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How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc?

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How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? RaeMoon 3/19/11 1:58 PM
I know how to turn off emailed notifications of new comments for shared docs on a per-document basis. I'd like to turn off all emailed notifications by default.

Currently, when my collaborators and I are working on documents together, we give feedback in comments. I got seven comments in one doc alone, in quick succession, on specific wording that I chose. None of these were worthy of a discussion, and it certainly wasn't worth the flood of emails that hit my inbox - not to mention the thought that all the other collaborators were also emailed.
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? Bas Braams 3/19/11 2:27 PM
That was my first thought too upon seeing the new discussion feature. Email notification turned on by default, good grief what lunacy!
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? ahab 3/19/11 3:01 PM
"Email notification turned on by default, good grief what lunacy!"
That's part of the 'easy' philosophy Google has about its products. This way if you want e-mails you don't miss out one them, and if you don't want them you can turn them off. But note I agree on the lunacy of this philosophy - which b.t.w. also applies to sharing in Google Docs. It would of course be less of a lunacy if a user could set personal preferences, but in Google's philosophy this must be making the product less user friendly...
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? Bas Braams 3/21/11 12:12 AM
In a user's documents list items appear in boldface, according to the default settings, if they have been updated after the user last viewed them. This can only happen for shared documents. It is a beautifully unobtrusive method of notifying co-authors of changes, but the beauty is all gone if email notifications are sent as well. In fact, in all seriousness, I think that Google should not offer the opportunity for automatic email notifications after changes or new comments or discussions. Sure, a small group of people working on a very particular joint project could find it attractive if email notifications are sent automatically after every change. In that case, let them use the regular email channels for notifications. Much more common, I think, is the situation that someone sets up a document for shared editing and commenting and, probably without giving it much thought, decides that it would be nice to have automatic notification of changes, comments and discussions. The other parties will resent it in almost every instance, but probably not resent it enough in any particular instance to do something about it. The resentment just builds up over time as one develops the mental association of Google Docs with Gmail Spam. Users will be unhappy and it will not work to the advantage of GDocs. We don't want the ability to have email notifications sent automatically upon any change or new comment or discussion. We don't want it for ourselves and we absolutely do not want it for our friends and colleagues.
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? ahab 3/21/11 3:44 AM
" The resentment just builds up over time as one develops the mental association of Google Docs with Gmail Spam. Users will be unhappy and it will not work to the advantage of GDocs."
Bas, 
Sometimes it feels as if the Google Docs team that implements these features deliberately makes them work this way to make the product less attractive. Perhaps there is a mole at work that tries to undermine the quality of the product and which takes every chance that is offered to bring out a version of Google Docs with half-baked, not very well thought-trough new features. This has been going on for a long, long time now...
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? Teresa - Docs & Drive Community Manager 3/21/11 10:25 AM
Hi Ahab and Bas,

I'll bring this concern up to the team. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Teresa
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? KD in ND 3/21/11 12:28 PM
this new default is driving my students crazy, and we do not know how to turn off e-mail notifications for individual documents. can someone please tell us how?

Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? Bas Braams 3/21/11 12:38 PM
Discussions are only available for new documents (created since about March 17). The owner of the document needs to click on the little arrow next to Discussions at top right, for that document, and then go to Discussion notification settings. I'd say to set all options to don't send and don't notify. You're still going to see the document name in boldface in your list of documents if anything has changed to the doc.
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? showson 3/21/11 2:28 PM
Everyone in my company is amazed that this is the default. We use it like "track changes," sorta, in MS Word, as we're writers/editors. What a good idea to not have you see the comment being typed in real-time (so distracting when someone is editing you), but email notifications of each comment cancel out that good idea and then some! It ever occurred to me that comments would be used like a discussion, but then of course everyone uses things differently. Surely, though, it would be easy enough to make it an opt-in thing and not the dang default!
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? Bas Braams 3/22/11 12:40 AM
"Surely, though, it would be easy enough to make it an opt-in thing and not the dang default!" Yes. And, just to hammer it in, it is my sincere opinion that these email notifications are such a bad idea, it should not even be an opt-in for any document. It should simply not be possible for an owner of a document to set things up so that email notifications are sent automatically with every discussion item (or every change, or every comment). The bold-facing in a viewer's documents list takes care of the possibly perceived need. Sending email is such an obnoxious intrusive act, it should only be done if someone who has made a change or added a comment or discussion item makes the deliberate choice that in this particular instance an email notification must be sent. It should never be automatic.
I noticed that an earlier comment that I made in this conversation is wrong. I said that the owner can turn off e-mail notifications. In fact, I see now that it is a personalized feature. If the owner turns off all email notifications then other users are still by default notified of replies to their comments or to threads that they have commented on and they are notified when they are @-mentioned in a comment. So the customization to turn off email notification has to be done by each user for each document.
There is a good illustration here of why it is often a bad idea to allow customizations. One participant in the discussion may assume (extrapolating from his own experience) that others are receiving email notification of some particularly important comment, but other participants may not receive this notification due to their own preferences. It has happened quite often on this forum that users ask for the ability to customize something and my reaction is often to thank Google for *not* allowing the customization. But in this instance Google has gone completely overboard on the wrong side; on one hand allowing customization in fine detail per user per document, and on the other hand setting the defaults in the worst possible way to send all notifications all the time.
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? ahab 3/22/11 7:23 AM
"But in this instance Google has gone completely overboard on the wrong side; on one hand allowing customization in fine detail per user per document, and on the other hand setting the defaults in the worst possible way to send all notifications all the time."
There may have been a discussion in the Google Docs team whether notifications should be turned off by default - like in spreadsheets - or on - like now in newly created documents. The outcome of the discussion may have been: let's use the users (again) as out Guinea pigs, let's turn on notifications by default for newly created documents and let the discussion about it start. 
The question is of course: how long should it take the Google Docs team to conclude which default is better on or off.... 
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? pyromanfo 3/25/11 7:52 AM
It lets you turn it off per-doc, but not globally. As it is now it's pretty ridiculous, it's taken a wonderful feature and turned it into annoying spam. It's horrendous.
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? pyromanfo 3/25/11 7:54 AM
Also, when you go to disable email notifications it adds a little extra commentary there, "Not Recommended". Seriously? Who on the Google Docs team thinks this feature is so useful to people that they should be frightened when they try to turn it off? This is possibly the most disjointed UI decision since Google Buzz was turned on by default.
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? nstraghalis 3/26/11 9:27 PM
I absolutely agree - I really want a universal setting for notification preferences, so I don't have to do in and set prefs for every single doc.
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? Teresa - Docs & Drive Community Manager 3/29/11 11:54 AM
Hi all,

Thanks for taking the time to post here. Based on user feedback, we've decided to implement the ability to turn off discussion notifications as a default for your docs. I don't have an exact ETA, but I'll be sure to post back here as soon as I know more.

Again, we appreciate your valuable feedback!

Best,

Teresa
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? nicaguerrero 4/8/11 9:44 AM
Hi Teresa,

     Does Google have any plans to be able to disable this at the Google Apps Domain level and not just the individual user level. This "discussion email notifications" feature will quickly destroy a companies email archiving capacity. Especially in K-12 Education with it's data retention requirements.  
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? globurs 4/11/11 3:31 PM
" Does Google have any plans to be able to disable this at the Google Apps Domain level and not just the individual user level. This "discussion email notifications" feature will quickly destroy a companies email archiving capacity. Especially in K-12 Education with it's data retention requirements.  "

Many of my group collaborations at my university use google docs. I have noticed an abrupt decrease in the speed of google docs immediately following this new method of commenting. I far preferred the older version for two reasons:
1) real-time, text comments were faster to type and faster to read, so I and my collaborators could have conversations much closer to real-time (the "tab" --> wait a moment --> "enter"  of the new comments is obnoxiously delayed and takes up valuable time I could be spending reading the document and making other comments
2) with slower connections especially, there is a serious delay in posting time

This is as poor a decision as google buzz. It should be default to not send emails. Bas Braams mentioned that "One participant in the discussion may assume (extrapolating from his own experience) that others are receiving email notification of some particularly important comment, but other participants may not receive this notification due to their own preferences. It has happened quite often on this forum that users ask for the ability to customize something and my reaction is often to thank Google for *not* allowing the customization." From my experience, this will be the case with many users. It will be especially true with stereotypically overgeneralized groups who use google docs, for example "older professors", many of whom are barely able to keep up with technology and simply assume that all their students magically keep themselves updated to everything the professor places online (this actually happens a lot). 

