Microsoft 365 Groups are a cross-application membership service that allows teams to work together quickly and effectively. When a group is created, a suite of associated resources is made that supply a single hub where team members can easily collaborate, communicate, schedule, and manage projects.
Microsoft 365 Groups let you more easily collaborate and share resources with a specific set of people. These resources include a shared calendar, document library, OneNote notebook, Outlook inbox, and more. Historically, distribution lists or shared mailboxes were used for this purpose, but Microsoft Groups provide a new and improved level of collaboration capabilities. Groups remove the hassle of manually assigning permissions to each team member because adding a person to a group automatically gives them the permissions of that group and the associated tools.
Depending on the purpose, Microsoft 365 groups can be created from a variety of places (Outlook, Teams, Yammer, SharePoint). These starting points provide different sets of resources for different types of purposes. This article is going to focus on creating groups from Outlook. Groups created from Outlook are organized around email and calendar, so this type of group is best served by teams needing to collaborate via email (as opposed to chat) and use a shared calendar. When you create a group, you create a central email address that can be used to invite all group members to meetings or to contact all group members easily in email. People outside of your organization can email the group email address as well, once that setting is turned on in your group’s settings.
If you have permissions to create groups, simply open Outlook, then select Home > New Group to be led through step-by-step instructions to create a new group. You’ll choose the name, description, and privacy settings. At the end of the set-up, be sure to check the option to send all group conversations and events to members’ inboxes. This allows group members to receive messages and invitations without having to check a separate workspace. Members can change this setting in their individual workspace. After completing the group creation form, your new group is ready to use!
Here is a snapshot of the shared resources associated with your Outlook group:
Outlook groups provide a high level of familiarity and, therefore, a low learning curve for many project teams. Groups allow a collection of people to quickly work together remotely with a high level of communication, collaboration, scheduling, and project management. Groups are also friendly on a variety of devices (there’s even an iOS app called “Outlook Groups”), making it even easier to stay connected and informed while on the go.