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Here's How You Can Work Around Those Pesky Group Email Parameters

by Keith Gatling | 4 years ago

Have you ever wanted to send email to a whole bunch of people on a regular basis…without having to type all their names in all…the…time? And without constantly replying to the same stale email message from five years ago that already had that taken care of?

You’d think that the ability to create email “groups” would be a basic feature of all email systems and apps. My old favorite email client, Eudora, had this feature. I could create “nicknames” like 6thGrade1, 6thGrade2, and 6thGrade3, for each of the three sections of my 6th grade Computer Literacy class. But Eudora is long gone.

To be fair, both Gmail and Outlook have it available through their web interfaces, and Outlook also has it in their desktop client. Yahoo doesn’t seem to have it at all. But none of them have it in their mobile apps.

To be honest, I hadn’t really thought about it until a patron came in a few weeks ago, wanting to be able to do just that. He had a list of 40 people that he wanted to be able to regularly send email to, and she had a list of 12.

And there’s no native way to do this!

But there is a workaround.

Create semicolon-separated lists of email addresses that you want to send to in a word processing program, and then copy and paste that list into the To field of the message you want to send. Did that sound a little confusing? Well, let me run this by you slowly.


Step 1. Start out by creating a word processing document that you’ll call something like Email Groups. This one document will take care of all the email groups you want to deal with. It can be done in any word processing program that you’ll have access to from all your devices. Google Docs is a really good candidate for this.

Step 2. In that document create headings for each group you want. In the example, you’ll see that one group called Neighborhood Association and another called Handbell Choir.

Step 3. For each group, list the email addresses you want to send to, putting a semicolon between each one. The addresses will probably turn blue as you type. That’s OK.

Step 4. Save the document. You can make changes to it later on if you need to.

Now, when you need to send email to one of your groups, simply go to that document, and select and copy the entire paragraph of email addresses for that group (but not the headings). Next go to your email program and paste that list into the To field of your email message.

It ain’t elegant, but it should work.