How to share G Suite data with others

Here are four steps for delegating access to your Gmail, contacts, calendar, and location to help streamline your work together.

G Suite: What is it, and how can it benefit businesses? Still in the dark about Google's cloud-based office software suite? Here's a quick introduction to G Suite.

While G Suite offers many smart-assistant features such as: Grammar suggestions, Smart Compose, and smart scheduling, it can't yet handle as many tasks as a human assistant. As of 2018, people are still more effective assistants than machines.

By changing a few settings, you can give another person in your G Suite organization access to your Gmail, contacts, your calendar, or location. When you allow access, you empower your assistant to respond, update, and modify items on your behalf; that reduces the number of administrative details you need to address. Here's how to share access to your accounts with an assistant in G Suite.

SEE: Google Drive: Tips and tricks for business professionals (Tech Pro Research)

1. Delegate Gmail

You can give other people the ability to read, reply, send, and/or delete Gmail messages in your account. With Gmail access, an effective assistant may be able to help keep communication--and projects--moving along on behalf of an executive, whose attention may be otherwise occupied.

If you're a G Suite administrator, you may need to enable mail delegation for people in your organization. To adjust the setting, go to the G Suite Admin console at https://admin.google.com, sign in with your administrator account, then go to Apps | G Suite | Gmail | User settings, then look for Mail Delegation. Modify the checkbox next to Let Users Delegate Access To Their Mailboxes To Other Users In The Domain. Then select Save to apply the setting.

To delegate Gmail access, go to mail.google.com, sign in with your G Suite account, then select Settings (the sprocket in the upper right), then choose the Accounts tab, then look for Grant Access To Your Account and select Add Another Account. Enter the email address of another Google account holder in your organization to allow access, then choose Next Step. Review the messages explaining that you are allowing another account to access your email, then select Send Email To Grant Access to invite the person to access your Gmail (Figure A).

Figure A

Screenshot of Gmail setting that shows the "Grant access to your account" option.

In Gmail settings, look in the Accounts tab for Grant Access To Your Account to give another person access.

2. Delegate Google Contacts

Similarly, you can delegate access to Google Contacts. This allows another person to add or modify information for contacts in your account. Again, this allows an assistant to make changes so that you always have an up-to-date email, address, or phone number for people.

To delegate Google Contacts access on the web, go to https://contacts.google.com, then look along the left menu options. Look for a More menu option, open it, then select Delegate Access. Enter the email address of your assistant in the Invite People: box, then select Send, (Figure B).

Figure B

Screenshot of Contact sharing options at contacts.google.com

In Google Contacts, look on the left for More | Delegate Access to allow another person to edit and update contacts.

3. Share your Google Calendar

Access to a shared calendar allows an assistant to add, modify, or remove events from your Google Calendar. As schedules change, your assistant can update your calendar so that you always see the most current items when you view your Google Calendar. An effective assistant can also remove non-essential meetings from the calendar.

To share your Google Calendar from the web, select the sprocket in the upper right, then Settings, then select your main calendar (which likely shows with your name in the lower left portion of the screen). Scroll to the Share With Specific People section, and select Add People. Enter the email address of the person you want to share you calendar with, then adjust the permission settings. In most cases, when sharing with an assistant, you'll want to select allow Make Changes To Events" or Make Changes And Manage Sharing. Select Send to invite your assistant to share your calendar (Figure C).

Figure C

Screenshot of Google Calendar share with a specific person email and access prompt

Select your Google Calendar, then share it with specific people to let another person help you manage your schedule.

4. Share your location with Google Maps

Finally, you also may choose to share your location with your assistant via the Google Maps app on an iPhone or Android device. This can help your assistant identify where you are, then make an intelligent assessment as to when you might arrive at your next expected location. A shared location may reduce the need for a series of "Where are you?" or "I'm on my way" messages.

To share your location, open the Google Maps app on your Android or iOS smartphone. Tap the three-horizontal line menu in the upper left, the tap Location Sharing. Tap Get Started, then change the time sharing toggle from the default duration of 1 Hour to Until You Turn This off. Then tap Select People and type the name, phone number, or email of your assistant, then tap Share (Figure D).

Figure D

Screenshot of location sharing prompt in Google Maps on Android. Prompt shows duration options (1 hour or "Until you turn off")

In Google Maps on your phone, select Location Sharing from the menu, then add another person to give them access to your location.

Your thoughts?

If you use G Suite, do you share information with another person at your organization? What's the standard practice for allowing shared access to Gmail, calendars, contacts, or location at your organization? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter (@awolber).

Also see

Photo of laptop with image of Person icon sharing Gmail, contacts, calendar, and location with another person icon
Image: Andy Wolber / TechRepublic