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Shared Inbox or Google Group: which one is right for me?

Lots of teams come across this debate when it comes to managing team emails - Should we use Shared Inboxes or Google Groups?

The goal of this article is to support these teams in their decision on what set up to go for.

Both Shared Inboxes and Google Groups can be integrated into Drag boards.

What are Shared Inboxes and Google Groups?

They seem to be the same at a first glance, starting with info@, support@, etc. The biggest difference is the way they handle incoming emails.

Shared Inboxes are real inboxes (that you login with a password), and are set up as "users" in your Google Workspace account.
Google Groups work like email distribution lists. When an email is sent to a Google Group, a copy of that email is sent individually to all users inside that particular Group. Google Groups do not count as users in your Google Workspace account.

What is the difference between using Drag with Shared Inboxes and Google Groups?

There are a few differences between using Shared Inbox or Google Groups on Drag boards.

Profile Picture

With a Shared Inbox, you can assign a profile picture to your team inbox, for example your company logo, giving a more professional look to your emails.
Google Groups do not support profile pictures. You have the options to either reply to emails from your own individual account (with your own profile picture) or send emails from the Google Group address but without a profile picture.

Data Security

If you are using a Shared Inbox and remove a particular user from your Shared Inbox board, that user immediately looses access to all historical emails in that inbox.
If you are using a Google Group and remove a particular user from your Google Group board (and from the Google Group in your Google Workspace account), that user will loose access to all future emails, but will still have access to all historical emails from that Group (because email copies would have been sent to his/her individual email address as well).


Because Shared Inboxes require extra users in Google Workspace, Shared Inboxes require an extra licence in Google Workspace and in Drag.
Google Groups do not require extra licences.

Which one is the right for me?

If your workflows include the scenarios below, we recommend using Shared Inboxes instead.

Google Groups are distribution lists, which means when an email is sent to a Group, all Group members receive 'copies' of that email in their individual inboxes. When using a Google Group board, Drag redirects the board owner's "copy" of emails to the shared board and archives the other users' copies. So in practical terms, the team is collaborating on the "board owner's emails". We believe this is the safest way to share emails rather then generating multiple copies, however, the following scenarios can't be used:

The board owner canโ€™t send emails to the Google Group board (Gmail auto-archives these emails, because a user is sending an email to a group which they're part of).
Emails can't be forwarded from Google Group boards to the Google Group owner's individual inbox.
Emails can't be sent to 2 Google Groups boards at the same time. When an email is sent to multiple Google Groups linked to Drag board, they will only load in 1 of them.

To identify the board owner of a board, go to your Drag dashboard > Boards > Board members. The board owner will be user in the top of the users list.

Google Groups are recommended for teams with budget constraints, as they don't require extra licences in Google Workspace and in Drag.

Still need help? Our Support Team will love to help at

Updated on: 07/06/2024

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