Now that you've decided to use a Google Collaborative Inbox, let's talk about how to use it.

Where to Find Your Collaborative Inbox

Once you log in to Gmail using your St. Edward's account, click the grid icon in the top right to access the available Google Apps.

From there, select Groups.

Google Groups Icon
 

How It Works 

The Collaborative Inbox functions more as a workflow system than an inbox. Group members can receive and respond to email requests using a common email address. They cannot compose new mail from a Collaborative Inbox, however 
 
Messages can be assigned to other group members and treated as tasks that can be resolved or reassigned. You also have the ability to control which group members can assign and receive tasks. 
 

Sorting and Filters

To limit your inbox view, you can apply one of the Google-provided filters (like "Assigned to Me"). For sorting and categorizing purposes, you have the option to apply tags ("staff," "student," etc.). 

Collaborative inboxes, however, do not have the option to sort and store messages with labels, or a traditional archive function. 
 

When to Use a Collaborative Inbox 

There are several options for group accounts. If you've chosen a Collaborative Inbox, you probably fall into one of a few categories: 
 

  • You have one email address that provides a centralized place for support/customer service staff, where the contact is initiated by an outside user (e.g., regr@stedwards.edu).
  • Student workers use the group account to reply to emails using the group email addressWith a Collaborative Inbox, staff can assign an email to a student worker or staff member to respond or complete the request. Once the email response is done, the responsible staff member would mark it as complete and/or apply a tag with their name, indicating they completed the request or response. 
  • A team uses email to process support tickets or other requests from colleagues or customers.  
  • More than 25 people need to access an email account. In this case, a Collaborative Inbox is the only option. 

Google has provided more detailed information on using Groups in their support pages. If you're not sure a Collaborative Inbox meets the needs of your group, we encourage you to review the group account options and submit a support case to OIT for further guidance.