If you want to email a group of people without having to type in their email addresses every time, what's the best way to do it? You have four options:
- Google Group - a Google Group has an email address (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org). Emails sent to the address will be delivered to group members at their own email addresses. It is also an easier way to assign permissions within Google, such as the ability to view a Google Calendar or Document, to a large group of people. There is no inbox for a Google Group, but Groups can be set up to
archive messages, which can be read on the webpage dedicated to the
Group (similarly to a Listserv).
- Shared Mailbox - a shared mailbox has an email address (e.g. email@example.com). Emails sent to the address will be delivered to the shared mailbox. People who have been given access to the shared mailbox will have to remember to check the mailbox for new mail - see these instructions for details.
- Contact Group - a contact group is created within your contacts and only visible by you (or if it's in a shared mailbox, whoever has access to the mailbox). A contact group does NOT have a unique email address that cannot be emailed by others. It's a very lightweight, quick solution but has limitations. Instructions for creating a contact group.
- Listserv - Listservs allow the creation of and subscription to email lists. These
lists are configurable by the list owners and are used to distribute
mail among subscribers. They have a @listserv.brown.edu address.
Google Group vs. Shared Mailbox Comparison Chart
|Functionality||Google Shared Mailbox||Google Group|
|Number of people who can access mail||25||Unlimited|
|Email delivery||Email is delivered to a single mailbox||Email delivery is flexible, similar to a Listserv:|
-Email can be sprayed
-Email can be consolidated into a digest or summary
-Email can be made viewable on the Group’s webpage
mailbox can be used with mail clients (Outlook, etc.) in addition to
web access. You might want to use this for specialized functions, such a
mail merges||Group can not be directly accessed via a mail client|
|Automated report delivery||Yes||Yes|
|Individuals can "send as" the group address||Yes, but emails will show that they were sent "on behalf of" the individual. Sending anonymously is possible, but requires advanced configuration, and you should CC or BCC the shared mailbox address because your sent emails will not appear in the shared account's sent mail||Yes, but only when replying from the group page, and no attachments can be sent|
|Membership controls||Changes to membership are managed by the Computing Accounts and Passwords office||Group managers can add and delete members from groups|
can be given access to documents, calendars, and other Google Apps
features, and you can invite a group to a meeting using Google calendar|
|Labels||Yes, and others accessing the mailbox will see your labels||You can label mail from a Google Group once it is in your Inbox, but others will not see your labels|
Requesting Google Groups & Shared MailboxesTo request a non-course Google Group, use the “Fill Out Online Access Forms” link at:http://brown.edu/cis/support/cap/forms/index.php