Overwhelmed by the sheer number of features available in Google Chat Spaces? Need a quick and easy guide? Well, you have just been served!
Since this pandemic happened, effective communication has been a major challenge for almost every organization. Though we hate to admit it, we are all guilty of poor communication, in a way or two. Either too much communication prevents any work from getting done or too little communication gets the wrong work delivered.
Well, Spaces is Google’s answer to this communication problem. Spaces have been always a go-to place when teams needed a central space where people can share files, assign tasks and stay connected for long-term projects.
With Gmail having a reach of 1.8 billion people, no other collaboration platform comes close to competition. This comes in handy when you want to collaborate with an external resource to collaborate on a project, and nobody has to download another application especially to keep track of that single project.
This mammoth of a platform population could also be the reason why Google decided to keep the limit of members in a ‘Space’ to be a whopping 8,000 people.
Either you are just joining this ever-growing platform or you want a quick refresher course on its features, this guide serves all.
Create a Space in Google Chat Spaces
First, go to chat.google.com and log in to your account. To create a Space, tap on the ‘+’ icon on the ‘Spaces’ tab. Then click on the ‘Create space’ option.
Now, give an appropriate name for the space. You can also and choose an icon/emoji if you wish to. Next, type the name or email addresses of people you want to add to this specific space.
Once you are done adding people, tap on the ‘Create’ button to create the Space.
Joining a Space in Google Chat Spaces
Chances are, more than creating a Space, you will be joining one. Thus, it’s important to know where to look for an invite.
To join a Space, go to the ‘+’ icon on the Spaces tab from the sidebar. Then, click on the ‘Browse spaces’ option from the list.
Now, you will see all the groups you have been requested to join. Click on the ‘+’ icon on the particular Space tab to join. You can also search for a particular invite by typing the space name in the ‘Space name’ field.
Preview a Space Before Joining
There can be Space invites that you don’t recognize or just want to look at the participants and the messages before making your decision.
To preview a Space before joining, go to the ‘Browse Space’ option by selecting the ‘+’ icon from the sidebar.
Now, as you hover over the Space name, you will be able to see the ‘Preview’ option. Click on the ‘Preview’ option to get a quick glance at the Space.
You will be able to ‘Join’ or ‘Block’ the space from the options available from the bottom right corner of the Preview window.
To see the complete list of members present in the Space. Click on the inverted carat icon situated right beside the group name. Then, choose the ‘View members’ option from the drop-down list.
You will be able to see the list of present members, as well as the members who are requested to join.
Checking Spam Invites
Just like mail, some of the legit Space invites might end up on the spam list. Make sure to check it when you are not able to locate an invite you are expecting.
Just like earlier steps, choose ‘Browse spaces’ option from the list from the sidebar.
Now, click on the kebab menu (three-vertical-dots). Then, click on the ‘Spam invites’ option to see all the invites that ended up as spam.
Mentioning Someone in a Google Chat Space
Almost always your Google Chat Space is going to have loads of people, and you cannot just send a message without mentioning the concerned person. Thus to control the pandemonium, you can direct your message to a specific person.
To mention a specific person, type ‘@’ and then the name of them. You will also be able to choose the concerned person from a pop-up list by pressing
Enter or clicking the option.
Sharing files in Google Chat Spaces
Sharing files in Space is very useful and a crucial feature to have as it comes in handy in numerous situations.
Upload a Local File
First, go to the ‘space’ you want to upload the file. Next, click on the ‘upwards arrow’ icon from the bottom section of the screen.
Now, browse the file from your drive you want to share. Double click on a file to choose it.
Once chosen, you can add some textual information to provide context for the file or hit on the send button to share the file with everybody.
Add a File from Drive
First, go to the ‘space’ you want to upload the file. After that, click on the ‘Drive’ icon from the bottom right corner of the screen.
Now, browse the file from your drive you want to share. Double click on a file to choose it.
Once chosen, you can add some textual information to provide context for the file or hit on the send button to share the file with everybody. Google Chat Spaces will automatically update the preferences of the file so everybody can view it.
Create New Document
You can create a new document right from the chat window of the Space. It will be saved to your Drive and will be instantly shared with the current members of that specific Space.
