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Ultimate guide for your first week in Switchboard

Make your first week in Switchboard a success.

Table of Contents

Welcome to Switchboard!

In this short guide we’ll show you how to use Switchboard by yourself and then how to introduce it to your team—so you can all have fewer meetings.

🔑 The key to clearing your calendar? Saying goodbye to inefficient meetings.

Canceling inefficient meetings is the deliberate practice of reducing unnecessary meetings so everyone has more time for deep focused work. When you collaborate outside of meetings it's about measuring progress, not facetime—and is exactly what Switchboard is designed for.

If you want fewer meetings on your calendar, it’s time for you to take the first step: setting up a Switchboard room.

🏕 Set up your room

Each Switchboard room has a huge interactive canvas where you can add content and share ideas. This lets you visually organize all of the browser-based apps, documents, and files you and your team need. Rooms keep your work open and are always ready for feedback, annotation, and conversations—either async or live.

Need room inspiration? Check out these use cases.

You don’t need to create tons of rooms right now. Let’s start with a project room, because it is a great one to use on your own or with your team.

To make your project room—or any new room—head over to the upper left corner of your workspace and click on that gray + button. Once you’ve given the room a name, it’s time to add some apps.

To create a room, click the (+) towards the top of the left nav menu.

Top resources for setting up your room:

🔨 Add some apps

Apps are, essentially, anything you add to the canvas. Switchboard has a few built-in apps, like Vote, Timer, and Open Questions. However, you can also add all the tools you normally use with your team—from Google Docs to Jira, Linear, Asana, Amplitude, and more. All browser-based apps work in Switchboard and become multiplayer when they’re on the canvas.

It’s really easy to add browser-based apps, websites, images, PDFs, and more to Switchboard. Either use the bar at the bottom of your screen, right click anywhere on the canvas, or hit command + v after you’ve copied a link.

Switchboard room content
Use the toolbar at the bottom of the room to add content including browsers, screen shares, notepads, sections, whiteboarding tools including shapes, text & stickies as well as built-in apps like timers and Q&A modules.

Since you’re building a project room, add materials that are relevant to the project. For example, grab the project brief, your task manager, PDFs, and anything else you regularly work on. Once they’re all in the room you can stop chasing down docs! Everything you add stays right where you put it.

Now that all your project materials are in the room, you can see everything you’re working on in one space. As an added bonus, everything added to Switchboard can also interact with Switchboard AI. That means you can have conversations with tools that normally don’t talk to each other.

Top resources for adding content to your room:

🤝 Share with a coworker

As helpful as a room can be for solo work, if you want to reduce meetings, you need to bring your team in. After all, working with other people in Switchboard is the key to unlocking fewer meetings.

When you work together in Switchboard, everyone has access to the same information at any time. Not only can people stop asking “can you send that link again?” but they can also go to a room and catch up on progress whenever they need to. This is the key to having fewer meetings.

Now the question is: Who should you share your project room with? Most people start using Switchboard with close teammates at work, so invite other project stakeholders who you collaborate with regularly.

Switchboard share button
Tap the share button in the upper righthand corner of the room to invite someone to the room as a member or to join a call as a guest.

Here are all the ways you can share Switchboard:

  • Invite your internal team to the workspace so they can access shared rooms and create their own
  • Invite individuals—like external partners—to specific rooms so they can work with you on the project
  • Share a call link to give one time access to someone so they can participate in a meeting
  • Mention someone in a thread, so they can review feedback or answer a question in context

Top resources for sharing rooms with others:

👯 Work together, during and between meetings

Instead of defaulting to meetings because that’s how your team has always operated, doing more work asynchronously means being intentional about what work actually requires a meeting. That allows you to make decisions more quickly throughout the week. And, when you and your team do need to meet, meetings will be shorter and more productive.

But how do you know what work can be done on your own schedule and what work should be live?

Here’s how we operate at Switchboard:

  • Share ideas: Once you've set up the room with all of your apps and files, you can share the contents of the entire room with the team. This lets you communicate ideas and context instead of sharing one link at a time.
  • Ask for feedback: Tag a team member in a thread to ask a question about a design or timeline, really anything. You’ll get a notification when they respond and you can continue the conversation.
  • Make decisions (async or in a meeting): If you’re able to resolve open questions through comment threads, Open Questions or Vote, then you’re good to go. Cancel the meeting! But if you want to talk in real time, everything you need is in the room. No need to prep or swap screen shares—you and your coworker can dive right in.

Top resources for working with others in Switchboard:

🌐 Start saving time, now

Working in Switchboard isn’t about cutting out all meetings and never speaking to your team live. It’s about shortening meetings—and cutting out bad ones—so that, when you do come together, that time is truly valuable.

Ready to level up? Check out How to start working with your team in Switchboard for more tips on how to work with your team.

⚡Ask Switchboard for help

We’d love to hear how your first week in Switchboard went. How can we help you and your team collaborate better? Schedule a 1:1 with us and we can walk through your rooms, give you pointers, and show examples of how we’ve staged certain rooms.

Stop, collaborate, and listen

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