This document provides a basic overview of how Google Drive is organized, how to manage document sharing within Drive, and some best practices around using Drive.
Google Drive Organization
- My Drive
- This most closely resembles the network drives or the folder structure of personal computers.
- Shared with Me
- This is a list of all the files and folders to which you have some kind of access, either just to view or to edit.
- “My Drive” and “Shared with Me” are two different “places”
- You cannot manually look through your Drive for something that has been shared with you, unless you’ve first added it to your Drive.
- You can, however, use the “Search Drive” bar at the top of the web page, as that searches both locations.
- It is not permitted to save sensitive or confidential data to Google Drive.
- Columbia's Google Drive has unlimited storage.
Sharing Files and Folders
- Sharing settings applied to a folder are also applied to enclosed folders and files.
- A document created or placed in a folder will inherit the sharing settings of that folder.
- Sharing with a Google Group grants those permissions to everyone in the group.
- Google Group membership must now be managed through Grouper.
- Granting or revoking membership in a Google Group similarly grants/revokes access to anything in Drive that Group members can access.
- Changes take effect in about a minute.
- Sharing settings can be modified en masse by selecting a group of folders/files from the drop-down menu in the search bar and editing who they’re shared with.
- This is useful for:
- Removing someone’s access to all folders/files
- Transferring ownership of one’s own folders/files to someone else
- This is useful for:
- Grant permissions to groups, not individuals.
- This way, when on-boarding and off-boarding team members, you’ll only need to add or remove them from Google Groups in order to ensure they have access to all the necessary information on Drive, rather than having to share each file or folder with them individually.
- Embrace the search bar
- Drive is unlike our network shares because it is decentralized and largely opaque. Rather than try to navigate through the folder structure or scroll through long lists of files that have been shared with you, it is often better to simply search for what you’re looking for in the search bar.
- Create documents from within Google Drive to simplify organization
- Rather than creating documents through the various G-Suite apps such as Google Docs or Google Sheets and then subsequently organizing them in Drive, navigate to the location in Drive to which you'd like to save the document and select the "New" button near the top left corner of the window and create the document from there.
- Google “Google Drive Help”