Important note from June 3rd 2019 Team Drives is being renamed to Shared drives.
For most projects Shared drives provides the required functionality, when deciding where to store your project documentation. The following information will help you to understand some of the different features of each method of storage. shared drive appears in Google Drive, however it is separate to Google Drive and it is important to note that folders and files cannot exist in both places at the same time. A folder/file in Shared drives will have different rules for working with them compared to those in Google Drive.
Do be aware that team members can change and shared folders can actually cause problems if someone leaves the team. This is because shared folders are owed by an individual. So, if that individual leaves the company, all of the items in that folder will be removed once their account is deleted. There are Key differences between My Drive and Shared drives.
When setting up a Project folder in Shared drive you assign members roles, for a full explanation of what these roles permit see Shared drive/Permissions Summary.
These roles allow members to perform certain actions for example as a Contributor you can create, rename, delete items and restore items from the bin, which is very different for a folder set up in My Drive and shared with a Google Group where the owner can assign that group permission to organise items, add items and edit items.
An important thing to understand here is that once a member is assigned a role in Shared drive the permissions that a member inherits with the role will be the same for all files and folders within that Shared drive. Their access level can only be increased for individual files but it cannot be reduced
Personal files should be kept in My Drive, you should only share out content that is of interest to a specific team or group.
An advantage of Shared drive is that files are owned by the Drive, not by an individual account, so you do not need to transfer ownership when a person leaves the team or University. The Shared drive will remain intact regardless of who is or is not a member. If this has been an issue for you previously, consider Shared drive for files with a longer shelf life.
In addition, if someone is joining the organisation and they need to be added to a Shared drive, this can be done so that the files they need will be ready for them when they open the Shared drive on the first day.
It may be that you need to share folders of information with people external to the team and they may need to share folders with the team. It is only possible to share individual files with Shared drive, you cannot share whole folders.
If you or your team need to collaborate with people without a York.ac.uk email account, then this can be done for files within both a My Drive shared folder and a Shared drive.
Please exercise caution when sharing files with externals. If you do decide to grant access to an external user through direct sharing of the document i.e from My Drive or Shared Drive, then the individual will need a Google associated account in order to gain access They can do this by creating a new Google account or or by them signing up to a Google account with a non-Google account e.g Hotmail or Yahoo.
If, instead, you grant access through link sharing then external users do not need a Google account, however always exercise caution with link sharing as it is the least secure way of sharing.