Got Meet? Google’s recently rebranded videoconferencing service may be a confusing mess when it comes to its purpose and positioning, but it sure is simple and effective — not to mention secure — to use.

Now, is it strictly for teams or also for regular consumer use? When you should use it as opposed to Duo, Google’s increasingly overlapping other video chat service? I’m not sure that anyone, least of all Google, can fully answer those questions at the moment. And I’m not entirely convinced we won’t see even more muddled messaging in this area as the months wear on.

What we can say, though, is this: Meet is a great way to talk face to face with anywhere from two to 250 people, if you’re in a team-oriented G Suite setup — or up to a hundred people if you’re using a regular, individual Google account. And while its main interface may be relatively sparse, the right set of add-ons can go a long way in enhancing your meeting environment and making your Meet pow-wows even more pleasant and productive for everyone.

I’ve tried out tons of Google Meet add-ons and narrowed the list of must-have additions down to three simple but powerful tools. They’re all completely free to use — and they’ll all make an immediate difference in your distance-based discussions.

(Note that these add-ons currently work only in Meet’s web interface, when accessed via Chrome. The Meet mobile apps don’t support these sorts of extensions as of yet.)

Google Meet add-on #1: The smarter mute setup

Managing muting is without a doubt the most annoying part of a virtual meeting. Invariably, some schlub will forget to mute his mic and then start crackling papers or rambling on about pasta at exactly the wrong time. (That schlub is typically me.) On the flip side, some doofus will sooner or later try to start talking, only to realize midway through his monologue that he forgot to unmute himself and thus is inadvertently putting on a complex pantomime performance for his colleagues. (That doofus is also me.)

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