Follow our top tips for getting the most out of your online video calls.

If you hadn’t heard of Zoom at the beginning of 2019, you’ve most certainly heard of it now, and likely used it for Guild meetings, talks, catch-ups with friends, even online quizzes. It might not be the same as meeting up in person, but it has afforded some wonderful opportunities to connect with people and events around the world, that otherwise probably would not have happened!

It seems like online video calling platforms aren’t going anywhere soon, and perhaps the future will be a hybrid of real life and online meet ups. So we’ve put together our top five tips for living your best virtual life, and getting the most out of these online interactions.

1. Set up in Advance

You might only have to go from one room to the next, but it’s important to be ready for when that video call starts. Make sure you have a good internet connection and log in to the meeting in good time. Have some water to hand, maybe even a coffee and some snacks. (You can put yourself on mute so that no-one can hear you munching!) Check what’s in the background of your screen, making sure there’s nothing too personal in shot.

2. Look good – from the waist up

The beauty of zoom calls is you can do them in your loungewear! Of course, depending on the call you are joining, you might need to look a little more professional, but you only need to look smart for the part of you that can be seen on screen. You wouldn’t be the first person to wear a smart top and makeup, with pyjama bottoms and slippers out of sight of the camera! Embrace the comfy, especially if you’re going to be sitting for a long time.

3. Keep your hands busy

Us quilters can’t be expected to sit for too long empty handed!  It might be that you need a notebook (or Quilter’s Planner) and pen to take notes,  or perhaps just do some hand sewing, as you listen. Have everything you need in advance then you’ll be able to relax once the meeting starts. If you have any questions, write them down and find the opportunity to ask them, either out loud or using the online chat facility.

4. Posture and positioning

Make sure you are sitting in a comfortable but supportive chair/seat to support your upper body.  Try to sit upright and don’t slouch.  If you’re using a laptop, place it on top of a box or stack of books to raise it up to eye-line height. This will avoid strain on your neck looking down. Some zoom calls can last a while so it’s important to look after your body.  If possible, schedule or request movement/comfort breaks for those longer meetings so that you can walk around and get moving after sitting for long periods.

5. Keep track of your meetings

The daily pages in the Quilter’s Planner are a great way of keeping track of all your meetings, even if they are online meetings! You’ll still need to block out a certain amount of time for them. Make sure you write down key info about who the meeting is with, what time it starts and approximately how long you think it will last. Always allow a little extra time, as sometimes zoom meetings can be slow to get started while everyone connects, and often overrun.

We hope these tips are helpful for you to have healthy, happy online connections! Do follow us on Instagram and join our private Facebook group ‘Quilter’s Planner with Lorinda Davis: Sketch. Dream. Be Inspired’ for more tips, tricks and inspiration.