This is by far one of the most asked questions when we are spinning up an Office 365 tenant for a customer. What the heck is a shared mailbox / what do I do with it?

At face value, you can determine that it is a mailbox that is “shared” but with what? Do multiple people have to be assigned to a mailbox for it to be shared? The short answer is: A shared mailbox can be utilized to do just about anything for you in your business without the need for additional licensing

At it’s core, here are some of the things we use Shared Mailboxes for to give you some ideas.


  1. Role-based mailboxes such as support, sales, info, customer service etc.
  2. Group boxes for vacation coverage or multi-user interaction
  3. Project management mailboxes (similar to Role-based mailboxes)
  4. Special mailboxes such as a Voicemail mailbox for your VoIP system to route voicemail’s too so they can be retrieved by one or many people
  5. A mailbox you use to sign up for newsletters, this allows you to filter out ones you want to read and won’t clutter your own personal inbox (and even more filtered method than the Focused Inbox)

You don’t need a large team to use shared mailboxes, here at Wilkins IT, we have shared mailboxes for almost all our role-based boxes and some of them only have one person assigned. This helps segregate email so that email flowing into our [email protected] email goes to a particular mailbox and if they ever need to be retrieved later, there is one place to go to instead of one person to go and retrieve it.

Let’s look at an example.

This particular example we have a few shared mailboxes. The layout allows accounting and billing related matters to be filed into a completely separate mailbox as well as support.

Why would you want to do that you ask? Even if only one person is handling that particular task, the idea as your business grows is eventually someone else will need access to that information or be able to receive those emails.

By utilizing a shared mailbox, you futureproof your idea of having a dedicated staff member for your accounting or support or have a dedicated sales staff member to receive leads on.

Lets look at this in more detail, by utilizing shared mailboxes you can also have multiple inboxes. In the picture below you see two things, the number 1 is pointing to the main inbox and the number 2 is pointing to all the other mailboxes that will accumulate their own new emails as they are used.

At the end of the day, what you do with this is adaptable and you can create and collapse as you see fit. Having multiple shared mailboxes is a personal choice but in our experience, provides a futureproof way of having general mailboxes where you need them without needing to have [email protected] forward to your email because you’re the only sales guy currently.

All of these choices you can make in Office 365 is covered when we discuss how your business can use Office 365 and make the most of it in your business.

Ready to get started making your own shared mailboxes? Learn how to do that here.

Want to chat more?

If your thinking about Office 365, drop us an email in our contact form or skip it all together and sign up for a consult on our booking page.

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