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 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

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

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

  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

Resolve a conversation

  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.

Manage labels

You can organize conversations 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 Groups, the shared labels feature must be enabled.

  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.
      A label name cannot contain spaces or any of the following characters: ! ~ ` @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) + = { } [ ] | : ; ' " < > . ? / .
  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.

Filter conversations

  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.
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