1st of 5: More Ways to Collaborate in Google Apps

Google Apps is designed for secure sharing and collaborations.  Many users, however, still rely on the back-and-forth of email to get their work done.  Here is the 1st of 5 other ways to collaborate in Google Apps.

Use Google Groups for your Group

Google Groups is designed to facilitate discussions among its members.  Create a group for your project team and your team members can read and respond to threaded discussions on the group’s home page, as well as by email.   Once created, you can subscribe or invite members to join (or require members to subscribe themselves).  And, you can invite and include project team members from outside your organizations.

Team members can post questions, ideas, issues, and get a quick response from teammates.  And, all project discussions are organized in a single location.

Groups also let you manage distribution lists and security.  Invite a group to an event using Calendar, and all members get the invite.  Share a document of folder on Drive with the group, and all members get access.

Since members can elect to be notified of every message immediately, or via daily and/or volume-based digests, individuals can still manage their inboxes as well.

Helping team members learn how to best use groups to collaborate is easy, as “Google Groups Training” is included in the Google Apps Training service from Boost eLearning. Contact us to learn more.




Google Groups & Calendars Get Dynamic

Within Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government, Google Groups delivers much more than secure, managed distribution lists.  Groups can be used for threaded discussions, shared inboxes, and work flow collaboration.  Groups also provide an easy mechanism for sharing documents stored in Drive.

Now, Groups makes scheduling Calendar events easier.  When inviting a group to a meeting, the attendee list updates automatically as people join and leave the group.

When joining a Google Group, people are automatically added to existing meetings; when leaving a group, people are automatically removed.

While this change only applies to calendar events created after the feature rolls out, you can adjust previously scheduled meetings by re-inviting the group.  Automatic attendee changes works for events with up to 200 attendees.


Tuesday Take-Away: Smart Distribution Lists

One of the challenges many of our customers face is managing contacts and distribution lists.  Organizations want to share contact information to avoid duplicate and incorrect information, but need to control who manages the data.  Similarly, many organizations want to build distribution lists for communicating with contacts, but want each contact to only have one record.

For Google Apps, we work with several tools (i.e. Floreysoft) that help you build and share contact information and groups.

For Distribution Lists, Google Apps for Business (Government, and Education) includes Groups.  Originally built to provide secure discussion forums with optional moderation, Groups has evolved into a robust communication and collaboration tool.  Some of the key features in Groups that create smart distribution lists include:

  • Access Security: Control who can manage, view, and belong to the group in order to receive messages.  Access can be given to individuals outside your organization, a great advantage for project teams.
  • Use Security: Control who can use the group, ie send messages to the group, and whether or not the list can be used by email address only ( or via a web interface.   Access can range from specific individuals to fully public.
  • Delivery Options: Messages can be forward to members as they arrive or in daily or volume-based digest formats.  Users can elect to change this setting to meet their individual job and communication preferences.
  • Nesting: Groups can be members of other groups.  This lets companies create a distribution list hierarchy.  Place a person in the correct group, and they will receive all message for distribution lists “up the chain”.  Schools can easily create email lists for parents and students by class, and then roll them up into grade, school, and district level lists.

With these features, organizations have the ability to place contacts in distribution lists and maintain a single source for managing contact records.