Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Setting up a Contact list (Group) in Gmail

First you need the email addresses of your parents.

Here's how. Open up CIMS, and choose List from the options on the left.


Choose your class, then click Go on the far right.
You should now have a spreadsheet you can open in Excel of Numbers
You can edit/modify this to your hearts content, but what we need now are the emails...
Scroll across and you will find the emails addresses.



Have a spreadsheet? Great:

Method one - the quickest way:
  1. Open the spreadsheet with your class details. 
  2. Copy the email addresses for your parents - you don't need to copy the heading though...
  3. In Google Mail, click Contacts and click on your NEW group (create one if you haven't done so)
  4. You should see an icon that says 'Add to' "Name of Group" when you roll over it, click that.
  5. Now paste the email list you copied into the white rectangle hole (field).
  6. Then click Add
  7. Done!



Method two - Let's just get this done. Make sure you have created the group first (as above)

  1. Click Contacts
  2. Create new contact
  3. You'll get an 'address card' to fill out. Fill in the Info you need, you probably only need Name and Email... 
  4. At the bottom click on Groups, and tick the Group you want the contact to be part of...
  5. Repeat 21 more times or so.


Method three - the fancy shmancy way:


  1. Open a spreadsheet with your class details in Excel or Numbers
  2. Edit the headings if you have to make sure they agree with the headings Google, eg E-mail Address, with hypen (not Email Address).
  3. Remove any info/columns that you don't want as the spreadsheet the Office have kindly sent you does not have headings that Google likes. Now you will need to 'prep' the spreadsheet that you have been sent, and get it Gmail friendly, like this:
  4. Download it and open it in Excel
  5. Select your class sheet (tabs at the bottom (unless you really want the whole grade...))
  6. Edit the headings - this is the crucial part!

    Google is very fussy about what it will or will not accept, anything it does not understand invariably gets thrown into 'Notes' or ignored completely. After some experimentation and shameless Googling on my part, the headings have to be on the first row, and the ones that Google seems to prefer are:



Student name
Class
First
Name
Last Name  
Relationship
Mobile
Phone
Home
Phone
E-mail Address

But not necessarily in that order.. E-mail HAS to have a hyphen... Things like Student Name and  Class will end up in Notes but that's OK.

When it's ready, save as a csv file. File Save As > Other Formats > Scroll down and choose 'CSV(comma delimited)' 

CSV Example


Now you can import that into Gmail.
Remember to tick the 'Also add these imported contacts to' box and choose the relevant group from the list.... .

Now in an email you just have start typing the name of the group to email them 'Parents' etc. It might take a while for them to appear...