Shared drives give groups of people that use Google Workspace entry to a standard set of information and eliminates the necessity to examine the Share settings for particular person information.

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Almost all editions of Google Workspace Enterprise, Schooling, and Enterprise editions offer you and your group entry to Shared drives. (Observe: Enterprise Starter lacks Shared Drives). Shared drives are an effective way for a bunch of individuals to work with information and folders, with out the necessity to share entry to every particular person merchandise.

In my work with organizations that use Google Workspace, although, I discover that few use Shared drives as a lot as I would really like. In hopes of encouraging extra individuals to make use of Shared drives, listed here are the 5 Shared drive suggestions that individuals at organizations that use Google Workspace ought to know.

SEE: Google Sheets: Suggestions and methods (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

1. Staff information must be on a Shared drive

For group work, a file on a shared drive is best than a file shared with different individuals from My Drive (Determine A). Recordsdata on a shared drive are “owned” by the shared drive, fairly than by whoever created the file. For instance, a file you create on My Drive, then share with others, continues to be owned by you. In distinction, a file that you just create on a Shared drive is owned by the Shared drive and is robotically accessible to each different one that is a member of that Shared drive.

Determine A 

Screenshot cropped to show the Google Drive logo, the +New button, Priority, My Drive, and Shared drives menu options (all in the upper left corner of Google Drive in Chrome).

Google Workspace works effectively when individuals use a Shared drive for information. Recordsdata on a Shared drive can be found to all individuals with entry to the shared drive.

2. Shared drive Managers: Make most members Contributors 

I like to recommend that almost all members of a Shared Drive be configured as Contributors (Determine B). The Contributor function permits individuals so as to add and edit information, however doesn’t enable them to maneuver or delete information. After all, if you wish to limit entry even additional, you’ll be able to add members as Commenters (which lets individuals solely view and touch upon information) or Viewers (which offers view-only entry). Nevertheless, Commenter and Viewer roles are fairly restrictive and forestall individuals from including content material.

Determine B

Screenshot of the Manage member screen, with an individual added and the Viewer, Commenter, Contributor, Content manager, and Manager permission options displayed. The Contributor option is selected.

When a Shared drive Supervisor provides individuals, most ought to obtain Contributor entry, which lets individuals add and edit information. Content material managers and managers moreover might transfer or delete information.

Why not make everybody a Content material Supervisor or Supervisor? Too usually, individuals with these permissions might rearrange folders and information on a Shared drive to swimsuit their private preferences, with out realizing that their modifications have an effect on the construction of the Shared drive for all members of the shared drive. In case you’re a Shared drive Supervisor, consider carefully earlier than you give anybody both a Supervisor or Content material supervisor function.

3. Use totally different Shared drives for various groups and initiatives

Create a Shared drive not just for every totally different group of individuals, but additionally for distinct initiatives. The necessity for a unique Shared drive for every totally different group could also be apparent; since solely members of a Shared drive can entry the Shared drive, you will want a separate Shared drive for every distinct set of people that want shared entry to information. 

Moreover, I like to recommend you additionally create a separate Shared drive for main and/or distinct initiatives, as effectively. For instance, you would possibly use a Shared drive for shopper/buyer file, a separate Shared drive for administrative information, a separate Shared drive for a brand new pilot mission, and so on.

4. Transfer information from My Drive to a Shared drive

After getting created Shared drives and added members to Shared drives, it’s possible you’ll transfer information from particular person My Drive storage to a Shared Drive. Since totally different information could also be owned by totally different individuals, every particular person in your group that owns information utilized by the group may have to maneuver information to the Shared drive. Typically, I counsel individuals transfer information methodically, and confirm that objects have transferred as anticipated.

Google offers not less than 4 methods to maneuver folders and information right into a Shared drive:

  1. Drag-and-drop information from My Drive to the Shared drive.
  2. Choose information, then select the three-vertical dot menu and Transfer to the Shared drive (Determine C).
  3. Add information or folders out of your native drive.
  4. In case you use Google Drive for desktop, drag-and-drop information out of your native drive to a Shared drive.

Determine C 

Screenshot of Google Drive with three files selected (Doc, Sheet, and Slide), and the Drive menu displayed, with Shared drives selected.

As soon as individuals have Contributor (or larger) entry to a Shared drive, they might transfer information from My Drive or their native system to the Shared drive. For instance, choose information, then use the Transfer to menu choice, as proven, to maneuver objects to a Shared drive.

5. Create new information on the Shared drive

While you navigate to a Shared drive in Chrome on the net, it’s possible you’ll then use the +New choice to create a brand new Google Doc, Sheet, Slide, Drawing, Kind and so forth, inside that Shared drive (Determine D). New objects you create this manner are robotically accessible to the opposite members of the Shared drive. In case you get within the behavior of including new information to your Shared drive, you’ll decrease the necessity to transfer information from My Drive to your Shared drive at a later time. Moreover, you will additionally scale back the necessity to use the Share button, since group members will have already got entry as members of the Shared drive.

Determine D 

Screenshot of Google Drive in Chrome, open to a Shared drive, just after the +New button has been selected. Menu of options displays: +Folder, File upload, Folder upload, Google Docs - Blank document option highlighted, signaling a new Doc about to be created in the Shared drive.

On the internet, when you navigate to your Shared drive in your browser, it’s possible you’ll use the +New button to create new information immediately inside the Shared drive. This stuff will robotically be accessible to different members of the Shared drive.

How do you and your group use Shared drives?

How do you determine when a brand new Shared drive is required versus when to easily add a brand new folder to an present Shared drive? What kinds of information do you retain on My Drive? How did you make the transition from information on My Drive to information on a Shared drive? Let me know the way you and your group use Shared drives, both with a remark under or on Twitter (@awolber). 

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