Help me figure out gmail yet again.
February 21, 2017 3:09 AM   Subscribe

Every year when I try to set up a google email list for a class I teach I have to figure it out all over again because they've changed it. Please help me figure out this year's iteration.

All I want is to make a group out of contact emails that my students send me that I can use to send out class-related emails and pdfs of reading and homework questions. This year, 'groups' seems to have changed to 'labels', and while I can make a labeled list of this year's students with a name (Spring 2017), I can't seem to type in the group label and email the bunch with a single emailing anymore.

When I search, I seem to get answers that refer to older iterations of groups. Or labels. Or whatever it's called now. What are labels even for? Does gmail no longer do what I want it to do? Is this one of those cases where people in a company continually make changes to a perfectly good product just so they can justify their continued employment?

Could someone please point me to one of those 'explain this to me like I'm in 5th grade' webpages that tells me how to do this? Or just explain it to me like I'm in 5th grade. I feel like I'm going to have to give back my PhD.
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hrm... I can send email out to a label list, by just typing the label list into Gmail? When I type in the label list, the corresponding label appears underneath and I can just select it.

Are you using a modern browser like Chrome?
posted by almostwitty at 3:38 AM on February 21, 2017

If you have a regular account, the article you linked to is the one to use. You have to refresh your email page after creating the group to see it autofill when you are composing an email. Sometimes it may take longer to see it appear in autofill, in my experience. If you have a business / education version of Gmail, you may still see the old version of contacts where they're called "groups" instead of "labels."
posted by beyond_pink at 5:32 AM on February 21, 2017

Another option would be to use MailChimp, which is going to be free at the volume you are using it for. It's an actual mail list service. Gmail was never designed for that, and although it can be used for group emails, I think they discourage it by making it so obtuse.
posted by COD at 5:33 AM on February 21, 2017

Is this one of those cases where people in a company continually make changes to a perfectly good product just so they can justify their continued employment?

Not really. Gmail actually changes less than a lot of other mail services but people have a lot of different use cases that they need to maintain. And they have different versions of it for mobile, for chrome, whatever. I have to do something like this for a class and I just use MailChimp. It can give me good information like whether everyone opened an email I sent, it's easier to send a message that will look more or less the same cross-platform, and I can schedule emails to be sent in the morning even if I'm not up yet. And yes, it's totally free. And they haven't changed the interface substantially in the several years I've been using it.
posted by jessamyn at 7:22 AM on February 21, 2017

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