One-on-one conversations are an important part of your daily communication, but most work really gets done when collaborating with multiple people. Sometimes it's just an ad-hoc conversation among a few co-workers, which is called a "group" on Glip, and sometimes its with an entire project, department, etc., which is called a "team" on Glip.
So what exactly is the difference between a team and a group? Let's clarify with examples.
SXSW Conference Planning Project
Company Softball Team
iPhone Development Discussion
"I want to share something with Dave and Lisa"
As you can see, groups are more ad-hoc in nature than teams. Another key difference, beyond the fact that teams have names, is that members can come and go in a team. When a member leaves the team, all of their posts remain, and when a new member joins the team, they have access to the entire chat history and all content. In other words, teams exist independent of their membership.
Groups, on the other hand, are defined by their membership. If you are talking to Dave and Lisa, and decide that Ian should be part of the conversation as well, you'll need to create a new group with Dave, Lisa and Ian, and Ian will not be able to see the history of the conversation between Dave and Lisa (although if there are key items in that conversation that Ian needs to see, they can "Share" or "Move" them into the new group).
Once you get going on Glip you'll find that the vast majority of your communication happens in the context of teams. Part of what makes Glip special is that you can get everything done in your team conversations. No need to set up a project team on a chat service to handle your communication, and then having to recreate that team in a project management tool, a calendar application, a file-sharing service, etc. With Glip you just set up your team once and you're done.
The Teams page, accessed by clicking on Teams in the left pane, lists all of the teams in which you are a member, and allows you to create a new team or join a public team. Click on the name of a team to be taken to it's conversation stream.
Start typing in the search box to narrow down the list of teams. Use the Show and Sort dropdowns to filter and sort the list of teams. One helpful filter is "Teams I Created", which will show only the teams that you created.
Note the All Employees team in the list (although it may have been renamed). This is a special team that Glip maintains for your company. As your co-workers are added to Glip they are automatically added to this team. This is a great place for company-wide discussion. Note that if your company doesn't use a private email domain, the All Employees team won't be created until at least one other co-worker has been added to Glip.
To create a team, click on the New Team button at the top of the page.
Add members to the team by entering their names. As you start to type you'll be able to select from the list of names that appears. You can even add someone to Glip here by entering an email address. Note that you don't have to enter all of the team members right now. You can add members at any time.
There are two options that determine who can join a team:
- Invitation-only (Private) - Members have to be explicitly added to the team.
- Any co-worker (Public) - All co-workers can join the team by clicking on the Join button next to its entry in the Public Teams section of the Teams page.
The Team Description, which is optional, will be displayed at the top of the team's shelf to help people understand the purpose of the team.
When you click the Create button you'll see the new team appear at the top of the Teams section in the left pane. Click on it to go to the team's conversation stream and start collaborating.
A gear menu in the heading of each team allows to change various settings related to the team.
- Rename - Selecting this option will allow you to change the team's name by typing a new one right in the team's entry in the left pane. Hit Enter after typing the new name.
- Who Can Join - Teams can be invitation-only, where members have to be added explicitly, or they can be public, where any co-worker can join the team via the Teams page.
- Team Description - Let people know the purpose of the team in a message that will be displayed at the top of the shelf.
- Team Folder - See the "Organizing Your Teams" section below for more information on putting teams into folders.
- Add People - Displays a popup for adding more members to the team.
- Remove People - Select a team member to remove from the sub-menu.
- Favorite - Moves the team's conversation into a Favorites section at the top of the left pane.
- Mark Unread - If you want to make sure that you come back to a conversation later, marking it as unread with set the unread message indicator next to its entry in the left pane to "1".
- Post via Email - Displays the unique email address for the given team, which can be used to post via email.
- Color - Select a color for the team to determine how the team's events are displayed on the calendar.
- Mute All Notifications - Turn off Email, Mobile, Desktop notifications, as well as sounds, for this team.
- Email Notifications - Override your global email notification settings. For example, you may have email notifications turned off on the Preferences page, but you could elect to turn them on for this team.
