... when Telegram is the perfect office chat tool.
Telegram? Isn't that just another phone app the same as WhatsApp, and it is just going to clog up my space starved phone even more?
Forsooth dear reader... No it is not...
Here at GoodBiz we are always looking for tools and business hacks to make our work easier, but that can not be at the expense of personal downtime. So we now use Telegram as our in office chat for this and several other reasons.
I first came across Telegram because I was looking for a chat solution my Mum could use because we had family across the globe including grandkids in Australia, South America, we pretty much had most continents covered. And at the time she didn't have a full smart phone, and What'sApp, Messenger and all those other things were only available on smart phones.
So after some investigation I found Telegram that could be installed on her tablet or even her laptop and only needed a phone number for verification. Grandma was now back in communicado!
However once I installed Telegram I started to discover one cool feature after another, including better encryption and security, better graphics and file sharing and best of all, an absolutely fab desktop application.
This became our main chat application at GoodBiz as we all (for the most part) work remotely, even before the pandemic. It meant that everyone working at GoodBiz could join the chat from their laptop when working, but didn't need to add it to their phone and risk being disturbed during their hours away from the desk. (Not mention you can also mute specific chats at any time. We take down time seriously here.
This is honestly the best chat app I have come across and I have tried a few, and it is only just becoming main stream thanks to some security issues over some of the facebook owned channels.
## Cool Telegram Tricks
1 - Folders
You can organise certain chats and contacts into specific folders to keep different clients or contacts organised. It helps keep the important stuff in a decluttered view.
Simply go to the 'Burger' menu and head to 'Settings > Folders and you can create and organise as you see fit. You can see I have my confidential, Personal, and GoodBiz all set to the top.
2 - Edit & Delete
Ever sent that message and wished you had worded it better, or even worse wished you hadn't sent anything at all?
Telegram allows you to right click and edit your message within a time frame, I think it is 48 hours, but I haven't put that to the test yet. You can also delete, where you have the option to delete for all. (Phew! Hope nobody saw that message go through!!) The only caveat is that if the other(s) receive a notification of a new message they can see the first part of that on their phone until they click on it.
3 - Saved Messages
I love this feature... you have your own private message board that only sends to you. Eh? I here you wonder... Ever been on your phone and you get a link to something you want to check out or remembered, thought of something and you are not at your laptop? Or if you have say a password on one device and you want to be able to copy and paste into another device ... copy and paste or send to "Saved Messages" and it is suddenly visible to you on any device.
If it is a password or some kind of sensitive info, you simply delete it once you have copied to wherever you need.
4 - Scheduled Messages
Combine this feature with your Saved Messages and you have an on the go, take with you anywhere reminder tool. Simply right click on the send icon (long press on your phone) and a box pops up to choose your perfect delivery time... Or in my case a timely reminder to do something.
Combine Scheduled messages with the edit option and you have a 'Draft' function...
Ever typed up something on your desktop and accidentillay pressed the Enter button before finishing? This also helps with those messages that perhaps need a little more thought...
Type in anything a single word or letter and ask it to schedule several days later. You will be taken to the Scheduled Messages view where you can edit to your heart's content. Once finished you can 'Send Now', rescheduled, or simply leave it to when you had first scheduled it.
If you have navigated away from the Scheduled Messages view and there is something scheduled you see a little calendar icon. You can simply click on it and edit some more.
5 - File Sharing
Rather than have emails you can quickly send your files to any device or any contact / group for that immediate share. Having tried on several other apps their file sharing when combined with the desktop app is super easy!
This includes being able to send files in their native format, something certain other apps don't allow you to do. For example if you have an *.exe file you would like every employee to install Telegram allows you to do that - no hassle. You could even pin the file to the top of the chat so that members can easily refer back to it. A good example would be a PDF file with the rules of the group.
6 - Stickers
Now I know that What'sApp has something similar but they have been somewhat late to the party in both gifs and stickers in comparison to Telegram, and Telegram's range of fun or festive stickers is second to none in my opinion... huge selection to choose from and you can add and remove collections.
Simply type a single emoji without any text and the relevant fun stickers pop up, many of which can convey your feelings far better, and is much faster than gifs. The gifs options are still there, just type @gif and the search terms and it will start wading through thousands of them for you.
