Benefits of a Shared E-mail Folder vs. a Dept. E-mail List

Departments or groups needing everyone involved to be able to view and/or respond to e-mail sent to a group address should consider a shared mailbox folder, viewable in either Bates Gmail or Thunderbird.

A. Steps to having a shared mailbox:

  1. E-mail netadmin@lists.bates.edu with the name of the shared folder you would like them to create. (e.g. helpdesk@bates.edu).
  2. E-mail netadmin@lists.bates.edu (or include in the first e-mail) all the names (and usernames) of the individuals who should have access to the shared folder.
  3. Each individual should be sure to “view” the folder(s) created. In Thunderbird this is done under File, Subscribe, and clicking the + next to Other Users  to see the folder(s).
  4. Click in the box to the right of each folder and it will place a checkmark,  making it viewable in your list of folders in Thunderbird. Gmail does not require the subscribe step.
  5. In Thunderbird: under Tools, account settings, click on Manage identities, click Add, then type in the new e-mail address, and fill in tabs for Name, contact information, signature file, etc. This provides members of the group the choice of responding as themselves or the shared folder addressee.

Incoming Messages appear under Other Users  with the Inbox being the folder name of the department or group. Additional Folders and their assigned purposes for members of the group are up to that group’s workflow and e-mail retention procedures.

B. The shared mailbox folder differs from a list  (commonly referred to as a listserv) at Bates in that:

  1. A message to a list arrives in each member’s Inbox separately
  2. A list response can go to the whole list or to just the sender, but has to come from a member, or be approved to be sent to the list
  3. From a list, varying reponses can be sent out to one message rather than one individual being assigned or screening/directing messages for appropriate response or
  4. The message is not responded to at all, list members thinking someone else has responded
  5. Messages with attachments may have to be approved for the message to be received by the list rather than delivered directly
  6. Lists will also be required to have @lists.bates.edu as their mailing address in order to be delivered, whereas a shared mailbox folder can remain, eg. department@bates.edu

Requests for shared mailbox folders, questions and/or training on their use can be made to Help Desk Services, x8222 or email helpdesk@bates.edu

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