Thursday, September 3, 2015

Use Gmail Directory (GAFE) to Create Groups without Saving Email Addresses to Contacts

Sending email can be cumbersome.  Normally, you simply save someone's email address as a contact and it becomes readily available for you in the future.  But if you're working in Google Apps for Education school or district, you have hundreds of student and staff email addresses to deal with.  It would be much to difficult to save them all as contacts.  If enabled by your Google Apps Admin, the directory allows you to search any address within your domain simply by typing their name in a new message.  

You will get a choice of similar names, but as you type their name more, you can filter down to the person you need.  This function saves you the time of having to save people as contacts.  That process isn't too much of a burden, but anything to save time is a good idea.  Personally, I only save coworkers as contacts if I have their cellphone numbers.  If my contact with them is purely through email, I let the directory do the work for me.

Another cool feature of the directory is the ability to save mail recipients as a group.  An example would be to save the addresses of your department members.  Begin by sending a new email message and include all members of the department in the message.  You don't have to send message, but once they've been entered as recipients, click "To" and you'll taken to your directory.

You will see the people you entered towards the bottom of the directory window.  Below the names, you'll see a button called "Save as group".  Click Save as group and you'll be prompted to name the group.  Name your group and save.  From this point, to send an email to those recipients, simply type the name of the group and those recipients will automatically entered as mail recipients.  

Once you save, a notification will appear saying group was saved.  Click Cancel and go back to your inbox. Depending on your network, it may take a few minutes before you're able to use the group name.  Once the network catches up, you'll be able to type the group name to send a message to the members of the group. To see your group, from your inbox, switch mail to contacts.  

Your group will appear under my contacts.  Click on it to view the members of the group.

Now, I type the name of the group and the members will appear in my email message.

I hope this is useful.  Please contact me with any ideas, suggestions or comments. (

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