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Central share using Google Drive

Feb 19, 2014
Central share using Google Drive

When businesses choose to migrate from their existing email platforms to Google Apps, they often want their file folders set up in the same manner as previously found on their network. We set up these file folders as requested as part of the migration process.

How is this done?

We set up a central account in Google Drive where the user of the account owns all the documents contained in the account. Root level folders can then be created, often based on department access (e.g. sales, accounts, management etc). These folders as specifically shared with the appropriate department (or individuals) allowing them the ability to upload or create new documents or modify existing documents stored in the folders.

The fantastic thing about this approach is that all the relevant documents are appropriately filed and the central user remains in control and owns all the material in the folders..Where the specific title of the document is unknown, individuals can instead search for the document by looking through the folder structure.

We use this set up for our clients as it is simple and user friendly for businesses. The organised system protects the business by preserving documents which would otherwise be lost where staff created and stored documents in their own accounts and left the business.

Here are the instructions on:

1. Creating a shared folder

  • Log into Drive as the service Account or designated manager and do the following:
    • Create a folder
    • Enter the name for your folder using a name that will be easy for your team to identify (for example, ‘Marketing Files’).
    • Access the Sharing settings for the folder
    • Add the Marketing team members and make everyone an editor.
    • At the bottom of the sharing dialogue change Editors will be allowed to add people and change the permissions to Only the owner can change the permissions. This will ensure that only specified team members can access this folder.
    • Note: Using a service account will require the purchase of an additional user license

2. Easily accessing shared folder

  • For each user, instruct them to do the following:
    • Click on the label “Shared with me” which is on the left navigation bar under My Drive
    • Drag the folder that is shared with you into the MY Drive label
    • Repeat this step for other folders or documents you want quick access to

This will make it easier to find business documents as well as if you install the Google Drive Sync program on your computer, you can sync these shared files to your computer for quick access via Windows explorer or Apple finder.

DraggingtoMYDrive

3. Users to “change owner” of shared business documents

  • For each user, instruct them to do the following when sharing business documents
    • Check the box next to the file or folder you want to transfer to another owner
    • Click the Share icon docs_2375110_share_icon_en
    • Type the email address of the new owner in the “Invite people” field.
    • Click Share & save
    • Click the drop-down menu to the right of the new owner’s name; choose “Is owner.”
    • Click Save changes.
    • Drag the document to the relevant shared folder to share with others.

Team file share flow

Additional tips.

  • It is highly recommended that a third party backup tool be used for your central Google Drive account. We use spanning backup for this. We can also get special pricing if your interested.
  • Assign users to Google Groups in the admin console and assign groups to folders and files rather than to users. This makes adding new users to files and folders much faster. For example, you assign john to the marketing group and he will automatically have access to all the folders and documents that the other marketing users do.
  • Have a employee termination process, use tools like Google Take Out to export the users Google Drive documents and email to be safe before deleting the user.
  • Periodically check the Google Drive storage capacity for the central account and purchase additional storage if getting close to the limit of 30GB.

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