Adding People to Circles
Circles are the way that Google Plus keeps track of the people you want to follow. When you put someone in a circle, it means two things:
(1) Their updates will now appear in your stream. The default setting on your stream is to see everyone's updates, but you can also choose to just see updates from the people in a particular circle by clicking the name of that circle in the left-hand column.
(2) They can see your posts and updates, provided you chose to share those updates with a circle that includes them.
Bear in mind, a person doesn't need to have you in a circle in order for you to add them to one. They can choose not to see updates from you while still allowing you to see their posts.
Green Means Public, Blue Means Limited
When a post is marked "Public," that means anyone can see it, even people you have never added to any circles. The word "Public" on these posts appears in bright green so it's easy to spot. (Green means Go Out to the Whole World!) If you have decided to only share the post with certain circles, their names will appear underneath the post in blue.
Add Photos, Videos and Links Easily
To add media or links into your Google Plus stream, you can click the photo, video and link buttons like any normal person. OR, you can just find the link or the photo or video you want to post and drag it right into the Share box.
Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Save Time
Here's a quick rundown of some of the quick keys built in to Google Plus:
Space = Scroll down
Shift and Space = Scroll up
J = scroll down one post
K = scroll up one post
Q = jump directly to chat
Return = Start Comment
Tab and Return = End Comment
When reading any post, just hit Enter to automatically open up the comment box. That ought to save you a few seconds!
Mentioning Specific People
If you want to shoutout someone by name and make sure they see it, you can tag them easily. Just add a "+" or "@" in front of their name and Google Plus will prompt you to tag them. This will alert the person you have tagged that someone has mentioned them, and it will allow anyone who sees the post to hover over their name to get profile details, or add them to a circle.
Send Direct Messages
Google Plus doesn't come with a built-in direct message tool like, say, Twitter, but it's easy enough to make a message private between just you and one other person.
First, start writing a post as you ordinarily would, and just share it with the one person you want to message. Click "Share." Once you have shared the message with that one person, go to the menu on the upper right hand corner of the post and select the "Disable Reshare" option. Now, that person who received your message can't send it to anyone else. BOOM, instant direct message.
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