Switching to Gmail from Microsoft Outlook

6. Collaborate in Gmail

Want to get more out of Google apps at work or school? Sign up for a free Google Workspace trial

In this section:

6.1 Start or join video meetings
6.2 Use Google Chat in Gmail
6.3 Vacation notifications
6.4 Desktop notifications
6.5 Mail delegation
6.6 Shared mailbox

6.1 Start or join video meetings

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You can start a new video meeting on the fly with Google Meet in Gmail (computer only).

Start a new video meeting

  1. Open Gmail.

  2. In the sidebar, click Start a meeting.

    Note: If you don’t see this option, it might not be enabled for your organization, or it might be hidden. To unhide Meet, see Show or hide Google Meet in Gmail.

  3. In the Meet window, choose an option to join the meeting:
    • To join using your computer’s camera for video and your computer's microphone for audio, click Join now.
    • To join using your phone for audio, click Join and use a phone for audio and then follow the on-screen prompts. If you join by phone, you can still use your computer for video. For details, see Use a phone for audio in a video meeting.
  4. Once you are in the meeting, choose an option to add other people:
    • To share the meeting code with someone, click Copy joining info, then paste the info into a messaging app. 
    • To invite someone by sending them an email, click Add people, enter names or email addresses, then click Send invite.
    • To invite someone to join the meeting by phone, click Add people, then click Call and enter a phone number. 

Join a video meeting

  1. Open Gmail.

  2. In the sidebar, click Join a meeting.

    Tip: If you don’t see this option, contact your Google Workspace administrator.

  3. Enter a meeting code or nickname.
    • Google Workspace users can share a nickname with people in their organization as a fast way to join a meeting.
  4. Click Join.

6.2 Use Google Chat in Gmail

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If you have a quick or urgent question, you can send a direct message to someone instead of an email. In Gmail, you can start a Chat conversation right from your inbox.

Turn Chat on or off in Gmail

  1. On your computer, open Gmail.
  2. At the top right, click Settings ""and thenSee all settings.
  3. At the top, click Chat and Meet.
  4. Select Google Chat or Chat off to turn Chat on or off in Gmail.
  5. At the bottom, click Save Changes.

Send a direct message to someone

  1. Sign in to Chat or Gmail.
  2. Under Chat, click a name, enter a message, and click Send "".
  3. If the name isn’t under Chat, click Find people, rooms, bots or click Start a chat "".
  4. Enter a name or email address. Suggestions appear as you enter text.
    To send a direct message to someone outside of your organization, enter their full email address.
  5. Select the person that you want to message.
  6. Enter a message and click Send "".
    Suggestions include everyone in your organization, even if they don't have Chat.

Start a group conversation

  1. Sign in to Chat or Gmail.
  2. Under Chat, click a group name, enter a message, and click Send "".
  3. If the group name isn’t under Chat:
    • In Chat, click Find people, rooms, botsand thenStart group conversation.
    • In Gmail, under Chat, click Start a chat""and thenStart group conversation.
  4. Enter a name or email address. Suggestions appear as you enter text. 
  5. Click Message or Done "".
  6. Enter a message and click Send "".
    Suggestions include everyone in your organization, even if they don't have Chat.
Note: If you turn off Chat in Gmail, your conversation list and pop-up notifications won't appear in Gmail. However, you can still use Chat on the web (chat.google.com).

6.3 Vacation notifications

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Outlook: 
Out of Office

Gmail:
Vacation responder

Set an out of office response in 2016 version

Outlook 2016
 

Set a vacation response in 2013 version

Outlook 2013
 

Out of office replies in 2010 version

Outlook 2010

  1. Open Gmail .
  2. At the top right, click Settings ""and thenSee all settings.
  3. Scroll down to Vacation responder and select Vacation responder on or Vacation responder off.
  4. If you turned on the vacation responder, enter the dates you're away and add a message. Then, select who should get a response.
  5. At the bottom, click Save Changes.

Set a vacation responder

6.4 Desktop notifications

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Outlook:
Desktop notifications

Gmail:
Desktop notifications

Get desktop notifications in 2016 version

Outlook 2016
 

Desktop notifications in 2013 version

Outlook 2013
 

Allow desktop notifications in 2010 version

Outlook 2010

You can get desktop notifications when you’re signed in to Gmail and have it open in your browser.
  1. At the top right, click Settings ""and thenSee all settings.
  2. Scroll down to the Desktop notifications section.
  3. Click Click here to enable desktop notifications for <your organization>.
  4. Select New mail notifications on or Important mail notifications on.
  5. At the bottom of the page, click Save Changes.

Notifications appear on the desktop

6.5 Mail delegation

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Outlook:
Delegate access

Gmail:
Mail delegation

Delegate access in 2016 version

Outlook 2016
 

Delegate access in 2013 version

Outlook 2013
 

Delegate access in 2010 version

Outlook 2010

If you're using Gmail through your work or school account, you can add up to 25 delegates (such as an assistant).
  1. At the top right, click Settings ""and thenSee all settings.
  2. Click the Accounts and Import.
  3. In the Grant access to your account section, click Add another account.


    Note:
    Your organization may restrict email delegation. If you don’t see this setting, contact your G Suite administrator.

  4. Enter the email address of the person you want to add and click Next Step.
  5. Click Send email to grant access.
The person you added will get an email asking them to confirm. It may take up to 24 hours for you to see them as a delegate after they confirm.

Delegate email access to contacts

6.6 Shared mailbox

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Outlook:
Shared mailbox

Gmail:
Shared mailbox

Share mailbox in 2016 version

Outlook 2016, 2013, and 2010
 

 

If your team needs a shared mailbox, such as for technical support or customer service, you can use a Google group as a collaborative inbox.

For example, you can create a group with the address support@your-domain.com, add your support staff as members, and allow people outside your organization to send messages to the group. Your support staff will receive your customers' messages, and they can do any of the following from the group's Topics view:

  • Assign responsibility for a topic to a member of the group
  • Mark a topic as resolved
  • Edit the tags associated with a topic
  • Filter topics according to tag, resolution status, or assignee

See instructions on how to set up a collaborative inbox

Use group mail, such as for a Q&A forum

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