Google Groups is a FREE online service that lets you have discussions with people that have similar interests. You can keep track of discussions via email or on a browser.
A group can only be created with a Gmail ID. BUT, you can add others to the group even if they don't have a Gmail account. They will have full access to email threads.
Examples of how you can use Groups:
- Create a Google Group for different teams at work so you can discuss projects, ask each other queries, etc.
- Google Groups can be used to find others that like the stuff you do. For example, you can find others or create a group for those who love yoga, rock climbing, movies, playing the violin, follow an alternate lifestyle, etc.
- Activists can use Groups to discuss plans of action, discuss arrangements for an event, etc.
Different types of groups:
- Email groups: group communicates via email
- Web forums: group communicates on web forum
- Q&A forums: group members ask each other questions on web forum
- Collaborative inbox: Members assign topics to other members as tasks
Email groups are the easiest way to use Groups and today we are going to show you how you can create and use a Google email group. And, it's FREE!
Creating an Email Group:
When you are creating a Google group, you have to name the group and add a short description in the setup page.
Here you also get to choose your group email address. This email address will be used to send a message to everyone in your group at once. So if you need to let your group know about something, you would have to send an email to this email address.
Next, you have to decide what kind of group you want to create. By default, 'Email List' is selected.
You will then configure who has access to what. For example, you can choose who can join your group; it can be set to public, anyone can ask, only invited users only, members of your organization only etc.
Now you are at the end of the initial setup of your group. You can go ahead and click on the "Create" button on the top of the form. Once you do so, you are greeted with a popup that tells you what you can do next.
Afer you click on "Okay", you are at your Groups' main page.
Explore Group Settings:
To further set up your group you have to click on "Manage" on the right side of the page.
If you look on the left panel, you'll see there are a few options. There are 6 main sections: Members, Messages, Settings, Permissions, Roles, and Information.
Let us go through each tab to see what you can do with each of them.
Here you will find an "Invite Members" option. Once you click that, you can enter the email addresses of the people you want to invite to the group. Once you key them in, you can hit "Send invites". An email will be sent to these people and they will have to accept to join the group.
If you don't want to send out an invite and want to immediately have someone in your group, you can choose the option "Direct add members" under the "Members" tab. Just like the previous step, you add in the email addresses and click on the "Add" button. They will receive a welcome email and will start receiving group updates.
The "Members" tab is also where you track "Outstanding invites" and "Join requests".
Here you can track all pending messages to the group. You can approve, delete, mark as spam, etc.
- Under Settings, you can tweak how you would like the emails to be sent, for example, you can set a subject prefix to all your group's emails. This would help members identify group emails in their inbox quickly.
- You can moderate messages, new member permissions, etc.
This is where you can decide who can do what in the group. I.e, which members can view topics, post to the group, join the group, etc. You can go even more detailed and make changes to moderation and access permissions based on your group needs.
There are 3 main types of roles. You can even add more types if you would like. The roles tab is where you would edit who is assigned what roles, you can also create custom roles here.
Default member/role types:
Owner: add/remove other owners, create or delete group
Manager: member and message management, add/remove other managers
Member: Owners/managers can choose what permissions a member has.
This tab is where you find general information and preferences of your group.
Under the "Information" tab, there's a "Directory" option. Here you can toggle whether you want your group to show in the Google Groups directory. Turning this on is important if you would like people to be able to search and find your group. You can leave this off if your group is meant to have a fixed number of people (ex: work teams/departments, class students, family, etc).
If you ever want to reset or delete your group, you can find that option in the "Advanced" section under the "Information" tab.
Now that you have set up and explored groups, all that's left for you to do is send your group an email! Just head over to your email client, type in your message or even upload a file, then send it out to the group email address. All the members will get the email!
If you have any doubts on how to use Google Groups email lists, drop us a message below or send us an email. We would also love to hear about any feedback or praise you might have for us!