join.me: A Quick, Simple and Free Desktop Sharing Resource

In the past couple of weeks, the free online resource, join.me, has saved me during a couple of training episodes. The first time was working with a consultant and attempting to explain what a program looked like on my desktop and how it displayed information. It was difficult attempting to describe everything that was going on and having the consultant visualize it. The consultant pointed me to join.me as a simple way for me to share the desktop, and in less than two minutes (probably less than a minute), I was sharing my desktop with him and he could see the program for himself. The second time was when I was explaining how to perform a search to a secretary in another office. For some reason, we couldn't seem to stay on the same page during the telephone training, so I remembered the join.me website and suggested we both use it. Again, within a couple of minutes we were sharing the desktop and were able to quickly go through the rest of the training. In my estimation, it saved me a good 30 minutes of time getting the secretary up to speed.

So, I'm sharing my stories with you in case you ever find yourself in need of quickly sharing a desktop with another (or group), and you don't need to be a techie to be able to use it. There's no permanent software to install, and there's even a conference telephone number you can use if you want to do a conference call with multiple people.

Here's some simple directions on how it is used. It's actually so easy, that you can probably just go to join.me and figure it out on the fly.


1. You go to the http://join.me site, click "share" and a temp file is downloaded.

2. Click "run" on that file and it will give you a pop-up with your join.me #

3. Give the other participant(s) that link and they can then see your screen from their browser

4. You can even share control with the participants

5. It will even give you a conference phone number if you needed one (it's not toll-free, but who pays for long-distance these days??)

6. Close it out when you're done and the temp file is deleted.

Of course, as Toby commented to me when I showed it to him… it could very well be a huge headache for your IT group if they see this as a hole in the firm's security. Many IT rules forbid you from downloading and installing software… with this, however, you're really not installing anything (other than temporarily)… so you can play dumb if they catch you.

Go check out join.me and test this out for yourself. There are also mobile versions as well as Professional versions if your IT group wants to establish a permanent web address for your firm.  I think you'll find it very easy to use and may save you time the next time you are training someone remotely.

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Sarah M said...

I've had the power to proxy in like the helpdesk folks at my firm for awhile. If you can't get your IT department to give you that much power, I think this would be a great tool. I even wrote a little article about proxy in the new Best Practices for Governemnt Information Professionals. http://www.lexisnexis.com/tsg/gov/Best_Practices/Best_Practices_2011.pdf


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