We use common email accounts across the organization at Teton Science Schools to manage incoming and outgoing messages. Typically, these accounts are associated with program areas (Field Education), campuses (Murie), or specific departments (HR). In order to access these shared accounts, we've set up what's called delegated access in Google Mail. Check out the video or tutorial below to see how this works.
1. In order to get delegated access to an account, you'll need to have it granted by the account's owner. If you're not sure who that is, send a helpdesk request. You should receive an email with the subject like "XXXXXX has granted you access to their Teton Science School account -- accept or deny?". You'll want to open the message, scroll down to the first link ("To accept this request, please click the link below:") There's usually a delay of up to 30 minutes before the request is finalized, and you'll need to re-load your browser tab running Google Mail.
2. Once the request goes through, you won't notice any immediate changes to your account. If you click on your circular avatar in the upper right hand corner, however, you'll now see a list of accounts that you can now access. In order to open one, click on it:
3. This will open up another Google Mail tab in your browser, but this one will be for the shared account. While in this tab, you can send, receive, organize, and respond to emails under the shared account. You won't be able to move emails around between accounts just by dragging and dropping; you'll need to forward messages to their proper email addresses.
It's important to also know that if you send email with 'delegated' rights to an inbox, your name will still be attached to the message. You won't be anonymous, the recipient will receive a small notice that the message was sent 'on behalf of firstname.lastname@example.org'.
There are also some limitations with delegated accounts in Google Mail. For one thing, as a delegated user, you can't re-delegate access to someone else. You also can't change some of the settings for the inbox; you'll have to be logged in as that user in order to make lasting changes to the settings. There's also a limit for how many people can have access to a delegated inbox: 25. Only 25 people can have delegated access to an email inbox at any given time.