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Week 2: Communicate effectively with teams

Now 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

Checkbox.Channels 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.  

Checkbox.Chat 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.
Checkbox.Mute Chat notifications when you need to focus
  1. On your computer,  open Google Chat or Gmail.
  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

Checkbox.Create 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

Checkbox.Create 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

Checkbox.Snooze 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 .
  4. Choose a later day and time to get the email.

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

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

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center

Checkbox.Mute 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

Checkbox.Schedule 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

Checkbox.Forward 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

Checkbox.Automatically 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+.

Customize calendar events for work or school

Checkbox.Create appointment slots
Turn blocks of time on your calendar into appointment slots that others can book. Booked appointments appear on your calendar so you know who you're meeting and when.
  1. Using your work or school account on a computer, open Google Calendar.
  2. Make sure that you're in Week view or any Day view.
  3. Click anywhere in the calendar. In the event box that pops up, click Appointment slots.
  4. Enter the details, including a title, and pick the calendar where you want the event to show up.
  5. To add more information, like a location or description, click More options.

Tip: If you want to make the appointment block repeat, do so before you invite others to reserve a slot. When you make an existing appointment block with reserved slots repeat, the reserved slots get duplicated as new slots and double booking can occur. Learn how to make events repeat.

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 at the Google Calendar Help Center

Checkbox.Create events from your inbox

Create an event from an email

  1. In Gmail, compose an email.
  2. Click More and thenSet up a time to meetand thenCreate an event.
  3. Add details to your new event and click Save.

See also:  Tips to manage Calendar events in Gmail

Checkbox.Set up a recurring team meeting
  1. On your computer, open Google Calendar.
  2. In the top left, click Create Add.
  3. Add the event title and any other details.
  4. Next to "Does not repeat," click the Down arrow Down arrow.
  5. Choose how often you want the event to repeat, and when you want the event that repeats to end.
  6. At the top right, click Save.
Checkbox.Add an agenda to your event

Calendar can create an agenda for you, or you can attach an existing agenda to your event.

Create an agenda for a new event

  1. On your computer, open Google Calendar.
  2. Create an event.
  3. Optional: Enter the title, time, guests, and other details.
  4. Click Add description or attachments and then Create meeting notes and then Save.
    • Your meeting notes, pre-populated with event details, are attached to your event and shared with your guests, including those outside of your organization.

Create or attach an agenda to an existing event

  1. On your computer, open Google Calendar.
  2. Select an option:
    • Click an event and then Take meeting notes.
      Pre-populated meeting notes with event details are attached to your event.
    • Click an event and then Menu  and then Attach a document.
      Selected meeting notes are attached to your event.
  3. Meeting notes open in a new window. On the right, click Share.

Tip: 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 at the Google Calendar Help Center

Checkbox.Create a Notes and Action items document

Create the notes and action items document

  1. On your computer, open a Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Forms home screen.
  2. Click Create Plus.

You can also create a document 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.

Checkbox.Create a private event (shows as "busy")

You can add personal events to your work calendar where details aren't shown to other people. For example, schedule a doctor appointment or personal sports event and set the visibility of your event to Private. You'll see event details on your calendar, but for others the event shows only as "busy."

Learn how at the Google Calendar Help Center

Checkbox.Let guests modify an event 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. On your computer, open Google Calendar.
  2. Click an eventand thenEdit event Edit.
  3. At the right, under “Guests can,” check “Modify event.”
  4. Click Save.

Note: When you check “Guests can modify event,” they can edit all fields, view the guest list, book rooms, and manage the event as you can.

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.
Checkbox.Propose or review new meeting times

Guests can propose a new meeting time, which the organizer can then review and optionally accept. 

Propose a new time (as attendee)

  1. On your calendar, click the event.
  2. Next to "Maybe," click the Up arrow Up arrowand then Propose a new time.
  3. Select a different time or day.
    Tip: You can also add a message to your proposed time.
  4. Click Send Proposal.

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

Review proposed times (as organizer)

  1. On your calendar, click an event with a clock icon.
  2. Under "Guests," find suggested times.
  3. Under the time proposal you want to review, click Review proposed time.
  4. To change the event to the proposed time, click Save.

How proposed times work

  • Proposals are turned off for large events with more than 200 guests and all-day events. Learn more about large events.
  • All guests can propose a new time. Organizers can’t propose a new time.
  • On a computer, in Google Calendar settings, if organizers turn on “Event responses,” they receive email notifications for proposals.
Check attendance.
Checkbox.Delete and restore events

Delete an event to cancel it

If you create an event, you can delete the event. This takes the event off your calendar, and off the calendars of everyone else invited.

  1. On your computer, open Google Calendar.
  2. Click the event you want to delete.
  3. Click Delete event Delete .

Restore an event

You have approximately 30 days to restore an event that you deleted by mistake.

  1. Open Google Calendar.
  2. In the top right, click Settings Settings and then Trash. You find the events deleted from this calendar.
    • To restore an individual event, next to the event, click Restore Undo.
    • To restore selected events, above the list, click Restore all selected Undo.

Restore deleted events.

Next steps


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