- Mobile Notifications - Override your global mobile notification settings. For example, you may have mobile notifications set to "First new message only" for Team conversations on the Preferences page, but you could elect to get them for "Every message" for this team.
- Desktop Notifications - Even if you have desktop notifications enabled, you can turn them off for this team.
- Sounds - Override the default sound for new messages on a team-by-team basis.
- Leave Team - Select this option if you no longer want to participate in this team's conversation. Note that if you are the only member of a the team you will not be able to leave.
- Duplicate Team - Create a copy of the given team, bringing over the team's membership and/or tasks in the process. Copy an existing team, or set up a dummy team to serve as a project template.
- Archive Team - When a project is over, or a team simply isn't needed anymore, archive it instead of deleting it so that all of the team's content is preserved and fully searchable. Archived teams are moved to a separate section at the bottom of the Teams page so that they don't clutter up the list of active teams. You can always bring an archived team back to life by clicking on the Restore button next to its entry at the bottom of the Teams page.
- Delete Team - Deletes the team. Note that you should only delete a team if it was accidentally created, or if you are positive no one will ever need access to any of the conversation or content in the team. Otherwise, it is better to leave the team as-is. If it is no longer used, it will quickly disappear from the left pane as more active conversations push it off the bottom. But, it can still be found on the Teams page, and its content can still be found via search, so that it remains useful for future reference.
- Close Conversation - Closing a conversation will remove it from the left pane,
but will not delete the contents.
Organizing Your Teams
Glip allows you to organize your teams into folders. For example, if you're a creative agency you might want to group all of your project teams by client. Or maybe you want to organize your teams by functional area. Select the "Team Folder" option from the gear menu and you'll be prompted to enter the name for the folder.
If you're trying to add a team to an already-existing folder, as you start to type the folder name you'll be provided with a list of matching folders.
Click the Save button and you'll see the folder appear on the Teams page, with the team indented below it. You can click the folder name to expand/collapse it. Note that all members of the team will see this folder on their Teams page as well. In other words, team organization applies across the company and isn't specific to each person.
You'll notice that the folders you create also appear as new sections in the left pane. The teams associated with those folders will now appear in the appropriate folder's section of the left pane instead of in the Teams section. The folders in the left pane can be expanded/collapsed. When collapsed, the unread messages indicator represents the sum of unread messages for all teams in the given folder.
When expanded, you can see exactly which teams have unread messages.
By default, new folders are added to the left pane for you and all other team members. If you'd prefer not to have the folder in the left pane, just click the gear icon for the folder (either in the left pane or on the Teams page) and un-select the "Show in Left Pane" option. Having too many folders in your left pane can make it cumbersome to find your new messages, so don't hesitate to remove folders. You can always add them back to the left pane by going to the Teams page, sorting by Folders, and then clicking on the gear menu next to the appropriate folder.
Other options in that menu allow you to rename the folder, add teams to the folder, remove teams from the folder, and delete the folder. Note that deleting the folder does not delete the teams that were in it.
If you go to a team that has been included in a folder, you'll notice a "Related Teams" section near the top of the right pane. This section lists all other teams in the same folder (except for archived teams). This makes it easy to jump from one team to another, even if you've decided not to display the folder in your left pane.
If you find that the list of related teams is so long that it's pushing the other content in the shelf down too far, you can collapse the list to get it out of the way.
One of the most powerful aspects of this feature is that you can filter any of the apps by folder. Say you're a creative agency and have put all project teams for a certain client into a folder. You could then go to the Tasks app and select that folder in the Show dropdown so that only tasks for that client's projects would be displayed.
Click on the Groups link in the left pane to start an ad-hoc conversation among a number of people.
Enter the names of the people you want to include in the conversation. As you start to type you'll be able to select from the list of names that appears. You can even add someone to Glip here by entering an email address.
When you click the Create Group button you'll see the new conversation appear at the top of the Groups section in the left pane and you'll automatically be taken into that conversation. Note that if you've previously had a conversation with this group of people, you'll simply be taken right back into that same conversation.