To create a fresh document for the Space. Click on the ‘Create new document’ icon from the bottom right section of the chat window.
You will be able to choose the type of document you want to create. The options include Google Sheets, Docs, and Slides. Click on your preferred option.
Next, enter the name for the shared document and click on the ‘Share’ button to share the document.
After that, the document will open in a side-by-side view with chat to offer maximum collaborative experience.
Locating a File in Chat
You often want to quickly locate a file and need to see the messages shared with it. Well, Google isn’t going to let you scroll through hundreds of messages.
From the chat window of a particular Space, Go to the ‘Files’ tab situated on the upper section of the screen.
You will be able to see the list of all the files shared in the Space. Now, click on the ‘View in chat’ option present on the far right side of a particular file.
Add and Assign Tasks in Google Chat Spaces
Adding and assigning tasks is a great feature of Google Chat Spaces. Let explore it in detail.
To create a task, head to the ‘Tasks’ tab from the upper section of the screen.
Now, click on the ‘Add space task’ option to add a task. Alternatively, you can press
Enter to create a task as well.
Note: Tasks section supports keyboard shortcuts for most of the actions. To bring up the list of shortcuts supported, press
Next, give the task an appropriate title and add some details about it, if any. You can press
Enter to insert a new line in the details section.
Tab or click on the ‘ Add date/time’ option to set a deadline for your task.
After that, select the date and time of the day for the task to be completed, and then click ‘OK’ to confirm.
Note: To undo any action, press
Tab or click on ‘Assign’ to assign an assignee for the task.
Now, enter the name or email address of the person you want to assign the task to.
After that, press
Enter. Else, click on the ‘Add Button’ to add the task.
Delete a Task
To delete a task, press the ‘Trash bin’ icon on the far right side of a task item from the list.
Now, click on delete to confirm the deletion of the selected task.
Tasks can also be sorted to have better viewability and provide relatively more trackability.
To sort tasks, go to the ‘Tasks’ tab and click the kebab menu (three vertical dots). Next, choose Date, Assignee, or Space order to view tasks in that specific order.
Adding a Calendar Event in Google Chat Spaces
Calendar events can serve many purposes. Let it be for a general meeting of the team, or a deadline coming up, or the organization’s foundation day. The calendar event feature will never fail you.
To add a calendar event. Click on the ‘Calendar’ icon from the bottom section of the Spaces chat window.
Now, tap on the carat icon to open all configurable for the calendar event.
To set the date and time for the calendar event, click on the date or time respectively to set each component individually.
If the event you are adding is a recurring one, click on the ‘Does not repeat’ option to set a recurrence of the event from the drop-down.
To add more Spaces or people for the event, click on the ‘Add guests’ option and type in the name of the Space or email address for the person you want to add.
To set the permission level for your guests, tap on the ‘Guest permissions’ option to see the permissions given. Check or uncheck appropriate items from the list to provide or deny access to the guests.
Now, if it’s an outdoor meeting at a specific location. You can also choose the location from the ‘add location’ option.
If you want to include a link for a Google Meet, as most parts of the world are either on lockdown or are not safe to go outside. Click on the ‘Add Google Meet video conference’ option, and a link for the meet will be included with the invitation sent out to all guests.
After that, if you want to add some information regarding the meeting like asking everybody to bring their laptops for an outdoor meet or just a rundown of the topics of the meet. You can do that by clicking and entering details in the ‘Add description’ option.
Next, if you don’t want other people to see this meeting on your calendar or want to hide the participants due to the meeting’s confidential nature. You can do that by clicking the ‘Visibility’ option and changing it to ‘Private’ to hide the meeting and the participants.
At the last, you can also set the time to send out a reminder for the meeting to all the guests. Choose your preferred option from the drop-down list.
Now, click ‘Save and Share’ from the bottom right corner of the pane.
Next, to send out an invitation mail to participants, click on the ‘Send’ option. If you don’t want to send out invitations, click on the ‘Don’t send’ option or if you want to change something, click on the ‘Back to editing’ option.
Create/Join Google Meet Meetings from Google Chat Spaces
Meet from Google is very reliable and especially in times like these, one of the best alternatives to have a face-to-face discussion without colleagues. Since the Google Chat update, Meet has been beautifully integrated with Spaces to enhance productivity and reduce app switching.
