Google Groups can be used as a collaborative inbox for group members within the Google Groups interface (groups.google.com) to organize, reply to, and assign messages/conversations to group members.

Collaborative Inboxes can:

  • Assign responsibility for messages/conversations to group member(s)
  • Set a resolved status for messages/conversations: complete, duplicate, or no action needed
  • Search for messages/conversations according to resolution status or assignee

To use your group as a collaborative inbox:

  1. Sign into Google Groups.
  2. Click My Groups and choose the desired group.
  3. On the left, click Group settings.
  4. Under Enable additional Google Groups features, select Collaborative Inbox.

Note: This functionality is only available for use with Ad-hoc Google Groups, not College mail lists or Course Lists.

Using a Collaborative Inbox

Assign a conversation or topic

You can assign responsibility for a conversation or topic to yourself or another group member.

  1. Sign into Google Groups
  2. Click My Groups and choose the desired group
  3. Choose an option:
    • To assign a single conversation – click the conversation
    • To assign multiple conversations – point to each conversation > check the box next to the poster’s name
  4. At the top, choose an option:
    • To assign the conversation to yourself, click Take
    • To assign the conversation to another group member, click Assign and enter the email address of the person
  5. If the conversation is assigned to you and you want to remove the assignment, at the top, click Drop.
  6. To view conversations within a group that have been assigned to you:
    • At the top, in the search bar, click the Down arrow
    • Click Assigned to > select Assigned to me
    • Click Search

Resolve a topic or conversation

  1. Sign into Google Groups
  2. Click My Groups and choose the desired group
  3. Choose an option:
    • To resolve a single conversation – click the conversation
    • To resolve multiple conversations – point to each conversation > check the box next to the poster’s name
  4. At the top, choose an option:
    • If the conversation is completed, click Mark as complete
    • If the conversation requires no further action, click No action needed
    • If the conversation is a duplicate of a different one, click Mark as duplicate and enter the URL of the duplicate conversation

Use labels for organization

You can organize topics with labels. Unlike labels in Gmail, a label assigned to a conversation in Groups is seen by anyone who can view that conversation (e.g., members of the Google group).

Enable labels

  1. Sign into Google Groups
  2. Click My Groups and choose the desired group
  3. On the left, click Group settings and under Shared labels, check the Enable shared labels for this group box

Create a label

  1. In the left panel, point to Labels > click More > Add label
  2. Enter a label name and click Add

Apply a label to one or more conversations

  1. For a single conversation – click the conversation. For multiple conversations – point to each conversation > check the box next to the poster’s name
  2. In the upper-right, click Label and begin typing the label name. Check the box next to the name when the label appears.

Delete a label

  1. In the left panel, to the right of Labels, click More and then Delete label
  2. Click OK

This removes the label from your list of labels but conversations with the label assigned to them will keep it unless you remove it.

Filter conversations

  1. Sign into Google Groups
  2. Click My Groups and choose the desired group
  3. At the top, in the search bar, click the Down arrow
  4. Use the search field to filter conversations by using the following options:
    • User who posted to the conversation
    • Conversation subject
    • Words contained in the conversation
    • Conversations posted between a given start and end date
    • Conversations with attachments
    • Conversations marked as duplicate
    • Conversations marked as complete
    • Conversations marked as no action needed
    • Conversations assigned to you, assigned to any user, or not assigned to anyone
    • Whether the conversation is or isn’t resolved
    • Label applied to conversations
  5. Click Search

Sending from a Google Group address in Gmail

For those who manage a Google Group, you might want to initiate an email from your Google Group to an email address that is either a member or non-member of your Google Group. This can be achieved by allowing your Gmail client to send mail on behalf of your Google Group, however, it’s important to ensure your Google Group post settings are configured properly.

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