IM for Beginners – What Do You Need to Know?

IM for beginners

IM for Beginners – What Do You Need to Know?

June 21, 2018   Instant Messaging

A Brief History

You probably remember the days of buddy lists on AOL instant messenger (AIM), or even ICQ (I Seek You) before that. If you’re new to instant messaging (IM), though, you’d be forgiven for not knowing that it has actually been around much, much longer than that. Beginning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1961, the Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS) allowed up to 30 users to log in and send messages to each other. While rudimentary IM programs like CTSS connected universities and research labs, those early days have since morphed into an industry spanning myriad platforms, social media and business environments, and billions of users – enough to make your head spin.

Why Instant Messaging?

With technology evolving on a daily basis, you’re not alone in wondering why IM? The advantages of IM are multifold, though, for both private and business users. The first and foremost benefit of IM quite literally lies in its name. IM is instantaneous, whereas any number of circumstances – from the capacity of the recipient’s inbox, internet connection, and even the weather – can slow down email communication. With IM, there’s no wondering whether the message has been received or lost in an overcrowded inbox. Nor must you annoyingly refresh your browser repeatedly to see if a response has come. With many IM programs you can see that the message has been received, as well as when the other individual is replying.

IM allows you to match the communication to the message. There’s no need to waste time with busy signals or voicemails when you only need to engage in a fast but brief conversation with someone you know. IMs are meant to be short and sweet, so you can avoid the extra time needed to format and proofread emails. Moreover, should the need arise for another form of communication, many IM programs feature a variety of built-in communication channels; from group, audio, and video chats to shared collaborative workspaces.

On the business end, communication is key. Breakdowns in communication undermine worker morale and hinder productivity. Fortunately, business IM affords employees and staff the tools to communicate and collaborate flexibly and efficiently while increasing productivity and cost savings. According to Carleton University researchers, the average person spends nearly seventeen hours per week – that’s more than two days out of the work week – on email. With business IM, employees are constantly connected thus reducing the time needed to compose and check emails; meaning workers can focus on what they’re paid to do – work!

The benefits of business IM aren’t limited to worker productivity and efficiency, though. It can also save you money. In today’s business climate no advantage is too small, especially when it concerns the bottom line. With ever-increasing numbers of remote workers, many located all over the world, tools like video chat and virtual whiteboards can simulate face-to-face meetings and group environments; reducing costly travel expenditures and eliminating hassles like phone bills and postage.

So what about the features?

Today’s instant messaging couldn’t be further from the original CTSS. A host of IM features keep you, your team, and your clients conveniently and securely connected via the latest instant messaging technology.

Hate meetings? Group chats benefit the whole team through real-time conversations, broadcast messages, and the ability to select which team members to include in the chat. Coupled with file sharing, there’s no need to worry about who is or isn’t present at the weekly staff meeting. There’s hardly even a need for the weekly staff meeting!

Sometimes IM is too impersonal or simply unprofessional. For those occasions, voice and video chat come in handy. Built-in to many IM platforms, voice chats allow for quick, easy, and personalized calls. Video chats, on the other hand, offer the next best thing to face-to-face meetings.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could visualize in real time pictures, drawings, or even flow charts and diagrams? With tools like the virtual whiteboard, you can! During a whiteboard session, users can draw shapes, pictures, graphs, and charts, even when they’re thousands of miles away from each other.

Peace of mind should always be your top priority when searching for the right IM service to meet your needs. Brosix not only offers compatibility across Windows, Mac, Linux, and Web platforms, but also automatically updates with each new version released. Crucially, it utilizes the antivirus software on your device to scan data and files received. You can rest easy knowing that your devices, as well as your hard work, are safe and secure.

Work smarter, not harder

You’ve heard the old adage – work smarter, not harder. While the jury is still out on whether or not multitasking actually makes us more productive, there’s no arguing that it’s as much a part of today’s workplace as the computer. Therefore it’s vital that we utilize our limited focus to work smarter, better handle our information load, and effectively manage our time. The right instant messaging platform can help.

Being on the computer all day means there are infinite ways to waste time and lose productivity. One of these ways is the number of keystrokes each day. Keystrokes count, and IM helps you to reduce them. Communicating via IM over email may only save you a minute here and a few seconds there, but over the course a day that adds up.

Imagine you’ve got a technical glitch which you can’t resolve. We’ve all been there. The last thing you need on your plate is a half an hour on hold with tech support. Or you simply want to share content with a new client. The power to share your screen and all its contents means that there’s no time spent on hold, nor any time wasted writing, formatting, and proofreading an email to share content; only to find out the content is too large to share via email.

When working on the computer, how you utilize your limited screen real estate can mean the difference between effectiveness and inefficiency. Tabbed chats afford you the easily navigable combination of multiple chats in a single window. Finally! No more getting lost in a maze of browser windows.

In conclusion

Whether you’re drowning in a sea of emails, balancing multiple clients, or just need a better way to keep in touch, isn’t it time you see what IM can do for you or your business? Offering an array of advantages – from increased efficiency and productivity to flexibility and cost savings – the right IM platform will simplify your life!