Get started with Office 365 Groups

Yammer now integrates with Office 365 Groups! See Yammer groups are now Office 365 Groups!

If your team uses distribution lists, file sharing, and collaborative note-taking to get things done, then you’ll love Office 365 Groups! Office 365 Groups is a powerful and productive platform that brings together conversations and calendar from Outlook, files from SharePoint, tasks from Planner, and a shared OneNote notebook into a single collaboration space for your team. Your team interactions can be more social than traditional group communications because you can use @mentions to get your teammates’ attention and “like” messages rather than agreeing via email.

When you subscribe to a group, all the email messages and meeting invitations are sent directly to your inbox. But they’re also stored in your group folder. So don’t worry about accidentally deleting something or creating a rule to move mail from your inbox to a private folder. Delete it from your inbox after reading it and know there’s still a copy safely stored in your searchable group folder; in fact, all the messages since the group began are stored in the group folder. Even if you weren’t a member at the beginning, you’ll get to see the full history once you join.

It takes just a few simple steps to get started with Office 365 Groups, and then you and your team can get to work right away.

Office 365 required

Groups is only in Office 365. So to get the most out of groups and its capabilities, your entire team should be using Office 365. To learn more about Office 365 and to sign up, see Get Office 365.

Which Office 365 plans include Groups?

Groups are available to any Office 365 plan that includes Microsoft Exchange Server and SharePoint Online. This includes: Office 365 E1-E5, Office 365 Academic A2-A4, Office 365 Government G1-G4, Office 365 Business Essentials, Office 365 Business Premium and Office 365 Enterprise K1 (Kiosk).

Tips for getting the most out of Office 365 Groups in Outlook

  1. Use groups just like distribution lists    New email messages and meeting requests will come to your inbox, and anything you send to the group will be delivered to everyone in the group, just like with a distribution list. Any version of Outlook or Outlook on the web (formerly Outlook Web App) will work. Just type the group email address on the TO line of your email message to start communicating.

    Note: When you create a group, check the Subscribe new members checkbox so that all members will receive copies of the group emails in their inbox.

  2. “Favorite” your group for quick access    In Outlook 2016, the groups you own and/or are a member of are listed at the bottom of your navigation pane. Right-click a group and select Add to Favorites to move it to the top of your navigation pane for easy access.

    Favorites list with two groups highlighted

    Adding to Favorites also enables you to access the content when you’re offline.

  3. No need to move messages to a private folder    When you subscribe to a group, all the email messages and meeting invitations are sent directly to your inbox. But they’re also stored in your group folder. So don’t worry about accidentally deleting something or creating a rule to move mail from your inbox to a private folder. Delete it from your inbox after reading it and know there’s still a copy safely stored in your searchable group folder; in fact, all the messages since the group began are stored in the group folder. So even if you weren’t a member at the beginning, you’ll get to see the full history once you join.

    If you don’t want the mail to come to your inbox, just unsubscribe from the group (but stay joined). Mail will continue to be delivered to your group folder but not your inbox.

  4. Easily schedule group meetings    Any time you select one of your groups in the navigation pane you’ll see a special groups ribbon at the top of the screen. Open the calendar to see all the group meetings that are scheduled for the month. To open your group calendar in:

  5. Easily share files with everyone in the group     You can easily upload shared files or attach files from the library to your email messages. Because the correct permissions are already set and applied to all group members, you don’t need to manage permissions on the shared files. To open your group’s file space on the groups ribbon in:

  6. Quickly access the team notebook    Use it to capture notes for your team discussions, meetings, plans, and activities. To open your group’s notebook on the groups ribbon in:

    • Outlook 2016, select Home > Notebook.

    • Outlook on the web, select Notebook.

  7. Find what you’re looking for    Looking for all the meetings on a certain subject? Want to find the notes from last week’s brown bag? Group conversations, calendar, files, and notebook are searchable, and permissions are automatically set so all group members can search for whatever they’re looking for.

  8. Read and respond quickly    The modern conversation experience allows for quick back-and-forth messaging, and conversation threads are treated as topics in a group. This lightweight messaging facilitates team productivity by reducing the need for lengthy emails.

  9. Get social with likes and @mentions    Like a group member’s idea? Say so. It’s quick and easy (and you can say good-bye to the old “+1”). Want to get someone’s attention? Use an @mention in an email message and that message will go to the group member’s inbox so they can follow up.

Feedback, questions, or comments?

We hope you enjoy Office 365 Groups! Let us know what you think. We’re listening to feedback and prioritizing your requests so contact us at the Outlook Suggestion Box.

See Also

Learn about Office 365 groups

Outlook groups mobile app

Compare Office 365 Groups on all platforms

Share Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Email Email

Was this information helpful?

Great! Any other feedback?

How can we improve it?

Thank you for your feedback!

×