7 - Reactions
Like to keep things tidy in a group chat, comment reactions are available so that you can add a small number of emoji's directly to the comment without several stickers or comments. Just hover or tap a comment and you see the options such as thumbs up, laughing face, etc.
They are animated too so adds a bit of fun to the conversation. They are adding more all the time.
8 - Spoiler Alert
Chatting about the latest football score or Corrie's next sub-plot? If you would like to 'hide the text until the recipient is ready to read' while texting or typing you can highlight the text and in addition to being able to copy, bold etc, you can choose spoiler. Recipients see fuzzed out words until they click on the text to reveal.
9 - Edit Videos
When sending a video via telegram you are given several options to edit including the option to send only a portion of it. For a while you have been able to edit photos, more recently they have included Videos.
10 - Add animated Stickers to photos and videos.
As mentioned the animated stickers are great fun and they are extremely high quality. to use this feature, just select your image/video and tap on the “brush” icon at the bottom. After that, tap on the sticker icon and add animated stickers to your media. That’s it.
The blue arrows are pointing at animated stickers of a red cherry giving you the thumbs up and a friendly dog waving. In telegram these stay animated, but you are not able to add animated stickers on your desktop.
11 - Slow Mode
If you are a group Admin you can slow down the chat so that hundreds of messages don't ping constantly. You can do this by tapping on the Group name > Edit (pen icon) > Permissions > Slow Mode and it only allows people to message once in your given time frame.
That can help immensely when people just start to get way to chatty on an 'official' channel
12 - Copy text
Yeah I know, that sound like a feature all message apps have, but this one, unlike WhatsApp allows you to copy only part of a message, some of the text. This may be a really minor feature for some but I find it invaluable.
13 - Polls / Quizzes
Perfect for group chats to guage people's preferences. You can create both anonymous and visible polls and also schedule them. There is also a Quiz Mode which allows you to see who voted for what. And the best part is that you can set up quizzes with multiple answers.
To create polls, simply tap on the “attachment” icon and select the “Polls” menu. There is a Quiz bot to help you set up all your questions, which can be accessed [here]
14 - Stop being added to random groups
I have been plagued in Messenger with being added to groups I don't really want to be. Telegram has the cool feature where you can stop anybody or specific people from adding you to any old group that anyone sees fit to.
I went through a phase when I joined a couple of Crypto Currency group where I had several spammers and randoms add me. It was a bit of a nightmare until I found this feature... Setting > Privacy & Security > Groups & Channels...
Now I only have trusted staff members able to add me to groups.
15 - Cool Search features
Obviously if you have already hash-tagged a piece of text it becomes easier in any app to find stuff, but Telegram does a pretty good job of a normal text search, looking for chats or messages with your given text.
In addition to that there is an attachment search feature that can only be found on your phone and you find it by tapping on the date of your chat feed.
This brings up a calendar view that displays when you were sent attachments such as photos. Simply tap the image and it will take you to that photo.
You can do the same on your desktop but it doesn't show you what dates you were sent a photo. It simply takes you to the day you click on. Still handy if you know what date a certain message was sent. So still worth noting in my opinion.
16 - Chats are save even when you change your phone or phone number
When I got my new phone I didn't have my What'sApp backed up because my old phone didn't have the space. That meant all previous chats and photos etc were lost.
Not so with Telegram, they are all there. The entire history of photos, attachments etc. They might not all download till I click on said photos but they are there ready to be retrieved.
You can also change your number from within Telegram and keep everything as per above an it’s pretty easy to do. First, tap on Settings and then tap on your mobile number. Tap on the “Change Number”, enter the new number and follow the process on your screen.
Here, Telegram will give you some information about what happens when you change your number. Everything except your blocked contacts just moves over. It’s way easier then re-sharing your new number with everyone.
17 - Multiple Accounts
For those of you with perhaps a work phone and a private one, you can get all messages onto your desktop. Add the folders feature and you are good to go in a totally organised manner (I do love a bit of organised filing!!)
To add a new account, tap on the arrow beside your name and tap on Add Account.
There are a few other cool features that I have yet to go into, things like
Auto Night Mode
Live Location (so contacts can find you... literally)
Delete by Date
The list seems endless and they are always developing the app and adding either fun or useful stuff. For even more detailed info check out their blog > telegram.org/blog
And try it out >> Download