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Week 2: Communicate effectively with teams

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Assorted devices display communication toolsNow that you're comfortable with the basics, explore these ways to... 

These instructions are for desktop only.


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Use the right communication channel

CheckboxChannels available through Google Workspace

Choose the right communication channel for your audience and message.

Communicate with individuals:

  • Direct chat message—If you have a quick or time-sensitive question, send a Google Chat message.
  • Email—If you need to discuss something more complex or not time-sensitive, send an email with Gmail.

Communicate with groups of people:

  • Contact group—For temporary groups, like a short-term project, team, you can create a contact group. Contact groups can be used in both emails and chats. You can't directly share your contact group with others. However, if you send an email to a Contacts group, other people can reply to everyone in your Contacts group or copy your list of addresses.
  • Groups email list—Make communication easier by creating a Google Groups email list for your team. Then, instead of emailing people individually, use the group’s email address to send status updates and share resources—such as team calendars and Drive documents—with everyone at once.

    Note: If your administrator did not turn on Groups for your organization, you can use contact groups instead.  

CheckboxChat with people from the Chat app or Gmail

Send a direct message to someone

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. If the name isn’t already under "Chat," click Start a chat "".
  3. Enter a name or email address. Suggestions appear as you enter text.
    • To send a 1:1 message to someone outside of your organization, enter their email address.
  4. Click the person you want to message.
  5. Enter a message, then click Send "".

Start a group conversation

  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. Under "Chat," click on an existing group conversation, enter a message and then click Send "".
  3. If the group conversation isn’t under "Chat,” click Start a chat "" and then Start group conversation.
  4. Enter a name or email address. Suggestions appear as you enter text.
  5. Click Done "".
  6. Enter a message, then click Send "".

Change position of the Chat panel in Gmail

You can move the Chat panel to the right or left side of your Gmail inbox.

  1. On your computer, open Gmail.
  2. At the top right, click Settings ""and then See all settings.
  3. At the top, click Chat and Meet.
  4. Next to “Chat position,” select Left side of the inbox or Right side of the inbox.
  5. Click Save Changes.
CheckboxMute Chat notifications when you need to focus
  1. Go to Google Chat or your Gmail account.
  2. At the top, click your status.
  3. Select Do not disturb.  
  4. To set your preferred duration, select a duration from the list or click "Until a specific time."  
  5. Click Set.

Tip: Notifications automatically turn back on after the mute duration expires. To end mute sooner, click your status and then Do not disturb and then Turn off Do not disturb.

Learn more

CheckboxCreate a Groups email list
  1. Sign in to Google Groups.
  2. At the top, click Create group.
  3. Enter information and choose settings for the group.
  4. Click Create group.
  5. Wait a few minutes for your new group to become active before sending a message to it. Otherwise, you might get a notification that your message couldn't be delivered.

Learn more

CheckboxCreate a contact group

If you want to quickly contact the same group of people by email, you can create and save a contact group. Next time you want to email that set of contacts, you just enter the group name as the email recipient.

You can also create a contact group if your administrator doesn't turn on Groups for your organization.

Create a contact group

  1. In Gmail, click Compose.
  2. Click To, Cc, or Bcc
  3. Find the contacts you want to add to the group and check the boxes next to their names.
  4. Click Manage labelsand thenCreate label.
  5. Enter a name for the label.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Click Insert to add the contacts to your current message. 

Email a contact group

  1. In Gmail, click Compose.
  2. Next to To, enter the label name for the group.
  3. Compose your message and click Send.

Learn more ways to manage your email

CheckboxSnooze emails to get a reminder later
For confirmation emails with dates and times, snooze them until exactly when you need them. Your email will come back to the top of your inbox when you want it to, whether that's tomorrow, next week, or this evening. 
  1. On your computer, go to Gmail
  2. Point to the email.
  3. On the right, click Snooze Snooze.
  4. Choose a later day and time to get the email.

To snooze multiple messages, select the messages. At the top, click Snooze Snooze.

Put email in Snoozed section and set a reminder to open it later

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center

CheckboxMute emails you don't want to see responses for

If you're part of a Gmail conversation that's no longer relevant to you, mute the conversation. Muting keeps future responses to that thread out of your inbox so you can focus on important messages.

Learn how at the Gmail Help Center

CheckboxSchedule an email to send later
  1. On your computer, go to Gmail .
  2. At the top left, click  Compose.
  3. Create your email.
  4. At the bottom left next to "Send," click the Down arrow More send options.
  5. Click Schedule send.

Note: You can have up to 100 scheduled emails.

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center

CheckboxForward an entire email conversation
  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. Open the conversation you want to forward.
  3. At the top of the conversation, click More """"Forward all.
  4. In the To field, add recipients.
  5. Type any additional content for the message.
  6. At the bottom, click Send

Learn more ways to reply and forward

CheckboxAutomatically archive an email after you send it
  1. Open Gmail .
  2. At the top right, click Settings ""and thenSee all settings.
  3. Scroll to the Send and Archive section and select Show "Send & Archive" button in reply.
  4. Click Save Changes.
  5. Open an email you want to respond to and click Reply.
  6. Compose your message and click Send+Archive.

Customize calendar events for work or school

CheckboxCreate appointment slots
  1. Open Google Calendar and in your calendar grid, click an empty time slot and click Appointment slots, or click ""Createand thenAppointment slots.
  2. (Optional) If you want to create your appointment slot on another calendar, at the bottom click your name and select the calendar.
  3. Add a title and choose a date and time.
  4. Select the number of slots and the duration of each appointment.
  5. (Optional) If you want to add more details to your appointment slot, click More options and add your information.
  6. Click Save.

