5 Reasons To Share Files in Google Team Drives 6

Google Drive introduced the concept of real-time collaboration on documents and developed it as a transformational tool for organizations. Team Drives is an extension of the cloud-based file system which is a very logical choice for many teams and departments. Here are the top 5 reasons why you should make the switch-over to Google Team Drives and start sharing your files as a team instead of from your own Google Drive.

1. Organize and Find Your Shared Files in Google Drive

With Google Drive, you are able to collaborate on your documents in real-time and seamlessly with your colleagues. You started by moving your files to Google Drive. Next you created some new files directly in Drive. Then you shared certain files with some people and other files with other people. Now it’s a royal mess.

Google Team Drives Organize and Find Your Files in Google Drive

Organize and Find Your Files in Google Drive

To fully integrate your team’s work, you should move your shared files to a Team Drive. Organizing and finding shared files in Google Drive, is not just a reason to use a Team Drive, it is Google Team Drives’ raison d’être.

You can start migrating your shared files to Team Drives with these steps:

  1. Go to Google Drive and create a new Team Drive.
  2. Add your team members.
  3. Create a new folder in Team Drive.
  4. Move the files you want to share from your Google Drive into the folder you created.

2. Onboard New Colleagues Faster with Team Drives

As our organization grows and we bring new people onboard, I find myself always sending the same introduction email. Basically it reads like this: “Make sure you add this super duper important folder to your Google Drive, this is the link (add crazy long incomprehensible string of characters here), don’t lose sight of it, you’ll need it before long!”

The problem with this approach, is that I am fully dependent on a fresh user to take action on a step that I view as crucial (adding a folder to Google Drive), but that the user can ignore, misunderstand, reverse or all three in short succession.

Before you need it, you don’t know you need it. And when you need it, you don’t know where it is.

Now you can simply add a new member to your Team Drive and this member will have access to all the documents she needs. Even better, all you have to say is: “Check, it’s in your Team Drive.” Onboarding. Done. Your team is fully integrated.

Google Team Drives Onboard New Employees

Onboard New Employees Quickly

3. Maintain Continuity When Employees Leave

“What will happen to my files in Google Drive when I leave?”

I hear this question a lot, especially this time of the year. The truth is that if you are not careful, you could delete years of collaborative work with a few short clicks. You are also at the mercy of your administrator to take the right steps to archive your account once it is deleted.

Google Team Drives Manage Members

Manage Members

When you move files to Team Drives, the ownership of your file is transferred from you to the team. When you leave, all the files in Team Drives remain available to your colleagues and the continuity of the team’s work is insured.

4. Cut Down on Email Notifications and Clean Up Your Inbox

Probably one of my favorite reasons is that once you migrate your collaborative work to Google Team Drives, your team members will no longer need to inform you every time they are sharing a document with you. Documents are shared by default in Team Drives. You will stop receiving invitations to view or edit documents by email.

I archive all my emails, I delete all my Google Drive notifications. Team Drives makes sense.

A direct consequence of the lack of notifications is that it will bring you closer to your objective for a perfect Gmail inbox. You will no longer need to keep the notifications email Google Drive sends and use your inbox as a documents holder. Emails remain in Gmail, documents stay in Team Drives. What a beautiful system.

5. Share Documents With The Right Permissions

When you add a member to a Team Drive, you will be able to choose the level of access this member has. There are four different types of access:

  1. View access – to view files and folders
  2. Comment access – also lets you comment on files
  3. Edit access – includes view and comment access, and additionally lets you create files and folders.
  4. Full access – beyond editing access, this allows a user to delete files and add people to Team Drives.

In short what you need to show about new Team Drive members is that they can be passive (view access) or active (comment access) viewers. They can create files but not delete them (edit access). Or they can control all files and users of a Team Drives (full access).

The details of Team Drives permissions is listed in the following chart.

Google Team Drives Sharing Permissions

Team Drives Sharing Permissions

Folders Can’t Be Moved Into Team Drives Yet

Team Drives introduced a really powerful collaborative workflow to Google Drive. It quickly integrates new members to a team and safeguards stability of shared documents in a group. In order to achieve the survival of files beyond the deletion of an account,  it forces users to relinquish ownership of their files to the benefit of the team.

Google Team Drives Share With Members

Share With Team Drive Members

Here are some important consequences to understand when you are transitioning from Google Drive to Team Drives:

  1. Moving files changes ownership to the Team Drive.
  2. Files are removed from My Drive when moved to a Team Drive.
  3. File permissions and links are not changed. People who are not Team Drive members can still access the files you previously shared with them.

Since ownership of files can change, only administrators and users with special privileges can move existing folders into Team Drives at this time. As a G Suite administrator, if you want to allow a user to move folders into Team Drives you need to assign them a new role by following these steps:

  1. Go to the Google Admin console.
  2. Go to Users and select a specific user.
  3. On the user’s page, scroll to the bottom, click Show more and click on Admin roles and privileges.
  4. Click Create new roles and name it Ability to Move Folders To A Team Drive.
  5. On the Privileges tab, select Services > Drive and Docs, and check Move any file or folder into Team Drives box.
  6. Click Save changes. then assign this role to the user(s) who needs to migrate a folder.
Google Team Drives Folders Can't Be Moved Yet

Folders Can’t Be Moved Yet

Conversion to Google Team Drives

Are you a Google Team Drives convert? Do you have any tip or tricks for Tekiota readers? Let us know in the comment section below. You can also visit the G Suite Learning Center to learn how to use Team Drives.

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What do you think about this?

6 thoughts on “5 Reasons To Share Files in Google Team Drives

    • Victor Boulanger Post author

      You are very welcome Ben. I realized that Team Drives is still not commonly used. I wanted to highlight some of the differences with Google Drive so that people could chose the better option between the two depending on their intended goal. I think it is a great tool for departments.

      • Nick

        You are right. It is a great tool for departments and grade level teams. Especially since teams are dynamic and changing all the time. The access features make it easier to manage and eliminate archiving and risking losing things when individuals leave. Thanks for the quick and concise overview.

        • Victor Boulanger Post author

          Hey Nick, I am glad that you and I agree on this. We ran into the same challenges you mentioned and I really believe Team Drives provides a great solution to these. I am definitely paranoid when it comes to losing data (I backup my Google Drive files and folders). I felt it was necessary to write a tutorial on Team Drives because the distinction with Google Drive is not necessarily always clear in people’s mind. Thank you for your comment!

  • Brian Meehan

    That was a great overview of Team Drives. End of the school year can be a time for lots of uncertainty, so it’s nice to know that information can be easily transferred by users, which empowers them. Google seems to be putting a lot of effort into making this a great addition to the Google Drive product. Thank you for the tutorial.

    • Victor Boulanger Post author

      Hi Brian. Thank you for your feedback! In fact our conversations on transition issues and migration of data between accounts are what prompted me to explore Team Drives more. I too am impressed by Google’s improvements on Google Drive and their solution in the shape of a dedicated version that better fits the purpose of collaboration with colleagues.