Google's email collaboration tool, Google Groups, is a flexible tool that will help you manage anything from simple mailing list to a question and answer email forum, or an online community discussion. A Google Group can be set up like an email mailing list or a Listserv list as it was previously known.
Google Groups work well for mailing lists and online forums but it must be noted that Google Groups are not able to offer any email collaboration features within Gmail or within Google Workspace. If you are looking for a more feature rich way to manage Team email, Email Assignment, a customer help desk in Gmail or a shared inbox within Gmail you might want to rather consider products like Sortd for Gmail (which will also cater for collaborative inbox management and email assignment within the Gmail interface).
Other applications for Google Groups include public groups for community orientated communication, information updates and debates (and closed groups teams or groups of people). Group members always remain in control of their communication and can set how often they want to receive messages from the Group via email.
Members are able to interact with each other using a single email address like email@example.com. This type of Google group works well for sending messages, community updates, announcements and sharing information with multiple people at one time.
A Google Group can be use for a Q&A forum and it works in well for hosting questions and answers with a group of people. Answers can be highlights as ‘top answer’ or ‘resolved’. This can also be used as a basic help desk or a public FAQ page for a product or a company.
A Google Group can be used as a web forum where members can post and respond to messages from other members. The conversations are available on the Google Groups dashboard for everyone to see. Web forums can also help team members to manage works within a department, help teams coordinate work on a project or manage a forum of interest on a subject of interest.
Using Google Groups as a Collaborative Inbox allows members (internally or externally) to send emails directly to the Google group. The approach turns the Google Group into a type of email inbox. Members can read and respond to emails and assign work. This group useful for managing a simple customer help desk or email help channel to deal with with customer queries.
Unlike Google Groups, tools like Sortd for Gmail can help you boost team collaboration directly within your team's ordinary Gmail account.
1. Log into Gmail or Sign into Google with your email.
2. Click Groups from the Google Apps grid menu (on the top right).
3. Click My groups.
4. Each group has a Title and an associated email address. In this example, will use firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. The Group column will display:
The settings for creating groups are shown below:
1. To edit the Groups settings, click the Gear icon.
2. Click General.
3. Here you can edit the following fields Name andDescription. You can also enter a welcome message to send when new members join or are invited the group.
4. Activate extended Google Groups Features.
5. The Collaborative Inbox allows participants to assign conversations (and messages) to each other to allow for better management and accountability in a team. With the Collaborative inbox you can:
Allow Group members to reply to Group messages from their email client (like Gmail, Outlook) by selecting the options below. The alternative would be to use the Google Group web ui on: https://groups.google.com
The options for member privacy are shown below:
Identification options required for new members:
Here you can specify who can manage the members and who can modify roles
1. Enter the Group info with the Group name and give the Google Group a unique email address
2. Choose the privacy settings for you group and specify who can join, who can view conversations, who can post new messages, and who can view the details of the members of the Group (e.g. name and email addresses).
3. Add new members to the Google Group by specifying their email addresses and then select create group.
There are two methods to add members to a group.
1. To send a message to Group from Gmail you can simply compose a new message and entering the email address or the Group name in Gmail To: field.
If you are not able to select the Google Group you can post a message by accessing the Google Group directly.
2. Sign into Google Groups with your email or Sign into Gmail and select Google Apps grid menu (on the top right).