Step One: Understanding and Using Circles
Dragging and dropping someone into a particular Circle, using their profile photo, is so much simpler than sending "friend" requests, waiting for an answer, being unable to remember which "group" or "list" you put them in; then discovering that the group accidentally got wiped out with the social media network's last volley of changes.
With Circles, "you can choose who gets to know what", as Google+ puts it.
You can include or exclude personal information separately for each circle (complete customization). For example, you wouldn't include your relationship information in your "Work" circle, but you might want to detail your work history.
The five main benefits of Circles include:
• Ease of use and management
• You don't need permission to add people to your Google+ Circles (though you will only be able to see Public posts from them)
• It's much easier and more efficient to segregate different types of contacts in Google+ Circles -- without the endless (and ever-changing) confusion of creating and managing Facebook lists
• When you add someone to a Circle, they know they've been added -- but they don't know which Circle they're actually in. This prevents Aunt Joan from realizing she's been put in your "Christmas Cards Only" circle (yes, you can designate your own categories), for example.
And nothing could be simpler than adding people you know to your Circles, once you've signed up and imported your address lists. Google+ walks you through the process (visually, of course). You can check it out further by viewing the Google+ video.
Register with Google+ at https://plus.google.com. It will walk you through the steps in minutes. The only "prep" you'll need to do:
1. Plan your Circles in advance, so you don't end up moving people later. Make a quick list of your key friends or contacts and pre-assign them to your upcoming Circles.
2. Make sure you have that great profile picture (created for Facebook in our previous lesson) ready to load!
How to Create a Circle
When you select the circle button in your top menu bar.
Section 7: Google+
Step 1: Understand Circles
On the other hand, it would be entirely appropriate to include your relationship details, birthday, etc. in your "Close Family and Friends" circle -- but you'd most likely exclude your employment history, because your family and friends likely won’t be interested in your employment history.
• Google+ allows you to chat "off the record" (select Options>Off the Record). Your discussion with that particular Circle contact is not saved. (You can also disable the Chat option in individual circles via the Privacy Settings.)
(Profile photos of people who are likely candidates will be displayed in rows above the Circles, so it's a strictly one-page operation. These include:
• People in your circles
• People who have added you
• A "Find People" option
(You can also change the name of any circle too.)
Once you've got your Circles created and populated, it's time to take a look at other Google+ features and advantages -- especially the newest ones.
You can find out more about Circles by visiting the Google webmaster support page.
You'll be taken to a page where you can manage your circle or create a new one. To create a new circle, simply drag-and-drop profile pics for the people you want into the blank circle that says: "Drop here to create a circle".