Spring is a great time to declutter and organize your digital space and one of the best ways to do that is by organizing your files in OneDrive for Business (OneDrive) and SharePoint. In fact, when used correctly, both Microsoft Office applications are perfect for keeping your data organized and easily accessible. However, as we all know, improper use or lack of strong operating procedures can lead to disorganized folder structures tied together with poor role-based access permissions in place. There is, however, a better way.
Whether you’re a longtime veteran of using OneDrive and SharePoint, or you’re new to these tools, in this blog post, we will discuss the value of both OneDrive, SharePoint, and how to use them effectively to organize your business data.
OneDrive for Business and SharePoint are both cloud-based storage platforms that are part of the Microsoft Office suite. Both of these tools are commonly used to store and share files securely within an organization and over the internet. However, the misuse or misunderstanding of these tools can quickly create a cluttered mess in your organization’s management of files—a challenge that can dramatically impact your organization’s business efficiency.
OneDrive for Business is a version of OneDrive that is designed for business use. It provides businesses with a centralized storage location for all their files, and employees can access those files from any device. OneDrive for Business allows you to share files with co-workers, control access levels, and set expiration dates for shared links. It also integrates with other Microsoft applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and allows for co-authoring with others in your organization.
Though OneDrive possesses a variety of sharing capabilities, we recommend that it be used for files that only you need access to. Your OneDrive files can be accessible on any of your devices, and you don’t have to worry about who has access to those files other than yourself.
SharePoint and OneDrive for Business are closely related, and they work together to provide a complete collaboration solution for businesses. SharePoint is used to create document libraries, team sites, and other collaborative workspaces. While OneDrive for Business provides a personal document library for each user, where they can store files that are not related to specific projects or teams, SharePoint is a great solution for interdepartmental files and project documents. SharePoint also allows users to co-author and work on documents together at the same time. As the name suggests, this is the best platform to share assets within your organization.
While OneDrive and SharePoint are excellent for internal collaboration and file sharing, there are times when you need to share documents with external users. In such cases, using third-party storage platforms such as Dropbox or Box can be very useful.
Dropbox allows you to store files in the cloud and share them with anyone, whether they have a Dropbox account or not. You can also set access levels for shared files, and you can revoke access at any time. This makes it an ideal platform for sharing files with clients, partners, or vendors who do not have access to your company's SharePoint or OneDrive accounts. This methodology also makes it easy to keep track of which documents are being shared and revoking access when needed.
Naming conventions are essential for keeping your files organized and easily accessible. When you create a new file, make sure to give it a descriptive name that accurately reflects its contents. Avoid using generic names like "Document1" or "Report2". Instead, use names that are specific and meaningful, like "Q1 Sales Report" or "Marketing Plan 2023". Consistency is also essential when it comes to naming conventions. Decide on a naming convention that works for your team and make sure everyone follows it. This will ensure that files are easy to find and identify, and it will save time when searching for specific files.
As such, when you give files descriptive names, you make it easier for yourself and your team members to understand what each file contains. It's essential to be as specific as possible when naming files so that they accurately reflect the content within them. A unique naming convention provides much more context and helps team members quickly understand what the file contains without having to open it. Additionally, if you're working on a project that has multiple iterations, consider using version numbers or dates in the file name. This way, you can easily differentiate between different versions of the same file and ensure that you're always working with the most up-to-date version.
For more details on best practices when it comes to figuring out your file structures and naming conventions, follow this guide from Microsoft.
Adding tags of titles is another great way to keep your SharePoint organized. Tags or Titles are additional information that describes the content of a file, such as the author, date created, and keywords related to the file's content. By adding tags, you can make it easier for team members to find the files they need by using search functions. For example, you might add a "Client Name" column to your files so that you can quickly find files related to a particular client.
Similarly, you could add a "Project Phase" column to help you filter files based on the current phase of the project. It's essential to add tags consistently and to use standardized vocabulary so that everyone on your team understands the terms you're using. You can also use this additional information to create custom views that display only the files that meet certain criteria. For example, you might create a view that displays only files created in the last week or only files with a particular status. By using titles, tags, and additional columns, you can make it easier to find the files you need, streamline your workflow, and improve collaboration within your team.
Organizing your files in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint is crucial for keeping your data secure and accessible. OneDrive for Business provides a centralized storage location for all your files, while SharePoint allows you to create collaborative workspaces for teams and projects.
When sharing files with external users, third-party storage platforms like Dropbox or Box can be very useful. Finally, make sure to use naming conventions to keep your files organized and easily accessible.
If you’re looking for assistance when it comes to OneDrive for business or SharePoint, the certified Microsoft team at Techmedics can consult you on the best practices for your organization. By signing up to be one of our clients, our engineers can help you organize your business files and increase your employee productivity levels in the process. Contact Techmedics today to get a free quote for Managed IT Services.
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