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Creating a Group in Google Contacts

As of September, 2016, the following procedure can be used to create a Group in Google’s Contacts App. This is the one feature of Google Apps that seems to be a little harder to do than it should be. We hope they fix it..

Let's say you want a Group for all the Elementary Teachers and one for all the Middle and High School teachers. 

  1. Create the groups that you anticipate your will need. In this case, we'll create two using the name "Elem Staff" and "MS/HS Staff"
  2. Open the Directory and as you mouse over all the teacher names in the list (I know, it's a long list) their icon will change to a checkbox. Check all the boxes of the teachers.
  3. While you are looking in the directory with all the boxes you need checked, there will be an icon above that says "Add to Contacts" when you mouse over it. Click that icon to add your selections to your contacts.
  4. Now click on "Show all Contacts" and start at the top of your contacts list. For each person there who will be in one of your groups, click on their name (one at a time) and in the bottom left of their card will be a notation of what groups they are in. If they aren't in a group yet, you can select the group you want to put them in. A contact can be in more than one group.
  5. Work your way down your contacts list until you have placed each person in the correct group(s).

Sadly, there seems to be no way at this time to export groups or share groups. I'm betting this is a feature that will be added in the future. Google is continuously improving their products.

To illustrate the the steps, here’s what it currently looks like in the left side bar where you create a new group:

Here is a picture of the Directory listing for our domain. You can see the check boxes that appear on the left-most column in place of the user’s icon when you mouse over it or whenever you are actively making selections. Ater all your selections have been made, you can see the “Add to Contacts” icon in the top bar. This icon is the first in that set of buttons in the upper-right corner of the picture and looks like a silhouette of a person with a plus sign.

This image shows a list of “All Contacts” from which I can open the contact’s cards one at a time to assign their group membership.:

And, finally, here is what a contact card looks like. Note the icon in the bottom left that shows Andrea Sewell is a member of the Faculty group. A contact who belonged to no group would have the “Add to Group” icon instead. Also note the left pointing arrow in the upper left corner of the card. Click this arrow to go back to the Contacts screen.

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