Use a group as a collaborative inbox

This article is for G Suite administrators. To manage your own groups, visit the Google Groups help.

This feature requires turning on Google Groups for Business.

You can use a group as a collaborative inbox to distribute and track responsibility for topics among the group's members.

Collaborative inboxes are especially useful for technical support or customer service teams. For example, you could create a group with the address You could then add your support staff as group members, and allow people outside your organization to send messages to the group. Your support staff would then receive customer messages and take any of the following actions:

  • Assign responsibility for topics to group members
  • Mark topics as resolved
  • Edit tags associated with topics
  • Filter topics according to tag, resolution status, or assignee

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Set up a collaborative inbox

You can set up a new group as a collaborative inbox or add collaborative inbox features to existing groups.

Set up a new group as a collaborative inbox

Before you begin, turn on Groups for Business and set Groups for Business sharing options.

  1. Go to Groups (
  2. Click Create Group.
  3. Fill in your group's name, email address, and description.
  4. From the Select a group type menu, select Collaborative inbox.
  5. Specify any settings you want under Basic permissions.
  6. At the top, click Create.

Add collaborative inbox features to an existing group

  1. Go to Groups (
  2. Click My groups.
  3. Under the name of the group, click Manage group.
  4. On the left, select Information and then Advanced.
  5. Next to Select a group type, select Collaborative inbox.
  6. (Optional) Select options to control permissions.
  7. Click Reset this group.
Assign a topic

To assign responsibility for a topic to yourself or another group member:

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.

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.

To view topics that have been assigned to you, select Assigned to me from the Filters drop-down menu.

Resolve a topic

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, 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.

Manage tags

Groups can organize their topics with tags. You can have up to 20 characters in a tag, and up to 14 tags in a topic.

To add tags to a topic:

  1. Open the topic from the Topics view.
  2. Click add tags. 
  3. Specify one or more tags and click Save changes.

To remove tags from a topic:

  1. Open the topic from the Topics view. The topic's tags are displayed next to the subject of the topic.
  2. Click the X next to a tag to remove it from the topic.
Filter topics

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

  • Topics without replies
  • Topics you've started
  • Topics you've replied to
  • Topics marked complete

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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