to collaborate on other types of projects with co-workers or clients. I especially like the fact that you can use Jing to make a couple simple comments on any .PDF document—you don’t need to own the professional version of Acrobat and generate comment-enabled files.
Here are a few other ways you could use Jing:
Share More than Directions
Google Maps and GPS services are great for providing turn-by-turn directions. But if you have an important meeting with a client, you might want to send extra instructions, like this:
You can paste the image in the body of an email or just send your client a link to your captured image.
Comment in Photos
If you’re a real estate agent who works with buyers, you know that your clients love to see pictures of homes for sale. The more photos—and the more information that can be gleaned from them—the better. Once you know what features your buyers care about, you can enhance the photos you give them with special captions like this:
Create Video Captures Too
You can also use Jing to create short videos. The process is similar. Start by drawing a box around part of your screen. Jing will record any mouse movements and other changes within this window. And if you have a microphone, you can add narrations to your video clips.
This would be especially helpful if you have special features on your site or offer online access to proprietary software and want to help clients understand how to use these tools. Many people would rather watch a short demonstration than read a step-by-step guide.
Free and professional versions of Jing can be downloaded at TechSmith. The professional version costs $15 a year and provides a lot more flexibility, including webcam videos and YouTube uploads. Going pro also removes Jing’s name from your videos.
Jing is available for PCs and Macs, but sadly there isn’t an iPad option. Keep your fingers crossed that this changes soon!
How would you use Jing? Are you already using it?