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20 Essential Tricks Every Skype User Should Know

Collaborate with Sketch Pad

Our guess is you can probably use Sketch Pad for actual productivity purposes, like collaborating on a project and brainstorming with others. But in reality, you'll find yourself drawing inappropriate pictures, playing Hangman, talking smack (with pictures), and just goofing off in general. In other words, we really like this time waster.

Record Calls to Gmail

Skype automatically keeps a history of all your IM conversations, but G-Recorder one-ups the built-in functionality by keeping a log of IM conversations and voice chats.. They're both automatically sent to your Gmail account where they're labeled and archived by type (Skype Calls, Skype Chats) for easy viewing or listening. You can also have G-Recorder store a copy of your phone call session on your PC as an MP3 file.

Because of the way Skype handles its Extras features, you won't know that this isn't a free application until after you install it. The trial's good for 14 days, and while the program normally sells for $25, G-Recorder has been sending out coupon codes to new users for 30 percent off, bringing the total down to $17.50. In our opinion, it's worth it.

$25 ($17.50 after coupon code), Skype Extras (G-Recorder)

Integrate Skype with Pidgin

Not a lot of IM clients support Skype, and that's just frustrating. But if you use Pidgin, you're in luck. The Skype API Plugin allows you to setup your Skype account with the multiprotocol client, though there's a catch. For it to work, you still need to have Skype running in the background (the plugin forces it to run silent). The upshot is you'll have access to all of your contacts within Pidgin's interface. Is the trade off worth it? We'll let you decide that one for yourself.

Free, Skype API Plugin