Distribution groups are handled in Google Apps though the Google Groups service. You'll probably notice that Groups is a somewhat unpolished service compared to Google Mail and Calendar and it can be difficult to find.

This article will cover the basics of how you can use them to communicate with different groups of people within the organization.

Group Naming Conventions

Distribution Groups are easier to use if you can recall the group's name off the top of your head, rather than looking it up. Group names begin with a prefix for the division of the organization you're looking to contact. Want to send a message to a Journeys School group? Start your group name with 'JS'. Any group not tied to a particular program department (such as the development team) gets the preview 'TSS'. Then, you'll start typing the name of the distribution group you're looking for. Here are some examples:

  • MR (MR Everyone)
  • JS (JS Faculty, JS Elementary Faculty, JS High School Students, etc)
  • JC (JC Faculty, JC Instructors, JC AmeriCorps, JC Education Team)
  • KC (KC Graduate Students, KC Faculty)
  • TVCS (TVCS Everyone, TVCS Faculty)
  • TSS (TSS Financial, TSS Community, TSS Development)


To send an email to a group, begin typing the group name in your address field of your email and options will begin to auto-complete. Choose the group you want, then hit 'enter'. There you go, you're in business.


If you want to invite a group to an event, the process is similar. Create your new event, then start typing the name of your group in the "Add Guests" field. When you see the group you want, select it.

After adding the group to the list of attendees, you can click on the small chevron (arrow) to expand the list and edit who you'd actually like to attend:

How Can I See What Distribution Groups I'm In?

If you go to groups.google.com and click on "My Groups" you can see which groups you're in: 

Even though there's a 'Leave this Group' button, you'll actually need to contact IT to leave a distribution group. 

How Can I See Who's In A Distribution Group?

You can either search for a group name or browse the directory of groups (Click "Browse All") to find the group you want to investigate. Select your group, then click on the small and obscure link to "Members" on the right side of the screen.

You'll get a list of current members of the group.