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Shared Inbox: The Ultimate Guide

By 5th November 2019January 6th, 2022No Comments
shared inbox the ultimate guide

One of the most time consuming challenges managers and small business owners face is organizing and delegating day to day activities. The time dedicated to tasks such as responding to clients on time, quoting vendors and scheduling meetings, would be better spent if the entire team had a more seamless communication, which is why a shared inbox can help your business. It can also further collaboration and better solutions for your workspace.

The painpoints solved by shared inboxes

Part of the issue with regular business external and internal communication is that important points might get lost in email threads or worse, tasks being skipped or two people accidentally overstepping each other.  That is a relatively common worry among teams, because, when it happens, it hinders productivity, builds friction and, of course, makes it a much harder task to continue. 

Say, for instance, one person opens the official company email to find a client complaint. They will immediately talk to their supervisor and organize a solution, to be proactive, right? But what happens when another team member finds that same email a few hours later, adds it to their to-do list on a personal notepad and then figures out a solution and takes other proactive steps?

This creates a bad scenario because even if the intentions were good and everyone is dedicated to their job, it makes it seem like your company isn’t well organized. The same can happen, of course, when dealing with suppliers or even fellow colleagues.

That’s why some teams want to implement a shared inbox: to help keep all relevant information and communication in one place, allowing team members to embody their jobs and departments, making it a more cohesive workspace.

How do shared inboxes work?

A shared inbox is an email address that can be accessed by different team members from their own accounts, all while keeping track of changes. So, in the workplace, it means that multiple people can access corporate emails, such as support@companyname or sales@companyname, and their actions are visible to all people. 

This is especially useful for medium sized companies, since they are even more likely to have multichannel communication, both internal and external, so their need to streamline the process is even bigger.

It also helps because instead of having people directly email employeename@companyname, they will be able to send messages to the department they need, all while reaching the entire team.

Timesaving tactics

One of the issues with email communication, which is why some companies have moved on to other platforms, is the efficiency. Every email forwarded is a bottleneck for your team’s workflow, especially if they work asynchronously.

Having a shared inbox, on the other hand, means that everyone is getting the same information live, so it cuts down on time spent explaining the updates. Not to mention, it’s much faster to respond to emails when they’re right there on your shared mailbox. 

And it gives you another bonus: sharing the workload. If you have to log out of your work email and log into the department account, you need to do all the delegating and task management before forwarding it to your colleagues. If everyone has equal access to the inbox, tasks can be better shared and managed, which cuts down on time and makes the workload better distributed.

Turn Gmail into a team shared inbox

Drag turns Gmail into your Team’s Workspace – One single place to support customers, manage tasks and close deals, from the place teams love: Gmail. We are a Techstars-backed Company, trusted by 30,000 users around the World.

Try Drag For Free

Shared mailbox vs. common email account

Some managers and business owners might ask: why not just have a common email everyone on the company has access to? Well, while this can be helpful short-term, it’s not a good growth mentality for your company.

When your task list gets bigger you can also find yourself needing a little more organization in your day-to-day business life.  So when you have to find a way to organize your email, you might try to set up an account for our employees and give them access whenever needed.  However this technique does not scale well.

Safe browsing

First, of course, there is a security problem: when you are logged into many devices at once, not only it makes your account a target easier to spot, but you can also be a victim of a breach from multiple sources.

If an employee loses their device or gets hacked, your sensitive business information might find itself in the hands of a stranger, which is far from ideal.

Accountability

Another problem teams face, especially remote and cross time zones teams, is the lack of accountability. Bigger teams need to know where their workload is and how it’s been distributed so that they can work out who is doing what and which skills are needed where.

If someone can easily access the shared mailbox and not have other people follow their trace, they can easily miss stuff or on the other hand, redo something someone else has already done. A shared inbox on the other hand is updated on everyone’s mailbox, so that they will see in real-time who’s doing what and how much better tasks can be distributed.

Platform limitations

Of course, we can’t forget about platform limitations. Email apps usually have a set amount of devices that can be logged in at the same time without being flagged. This happens because the account is trying to protect itself from potential breaches, especially if people are accessing it from different geotags.

A shared inbox app can change your company

If you decide to invest in a shared inbox app, you are going to be able to see how much difference they make for a company. First of all, it’s much easier to troubleshoot: right from your email, you can add, remove or switch up tasks so that everyone can see it on their board live.

Secondly, it avoids tab switching, a contemporary issue which makes professionals waste a lot of time. If you need to interrupt each work activity to check your messages or emails, your schedule won’t be as productive and you will find it much harder to go back to your obligations.

5 solutions for a shared inbox

Looking for a good solution for a mailbox app that will make your life as a business owner easier. We’re here to help you analyze some of them:

Flow-e (only available for MS Outlook)
flow-e

Flow-e is a visual task board for your email account. Unfortunately, it isn’t available for Gmail, but it can help teams and professionals stay on track with their projects and deadlines, keeping all the information visible and easily accessible.

