Use a group as a Collaborative Inbox


This article is for administrators. To manage your own groups, visit the Google Groups help.
This feature requires turning on Google Groups for Business." "

You can use Collaborative Inboxes in Google Groups. Members of the Collaborative Inbox who have the correct permissions can also assign conversations to each other for tracking.

For example, you could create a group for your technical support or customer service team with the address support@your-domain.com. Then, add your support staff as group members and allow people outside of your organization to send messages to the group.

When your support staff gets a message, they can:

  • Assign responsibility for conversations to group members
  • Set a resolved status for conversations: complete, duplicate, or no action needed
  • Search for conversations according to resolution status or assignee

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Before you begin

Create a Collaborative Inbox group, or enable Collaborative Inbox features for an existing group. Learn how to create a Collaborative Inbox.

Assign a conversation or topic

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

Using new Groups
  1. Sign in to Google Groups.
  2. Click the name of a group.
  3. Choose an option:
    • To assign a single conversation—Click the conversation.
    • To assign multiple conversations—Point to each conversationand thencheck 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 "". Enter the email address of the person to assign the conversation toand thenclick Assign.
  5. If a conversation is assigned to you and you want to remove the assignment:
    • At the top, click Drop "".
    • (Optional) Assign the conversation to another group member.
  6. To view conversations within a given group that have been assigned to you:
    1. At the top, in the search bar, click the Down arrow "".
    2. Click Assigned toand thenselect Assigned to me.
    3. Click Search
Using classic Groups
  1. Sign in to Google Groups.
  2. Click My groups.
  3. Click the name of a group.
  4. Open the topic from the Topics view and do one of the following:
    • Click Take to assign the topic to yourself.
    • Click Assign to assign the topic to another group member. Search for the member's email address in the dialog that appears, then click Assign next to the member in the search results.
  5. If a topic is assigned to you and you want to remove the assignment:
    • Open the topic and select Drop from the Actions drop-down menu.
    • (Optional) Assign the topic to another group member.
  6. To view topics that have been assigned to you, select Assigned to me from the Filters menu.

Resolve a topic or conversation

Using new Groups
  1. Sign in to Google Groups.
  2. Click the name of a group.
  3. Choose an option:
    • To resolve a single conversation—Click the conversation.
    • To resolve multiple conversations—Point to each conversationand thencheck 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 "". Enter the URL of the duplicate conversationand thenclick Mark duplicate.
Using classic Groups

Resolving a topic indicates that the topic requires no further action. There are multiple ways to resolve a topic, depending on the way it's resolved:

  • If a topic requires no action, click No action needed.
  • If a topic is a duplicate of a previous topic, click Set as duplicate. In the dialog that appears, click the URL tab, then specify the URL of the original topic.

The Topics view indicates which topics have been resolved, and how. These resolution settings are not mutually exclusive; you can apply more than one to a single topic.

If a topic has more than one message, you can also mark one of the replies as complete. You can only mark one message, and it can only be a reply—not the original message. To do so, open a message and, at the bottom, click Mark as complete.

Manage labels and tags

Using new Groups

You can organize topics with labels.

Unlike labels you create in Gmail, a label you assign to a conversation in Groups is seen by anyone who can view that conversation.

To use labels in new Groups, the shared labels feature must be enabled.

If you use tags in classic Groups, shared labels are automatically enabled in new Groups, and any tags are converted to labels for their respective groups. You don't need to do anything.

If you use categories in classic Groups, any tags you create under those categories are converted to labels in new Groups if you turn on either:

  • Shared labels in new Groups
  • Tags in classic Groups
  1. Sign in to Google Groups.
  2. Click the name of a group.
  3. To turn on labels:
    1. On the left, click Group settings.
    2. Under Shared labels, check the Enable shared labels for this group box.
  4. To create a label:
    1. In the left panel, point to Labelsand thenclick More ""and thenAdd label.
    2. Enter a label nameand thenclick Add.
  5. To apply a label to one or more conversations:
    1. For a single conversation—Click the conversation.
      For multiple conversations—Point to each conversationand thencheck the box next to the poster's name.
    2. In the upper right, click Label ".
    3. Begin typing the label nameand thencheck the box next to the name when the label appears.
      Alternatively, you can create a new label to apply to the selected messages.
  6. To delete a label:
    1. In the left panel, to the right of Labels, click More ""and thenDelete label.
    2. Click OK.
      This removes the label from the list of labels. However, any conversations with this label keep it unless you remove it.
Using classic Groups

You can organize topics with tags. You can have up to up to 5 tags in a topic in Collaborative Inbox groups, and 14 tags in a topic for other groups.

To add or remove tags: 

  1. Sign in to Google Groups.
  2. Click My groups.
  3. Click the name of a group.
  4. Expand a topic.
  5. Click add tags. 
  6. Specify one or more tags and click Save changes. The topics tags are displayed next to the subject of the topic.
  7. Click the X next to a tag to remove it from the topic.

Filter conversations or topics

Using new Groups
  1. Sign in to Google Groups.
  2. Click the name of a group.
  3. At the top, in the search bar, click the Down arrow "".
  4. Use the search field to filter conversations by 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
    • Conversation 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
      A resolved conversation has been marked as either duplicate, complete, or no action needed.
    • Label applied to conversations
      You can enter multiple labels separated by commas. The search results include any conversations that match all of the labels you enter.
  5. Click Search.
Using classic Groups

To filter the topics currently displayed in the Topics view, click Filters. You can filter topics by any combination of the following:

  • Whether topics do or don’t have replies
  • Topics you’ve started or replied to
  • Topic resolution status
  • Topic assignment status
  • Time period when topic was last modified
  • Time period when first post was made to topic

When you've selected the filters you want, click Apply selected filters at the bottom of the menu. To remove the filters you've applied, choose Filters > Clear all filters (display all topics).

You can also filter topics by tag. To do so, switch to your group's Tags view and select the tag you want to view.

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