There are two ways you can incorporate a Google Meet in your Space. Let’s check them both out.
Meet from Chat in One Click
There are situations where you cannot wait until the evening or the next day to discuss a recent development on the project. Be it feedback from the client on a particular module or you just found out a major bug. Summoning Meet is as easy as it gets.
For an impromptu Meet, go to the Chat window of the specific Space. Then, add some textual context so people can get themselves mentally prepared to pull that all-nighter.
Now, click on the camcorder icon from the bottom right corner of the window. After that, hit send to send out the link to join the Meet.
Add Meet to an Existing Event
We know what you are going to say, we just showed you a way to incorporate Google Meet when creating a new calendar event. But what if you have already created an event and now want to insert a Meet link? Well, read along.
To add a Google Meet link to an existing event. Click on the ‘Calendar’ icon present on the far right section of the screen just below your account icon.
Now, click on the existing event you want to add Google Meet link.
Next, click the ‘Edit event’ icon to open event configurations.
After that, click on the ‘Add Google Meet conference’ option to add Meet link.
Now, click on ‘Save’ to confirm your changes.
After that, you can choose to send the invitation to all the guests with the updated information. To do that click on the ‘Send’ option. You can also add some context for adding the Meet link, so participants will know why they received the invitation once again.
Google Chat Spaces Quick Tips
Here are some quick tips for Google Chat Spaces. These tips will help you to use Spaces more efficiently than ever as you will be familiar with every nook and corner of them.
Change Space Name and Emoji
First, tap on the name of the Spaces from the top section of the screen. Then, click on the ‘Edit name & emoji’ option.
Managing Space Notifications
There are many times when a Space is particularly chatty or hundreds of messages pour in and hamper your productivity.
To only receive notifications when you are mentioned. Click on the kebab menu (three-vertical-dots) situated beside the Space name on the sidebar. Next, click on the ‘Notifications’ option from the list.
Now, click on the ‘Notify less’ option to only receive notifications when you are mentioned. Next, click on save to confirm your changes.
Turn off Notifications
You can also completely turn off notifications for a particular Space. However, Google will send you mail for any unread mentions.
First, click on the kebab menu (three-vertical-dots) situated beside the Space name on the sidebar. After that, click on the ‘Notifications’ option from the list.
Next, click on the ‘Notifications off’ option and hit save to confirm your changes.
View Current Online Members
If ever there arises a need to see which of the member of the Space are currently online. Google has an added a provision for it.
From the Space chat window, click on the Space name. Then, Click on the view members option from the list.
Now, to identify currently online members, look out for the green dot beside their name in the list.
Open a Shared File in Side-by-Side View in Chat
There can be times when you want to see a shared file in the Google Chat Space and have the chat window open to have a quick decision along the same lines.
To open a file in side-by-side view, locate the file in chat and click on the ‘Open in chat’ icon to open the document and also have the chat window pinned on the side.
Minimize Google Chat Space Window
Google Space chat window by default opens maximized. It can create a bit of inconvenience when you are trying to have more than one conversation. However, you can minimize and resize as per your needs.
To minimize the chat window of a particular space, click on the inwards arrow icon.
The Space chat will now be minimized and located the lower section of your screen.
Resize a Chat Window
Resizing a window can come in handy, when the messages coming in the Space are a bit lengthy and thus becomes a bit cumbersome to read in a smaller window.
On a minimized tab of a particular Space, hover your mouse on the top edge of the window. Once you see an upward arrow icon, click and hold your mouse button and drag upwards to resize the window.
On a minimized tab of a particular Space, hover your mouse on either side edge of the window. Once you see a sideways arrow icon, click and hold your mouse button and drag sideways to resize the window.
On a minimized tab of a particular Space, hover your mouse on the corner edge of the window. Once you see a diagonal arrow icon, click and hold your mouse button and drag diagonally to resize the window.
Pin a Space
You can always pin a Space to the top at the Space section to always appear on, regardless of unread messages from your pool of Spaces.
To pin a Space, click on the kebab menu (three-vertical-dots) situated right next to the Space name and click on the ‘Pin’ option from the list.
Well, that’s all there is to know about Google Chat Spaces. Now, go be an efficient communicator and equally effective collaborator.