Creating Contact Groups in Gmail

A step by step guide to creating contact groups in Gmail. By creating contact groups in Gmail, you can keep your contacts organised and easily share Google Docs with others


0:55  The first way to create a contact group in Gmail

2:20  How to Import Contacts into Gmail

2:35  The second way to create a contact group in Gmail

3:00  How to easily share a Google Doc with a group

3:25  Sending limits inside Google

Sending Limits for Gmail Link


Creating contact groups in Gmail makes it easy to send emails and to share a document to a group of people. [Click To Tweet]


Hi you’re with Mike Reading from If there was going to be one question that I am most consistently asked when I’m speaking at a staff development day or a conference or with a group of teachers, it would be this. How do I easily send emails to a group of people, whether that be, parents or teachers or students and equally how do I share a document easily with a group so that I don’t have to have a list somewhere and I’m copying and pasting or typing in email addresses?

Well the answer is there’s two ways that you can do this.

  1. You could ask your Google Apps Administrator to create a Google Group and then place those people that you want to share the document with into that group.
  2. The other way is that you could just go ahead and create your own contact group just using Gmail to do it.

So I’m going to show you how to create a contact group in Gmail right now.

So here I am in one of my Gmail accounts and you can see over here on the left hand side, in the top left hand corner where it says Gmail there’s a little arrow next to it, if we click on that we can select our contacts.

Now I have a number of contacts and I’m going to blur these out so you can’t see their details but basically your contacts can have their email addresses, their names, phone numbers and so on.  You can also tag your contacts or put them in groups. And one contact can go into multiple groups.

So to create a group, on the left hand side you’ll see that there is an option that says new group.  Click on the new group and I get the option to name the group. I’m going to call it “demo” for this purpose and click okay and then your demo group will appear for you in your contacts.

Now obviously you don’t have anyone in your contact group just yet so there’s a couple of ways that you can go about getting people into your contact groups.

If you click on the contact group in the list on the left hand side, what you can do is just click on the button that has a person and a plus and it says, “Add to demo” and you can start to type in some names. You can also just copy and paste some email addresses in there, just have them comma separated and you’ll be able to add them by bulk.

If you click on the “more” button you’ll see that there’s an opportunity for you to import people from outlook or if you’ve had someone fill out a form and you’ve collected all their email addresses you can convert the spreadsheet that goes with that form into a csv file and you can import it that way as well.

Another way that you can do this if you go to your general contacts, you could simply just go down and select the contacts that you would like to be added to that group. When you do that, you’ll see that there’ll be a button with three heads, it looks like a group. If you hover over it, it says “group” and you click on it and then you can select which groups you would like those people to go into.

Using contact groups to share Google Docs


So if we wanted to then share this document with a group all we simply do is click on the share button, and rather than copying and pasting email addresses in, we simply type the name of the group into the share box, select it and you’ll see that it drops all of their email addresses in here.

Now just be aware that when you send an email to a contact group Google creates one email per person. Now the reason you need to just be aware of that is that there are sending limits inside Google. Now I’ve put up a page here and I’ll drop the link into the blog so if you go to you’ll be able to see the link to this particular page.

Here is the sending limits for Gmail support article link –

Just be aware if you’ve go a Google Apps for Educational Business Account you can:

  • Send two thousand emails a day (if you’re using a account that’s limited to five hundred).
  • Only send to two thousand recipients and only five hundred of those are allowed to be external.

Now, if for some reason you need to send more emails than that limit, you need to go back to your Google Apps Administrator and ask them to create a Google Group. Once they’ve created that Google Group there’s an email associated with it and Google only treats that group as one email. So you can send it to more users that way.

So hopefully that’s been helpful to you. If you’d like to leave a comment or you have any questions then please just leave your comment below so we can continue the discussion there.

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