Your appointment block shows as a single event on your calendar, with a grid symbol Appointment in the top-left corner. As people book appointments, they'll appear as regular events overlapping the appointment block.

Learn more

CheckboxCreate events from your inbox

Create an event from an email

  1. In Gmail, open the email.
  2. At the top, in the header below the search bar, click More ""and thenCreate event.
  3. Add details to your new event and click Save.

See automatic events created from emails

Some emails (such as flight confirmations and restaurant reservations) are added to your calendar automatically.

Turn off automatic events

If you don't want events from Gmail on your calendar, you can delete a single event, or change your settings so that events aren't added automatically.

  1. Open Calendar and go to Settings ""and thenSettings.
  2. Scroll to Events from Gmail.
  3. In the Visibility of Gmail events field, choose an option:
    • Calendar default—Anyone who has access to view event details on your calendar can see the name and time for your event from Gmail. Only people who have access to make changes to your events can see other details from your email, such as confirmation numbers, flight status, or phone numbers.
      Note: If you share your calendar publicly, choosing this option also makes your Gmail event publicly visible.
    • Private—Only people who have access to make changes to your calendar can see your event details. Anyone else who can view your calendar but can't make changes sees the event as "Busy".
    • Only me—Access to events on your calendar are only visible to you.
  4. (Optional) To turn this feature off, uncheck the Automatically add events from Gmail to my calendar box.

Learn more

CheckboxDuplicate events if you need to meet again

Sometimes you might want to schedule another event covering the same topic. You can easily do this by duplicating the original event.

  1. Single-click your event and click Edit "".
  2. Open your event and at the top next to All day, click Does not repeat.
  3. Choose how often you want the event to repeat.

    If you want to choose an end date, click Custom and enter your start and end dates.

  4. Click Save.

Learn more

CheckboxAdd an agenda as a Drive attachment

Create the agenda

Choose an option:

  • In Docs, click Create "".
  • In Drive, click New and then next to Google Docs, point to the Right arrow""and click Blank document or From a template.

Attach the agenda to the event

  1. Click the Add description or attachments field.
  2. Click My Drive or Upload and select your file.
  3. Click Select or Upload. Your file will be attached to the event

Note: If your administrator doesn’t allow sharing Google Drive files outside of your organization, you can send Gmail attachments to external guests instead.

Learn more

CheckboxCreate a Notes and Action items document

Create the notes and action items document

Choose an option:

  • In Docs, click Create "".
  • In Drive, click New and then next to Google Docs, point to the Right arrow""and click Blank document or From a template.

Add comments and assign them to specific people

  1. In Docs, Sheets, or Slides, select the text you'd like to comment on.
  2. Click Add comment "".
  3. Enter your comment in the box.
  4. (Optional) To direct your task or comment to a specific person, enter a plus sign (+) followed by their email address. You can add as many people as you want. Each person will get an email with your comment and a link to the file.
  5. (Optional) To assign the comment to a specific person, check the Assign to box.
  6. Click Comment or Assign.

Note: If a file reaches the maximum number of comments, you can make a copy of the file without copying over any comments.

Learn more

CheckboxCalendar: Set up private or invisible events

If you want to block out time for work in your calendar, you can add events and make them private.

  1. Choose an option:
    • In the calendar grid, click an empty time slot.
    • Click "" Create.
  2. Add an event title, date, and time.
  3. (Optional) To add more details to your event, click More options.
  4. In the Visibility section, choose Private.
  5. When you're finished, click Save.

Learn more

CheckboxLet guests modify events to avoid email back and forth

To avoid a lot of emails back and forth discussing the availability of guests for your meetings, let the guests modify the event so they can pick a time that suits them.

Let guests modify an event

  1. In the Add guests field, enter the first few letters of a person’s name or email address. Matching addresses in your organization’s directory appear as you enter text.
  2. Click a suggestion to add that person to the event. If no suggestions appear, enter your guest’s full email address. After you add a guest to your event:
    • A video meeting in Google Meet is automatically added to the event.
    • The guest's calendar appears next to yours.
  3. (Optional) You can add a Google Groups mailing list address to invite a large group of people at once.
    For more information about inviting a large group, see managing large events in Calendar.
  4. (Optional) To mark a guest’s attendance as optional, point to the guest's name and click People "".
  5. (Optional) To allow guests to modify the event, invite others, or see the guest list, click Guest permissions and check the appropriate boxes.

Note: If you create an event in Calendar and do not give guests permission to modify the event, they will not be able to change the event's date or time on their own calendar.

Let guests modify events by default

  1. In Calendar, click Settings ""and thenSettings.
  2. In the Event settings section, click Default guest permissions and select Modify event.

Learn more

CheckboxPropose a new time for a meeting

Note: If the event organizer has given you access to modify an event, you can reschedule it directly without proposing a new time.

  1. In Calendar, single-click the event in your calendar grid.
  2. Go to the Going? section and click the Up arrow ""and thenPropose a new time.
  3. In the Your proposal section, select a different time or day and add a message.
  4. Click Send proposal.

Learn more

CheckboxDelete and restore deleted events

You can delete an event if you're the owner or, if not, remove it. You can restore the event again after either deleting or removing it.

Delete an event

  1. In your calendar grid, click the event,
  2. Click Delete "".

Restore an event

  1. Click Settings ""and thenTrash.
  2. Check the box next to the deleted event and click Restore "".

Note: Deleted events remain in a calendar's trash for approximately 30 days.

Learn more

Next steps

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