Please please please please destroy all code related to this unfortunate commenting scheme. Thank you.
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? RogierK 4/13/11 5:56 AM
What everyone else said. Please delete this default, or at the very least, make it possible to change the notification setting so that you can turn it off for ALL your documents, past and future. Really, docs is wonderful in many ways, but this is not one of them.
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? Bas Braams 4/13/11 9:12 AM
I just initiated some shared editing and found it desirable to prepare the initial version of each shared document using a blank from before the introduction of the Discussions feature. I don't want to confront 20 people new to GDocs with this email settings problem. They are already running into the "Please sign in" issue although I shared the folder to anyone with the link, and also the "Google Docs has encountered an error..." has raised its ugly head. That's enough trouble for a first introduction to Google Documents.
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? Timothyjrobinson 4/16/11 3:31 PM
This default emailing setting needs to go now. Today. Not the next roll out of features. I'm marking college essays and a student just emailed me asking to not send her an email for every comment I make on her paper. There must have been more than 30. I've sent out hundreds of spam emails while marking today. This does not help the students like Google Docs. 

How are they going to find my email that asks them to turn off this ridiculous Google-docs killing feature, when I've already spammed them hundreds of emails? Classes are over, so I can't even tell them to fix that default bug in the system by switching it off. I certainly can't call them all at home. I'm not sure what to do. Keep marking and keep spamming? Print the essays and lose all the benefit of Google Docs? 

Someone needs top open up the code, set the default on this feature to off, right now. It can't be that hard. This needs to be understood as an emergency. The "ETA" should be as long as it takes to do a couple clicks. You don't have to recode the feature, just change the default. This cannot take long.

If you, who are reading this, can't do it, then get on the phone. Call someone. Get it done. I'd like to be able to mark my papers. 


Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? Andikki 4/29/11 3:27 AM
I, on the other hand, would like notifications to be on by default for my small number of documents. So I think a global setting of default notifications behaviour for all documents would be very nice. All documents created/shared with you after changing this setting should inherit its value.
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? DaveBeaudoin 4/30/11 10:09 AM
I primarily use the discussion feature for collaborative editing of documents. Often in real time. It's pretty rare that I want to be notified in any way beyond seeing the document in bold in my google docs homepage. Thanks for deciding to turn this off by default!
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? Dan2013 5/1/11 4:45 PM
Automatic email notifications should be an option to be either default on or default off for the owner of the document, but collaborators should not receive email notifications unless tagged with the @ operator. No one wants to get emails for a doc that they were added to. It would be most convenient for the option to appear in the Documents Settings from the top right of the Docs List page. Then, if you want to change the behavior of a particular doc, we should be given the option to change it exactly as it is right now.

In addition, I still have not been able to figure out how to change my display name on discussions/comments, or for Google Docs in general. Right now, for me, if someone's email address is user...@gmail.com, comments and edits (as well as in the chat on the sidebar) appear to be from "username". Is it possible to change this so that we can make comments or edits so they appear to be from "First Name"? Editing my Google Account information (first name, last name, nickname, time zone, etc.) from the main Google Accounts page has no effect.
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? mr.quindazzi 5/3/11 8:24 AM
Any word on this?
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? shmuel_g 5/23/11 1:36 PM
SOLUTION SHOULD BE LIKE THE ONE WITH GOOGLE SPREADSHEETS, WHERE IT GIVES A DAILY DIGEST OF CHANGES!!!  
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? mr.quindazzi 5/27/11 7:52 AM
Is there some reason they don't want this changed? Perhaps the increase traffic helps with the ad revenue?
Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? isero 6/9/11 1:28 AM
I'm happy this will be changed soon. As a teacher, I thought that the student, as owner of the document, would create notification settings for everybody. But it looks like it's per user per document. So if a student creates a document and then shares it with me and three peers, each of us must turn off notifications. That's too much work.

I like the idea of notifications being turned off except for the @ feature. Sometimes, students (and teachers!) need a little reminder not to procrastinate with edits. The @ feature allows a student to send an alert for support.


Re: How do I turn off discussion email notifications by default for all new documents, not per-doc? Bas Braams 7/5/11 12:29 PM
@isero <<I'm happy this will be changed soon>>. That was on 2011-06-09 CET and it hasn't changed yet; it is not yet possible to <<turn off discussion notifications as a default for your docs>> as was announced for some unspecified time by @Teresa here on 2011-03-29 CET. I still agree with @Timothyjrobinson that <<This default emailing setting needs to go now>>. I've used the work-around to start a new doc that I wanted to share as a copy of a doc from from before the discussions were introduced. That means that I don't have discussions at all and it is acceptable to me whereas having the email notifications to be turned off by each person separately is not acceptable for my sharing situations.