Skip to main content

Best practices for using your SJSU Google Workspace account

LinkedIn Learning


  • Use conversation view (the default) to organize your emails more intuitively than traditional email inboxes

  • Use categorized inbox to automatically sort your incoming mail based on content.

  • Send messages to other people with SJSU accounts even if you don’t know their email address:
    • Google Workspace Directory means that everyone with an SJSU email address is already in your contacts.
    • If you don’t know someone’s contact info, just start typing their name into a new email, Chat message, Calendar event, or Google Drive “share” box, and their email address will come up automatic
  • Delegate your email inbox to somebody else, or to a group of people.
    • A delegate will be able to access your email account without knowing your password.
    • This feature is useful if a team needs to access the same account, or if you have an assistant.
  • Use Gmail templates to store a template of a message and quickly use it to send new emails.
  • Use Gmail offline to view emails when you are not connected to the internet.
    • Only works in Google Chrome.


  • Share your Calendar
    • You can share your free/busy schedule with anyone at SJSU, to make it easy for other people to schedule meetings with you
    • You can make your schedule available to others without sharing the details of the events - it’s not a security risk.

    • Share event details with specific people, like your manager and others that you work closely wit

  • Schedule a Zoom meeting directly from your Calendar by clicking Add video conferencing
  • Create appointment slots to make it easy for many people to schedule appointments with you during a set duration.
    • Appointment slots are especially useful for office hours.

Google Drive

  • Only use your “My Drive” account folder for “personal” work documents that you do not need to share with others.
  • Use Shared Drives for any work that is shared by a team of people
    • Rather than individual files or a folder with your team, a Shared Drive is not owned by any specific account, so if someone leaves a team or takes over a project, you don’t have to worry about which files were stored in their Drive. 
    • You can add people to the Shared Drive and they will automatically get access to all files inside it.
    • People can be assigned various levels of permissions over the Shared Drive and files inside it.
    • You can still share and change permissions on individual files within the Shared Drive if you want more granular control.
  • Use Google Drive for Desktop to sync files between computers, and back up files to the Google Drive cloud.
    • Google Drive for Desktop is similar to Dropbox and other cloud syncing programs, but with your SJSU Google account, you get unlimited storage.
    • Sharing is also integrated with the Google Workspace directory, making it easy to share files with anyone else at MLML and SJSU.
    • You can use Google Drive for Desktop to access files without the internet
    • You can sign in with multiple Google accounts. Each account syncs to its own folder on your computer, as well as any Shared Drives you have.

Google Groups

  • You can create your own Google Groups at Groups are like bulletin board systems, which can be used to send messages to and start conversations with members of the group. 
  • Make sure to always have a backup “owner” of your Group to make sure no one gets locked out.


Google Chat

  • Google Chat has nearly all of the functionality of professional workspace messaging systems like Slack and Microsoft Teams, with the big benefit that you can message anyone with an SJSU account or even external Google accounts.
  • Three types of conversations:
    • One-on-one with another person.
    • Groups, which are like text message groups where every person gets notified. Best for small groups where everyone is involved.
    • Rooms, which are more like channels in Slack. Each topic is a new thread, and people can choose which ones they want to be notified for. Best for large groups, like an entire lab, where each conversation may not be relevant to every participant.
  • You can use Chat from within the Gmail webpage and Gmail phone apps, or you can use the separate Chat apps for Desktop, Android, and iOS.
  • Use the @Zoom chatbot to start a Zoom meeting with the members of any chat.
    • Google also includes a video conferencing service called Meet, but we recommend that you use Zoom. It has more features and is integrated with other SJSU services. 

Third-party Accounts:

  • You may have signed in to other websites and services, such as Dropbox, Apple iCloud, LinkedIn, and many more, with your MLML email address in the past. Though you may not even remember all of them right now, we recommend working on switching them to using your SJSU email address. 
  • In particular, you may have used your email address to get educational discounts or free services. SJSU accounts should have access to all these and possibly even more. Visit the SJSU software webpage for more information.
  • Most websites will make it simple to change your email address; just log in and locate your account settings. 


  • You should already be familiar with Duo, which is SJSU’s solution for 2-factor authentication on your account. 
  • The MLML Duo documentation covers the options you have for signing in. 
  • We recommend using the mobile app, or a hardware token if you do not have a smartphone/tablet with reliable internet access. 
    • File an IT Helpdesk Ticket if you need a hardware token.
    • SMS and phone call authentication are not supported.
    • Duo Mobile is accessible under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
    • U2F/FIDO hardware keys are technically supported, but only work for authentication within browsers and not other applications like the VPN.

Google Security Checkup

  • Use Google Security Checkup to review:
    • The devices and browsers you’re signed into
    • Recent activity on your Google account
    • Your methods of authentication
    • Third-party apps with access to your Google account
    • Your saved passwords

Using SJSU Google Services on Apple Operating Systems

  • Use the official Google Apps (Gmail, Calendar, etc.) rather than the built-in Apple apps.
    • Apple’s apps are not compliant with Gmail features and standards.
  • There are two exceptions: