Increased Productivity Through Google Groups - titleIn today’s world, we are bombarded daily with new software that’ll supposedly “make us more efficient and productive”. While some of this software in genuinely useful, a lot of it has a large learning curve or requires 2-weeks of training to use it to its full potential.

One application that I have recently integrated with my daily routine is Google Groups. It is a free web application provided by Google. To set one up, you must have a Google account, but anyone can access a group.

This application will allow you to invite group members, share files, websites, and discuss current projects in a forum with other members. This ease of communication and quick feedback will surely work towards improving team productivity.

There are many other group management applications out there, but few as widely available (all you need is an internet connection) and easy to use as Google Groups.

Read more for a tutorial on how to set one up and get the ball rolling.

Get your Google Group up and running:

(1) Log into Google. If you do not have a Google account, register for one here.

(2) Browse to Google Groups. (http://groups.google.com/).

(3) Click the “Create.. ” Button.

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(4) Decide on your group’s name and type it in the box. At this point your group’s email address will be automatically generated, but feel free to change it to anything you like.

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(5) Write a short description about the group and its purpose.

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(6) Select whether the group will be public, announcement only, or restricted

  • Public – Anyone can read the archives. Anyone can join, but only members can post messages, view the members list, create pages and upload files
  • Announcement-only – Anyone can read the archives. Anyone can join, but only managers can post messages, view the members list, create pages and upload files.
  • Restricted – People must be invited to join the group. Only members can post messages, read the archives, view the members list, create pages and upload files. Your group and its archives do not appear in public Google search results or the directory.

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(7) Fill in the email addresses of any people you want to invite to the group. Separate each one by a comma. Or you can skip this step by clicking “Skip This Step” at the bottom.

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(8) Enter an invitation message if you’d like.

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(10) Click Invite members, or you can skip this step and do it later.

.. And there you go! You now have your own Google group accessible by anyone (if you made it public) and anyone you invited (if you made it restricted). From this point, you can start a Discussion, upload File to share, add/remove members, or link to a Page for all the members to see.

I can just smell the increased productivity already.

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