How to leverage the use of Google Shared Drives

Are you using Google shared drives yet? Undoubtedly, it’s one of the best ways to store and collaborate with documents and folders with your team and colleagues. Why? Because all files and folders within a shared drive are owned by the organisation rather than individual owners. 

How to set up a shared drive?

As a user, you can create a Google shared drive just like creating a folder in your My Drive. In your Google Drive, click on Shared drives on the left panel. Click “New” and create it. 

Note: Shared Drives can only be created if it's enabled for use within Google Workspace Admin Console by the organisational administrator. Else, the user would not find that option. 

What should you know about shared drives to leverage it fully?

1. It's best to store documents and maintain folder structures as the ownership remains with the organisation and files are still available when people leave. 

2. It's easy to collaborate with external users who aren't part of your organisation. Externals can create, edit and collaborate within your folder structures making it easier to own the documents while you work with them on outsourced projects.

3. It is possible to use “Google Drive for desktop” and sync the shared drives to your desktop and work on them offline. 

4. You can use Google groups to effectively maintain shared drive ownerships. Granularity of shared drive sharing provides you a lot of flexibility and control over data sharing. If you have a new team member, you could add them to the corresponding Google group for the team and that gives them access to all related shared drives by default. 

5. Move files from My Drive to Shared Drive if you think it should be owned by the organisation or easily accessible to your team. 

6. You should create different shared drives for different projects or if you collaborate with different teams. That will give you the flexibility to maintain the sharing permissions properly.

Use of Shared drives makes document maintenance easy within an organisation and is a powerful tool for document management. It should be adopted within the strategy in every organisation.