It’s free for personal use, but you can set up a company account from $149 a month, depending on how many users you need.

Missive
missive screenshot

With Missive, you can add chat and work tools to your email accounts. You can have multiple personal and shared inboxes, where you and all your employees access the relevant files. There are also bonus tools, such as calendar scheduling, pre-written answers (very useful for client support trams), social media integration, theme customizer and much more.

It starts at $13 a month per user, with 6 months of saved history so that you can go back to your previous conversations if needed. You can have 10 personal and 5 shared accounts with no extra cost, but Missive allows you to add more to your plan if you need to. 

Freshdesk
freshdesk screenshot

This is a pretty powerful client management tool. With the help of Freshdesk, you can manage customer replies, CRM, omnichannel communication, databases and quick solutions to your business. It’s ideal for sales teams, since it has cloud storage and data to make your community management more efficient. 

It uses ticket systems, following the client’s journey from beginning to end, which is a sure way to keep your employees engaged towards solving the potential problems before they get through others.

As for company management, it can help your team create and follow project plans by reports and statistics that make sure you’re using your time better. The collaborative aspect and real-time updates are a great workaround against the lack of accountability of shared email accounts.

The software has a free trial so that you can start optimizing your company asap and it’s pricing starts at $18/month per user.

Front 
front app screenshot

Front’s main feature is the email management techniques. When you have this software in your company, you can discuss and assign tasks from emails (such as problems from support@companyname) without replying, forwarding and keeping all parties up to date. Say you get a client complaint. If you tag all team members on the solution, it makes it a much faster process without cluttering everyone’s inbox.

Another important feature is the version control. When you have multiple people accessing the same files and messages, it’s harder to keep up with changes. With a tracked history, anyone can follow up when needed, which avoids the side chat team members might have to update others. 

Front is also used by managers and team leaders to optimize workflows. You find something that needs to be solved and right there from the shared inbox, you build a game plan to find the solution. 

With a solid plan, it’s easier to follow up and talk to other team members to get updated, which, again, makes it a much more efficient digital workspace.

For companies with under 10 employees, it’s $19/month/person, which is an affordable way to keep track of tasks.

DragApp
kanban board screenshot

Our own tool, DragApp, is the perfect tool for small and medium sized businesses to simplify their work. It’s a Gmail extension that brings all of your workspace right into your email app. That means everything from task boards, chats, shared calendars and file management is easily accessible without ever leaving a tab.

DragApp has almost two hundred reviews in G2, amounting to a 4,4 rating. On Capterra, users review it as a way to enhance focus and get peace of mind, eliminate tab switches before sales are finalized and a lifesaver for productivity online. Drag got 4,4 starts.

Shared inboxes on the same platform and interface you already use

One of the main purposes of DragApp is to make management easier and keep you on track without adding new learning curves. Since it’s a Gmail add-on, it’s pretty native for users to get the hang of it. 

Instead of having to learn new platforms for databases, community management, marketing and scheduling, you have it right there on your email account. So the user experience is a priority.

Shared inboxes as boards

drag boards animationAs for shared inboxes, DragApp wants to make them easier to navigate as well. That’s why they are transformed into Kanban boards. Using the Kanban method, you can go through and finish tasks much easier, by making all steps visual to all people working on them.

If you get a message with a new task on the shared inbox app, you simply add it to the board, assign it to other team members and follow through when needed. Then, since it’s easily accessible, it doesn’t take too much time to keep up to date.

Emails as assignable task cards

assign to Drag screenshotIf a manager had to go through every email, find the tasks needed and forward them individually to each team member, they would spend more time organizing than actually doing their work. DragApp wants to help people avoid this time wasting activities that are in the way of growing your business.

Now, emails are assignable tasks where you can tag multiple people and let them know what you need. Much faster, right?

Reduce the context switching back and forth between different work apps

Tab-switching kills employees’ time and yours as well. Between sharing files, forwarding emails, work chats and meetings, your digital workspace can become a multi-platform mess.

This is why we aim to reduce time waste: if everything is on the same tab, you can easily switch from tasks without wasting time, which allows you to build a better, more efficient workday.

Basically, with the help of a tool like DragApp, you can have your entire workspace right on yourGmail app – and that includes a shared inbox. That will help your business stop wasting time and resources, organize your schedule, make your collaboration easier and build a better company.

Get to know these features: sign up for a free trial at DragApp!

A collaborative inbox that really works.

Drag turns Gmail into your Team’s Workspace – One single place to support customers, manage tasks and close deals, from the place teams love: Gmail. We are a Techstars-backed Company, trusted by 30,000 users around the World.

Try Drag for Free
Duda Bardavid

Author Duda Bardavid

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