Tuesday, 2 December 2014

4 things to do with Google Groups

Google Groups are often seen as a slightly mysterious part of Google Apps. It’s not always obvious what they’re for. To put it simply a Google Group is a bit like a membership club. If you are a member you have access to a whole range of facilities but if your membership changes so does your access. Google Groups will also save you time when using other Google Apps like Drive and Calendar.

Here are some simple yet effective things you can do with Groups to make your life easier, save you time, and help you find good fish and chips.

Email lists

We like email lists. Or if we don’t we certainly use them a misleading amount. They are great for
communicating with specific groups of people. Google Groups are easy to use, just send an email to the groups address and group members will get it, and easy to manage if you are a group owner.
Here’s just a few useful settings:
  • who can post to messages
  • who can join the group
  • message moderation settings
  • and you can create other managers to help you look after your group

TIP: As a member you can decide how you receive messages. Whether it’s getting every one, getting a message digest, or getting nothing.

Create a forum

As well as the classic email list option, you can set your Group up as a web forum. They work like Sheffield Forum or Freecycle and can be great for departmental chat-type posts and replies. You know; "Gardening tools free to a good home", "Does anyone know where to get the best fish and
chips in Whitby?" 

TIP: To set up a Forum, you just select ‘Web forum’ as the group type when you create your Group. From there the settings are the same as for email lists, though you may want to add a welcome message.

Simplify sharing

As a Google Group is identified with an email address, you can share resources stored on Drive. You don’t have to remember lots of individual email addresses as you simply use the group’s email address. 

TIP: A good way to share with a group is to set up a folder, share it, and then add any other docs or folders to that. That way you only have to share once.

Invite a group of people

No matter the size, if you regularly use calendar to invite the same group of people to events, having to invite them individually is a real time killer. Whether it’s a team meeting, a project board or a lunch appointment with friends, a group can save you huge amounts of time. 

TIP: The easiest way to set up a meeting is to create one at a random time, invite the Group, then use Find a time to pick your slot. 

Now that you know what to do, visit our Google Groups web pages to find out how, and start making your life just that little bit easier.