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How Do I.... (a Practical Guide to Administration tasks)

Create Projects in Team Drive

Create a project in Shared drive?

Important note as of June 3rd 2019 Team Drives has been renamed to Shared drives.

Shared drive enables a project team to save all the project files in one place and for any files or folders that are put in the Shared drive to be shared instantly with the team members, the type of access permissions team members have is granted when members are added to the Shared drive. Access permission level can only be increased for a file and never decreased. Shared drive is especially useful when the project files are of interest to most or all of the members of a team and the files share a consistent theme.

Team Drive

Shared Drive files and foldersTeam Drive Icon

In Google Drive, the Shared drive section of the task bar contains all the Shared drives for which you are a member. Shared drive files and folders are indicated by the Shared drive icon (two head and shoulder figures) next to the file or folder.

Teaching and Learning have written An introduction to Shared drive doc to help get you started using Shared drive.

InstructionsShared drive Icon

The Google Workspace learning centre provides clear instructions on how to Set up a Shared drive, Add files and folders, and Share and Collaborate.

Setting up a Team Drive

Creating a Shared drive case study

Sophie Palmer is the Green Chemistry Research Administrator for Green Chemistry. In 2017 Sophie was part of a project team that formed to help disseminate information about Google in the Chemistry department.

The group developed a number of two-page help guides on how to implement Google Apps in Chemistry. In addition they established the beginnings of an informal network for administrative staff in the Faculty of Science to share tips and lessons learnt from Google Apps with the aim of raising confidence in the knowledge that data will still be secure. Sophie writes here about the project team's reasons for choosing Shared drive.

Green Chemistry Google Working Group

Project Requirements

A long-term, secure, information storage with the option to collaborate on files and folders with Chemistry Google Working Group Project team and produce Docs that can later be linked to our Chemistry intranet pages.

Duration of access required:


Project collaborators:

A group of seven administrators in the Department of Chemistry

Benefits of Shared drive

What we gained by using Shared drive:

  • Long-term access to files Shared drive is owned by all the collaborators and so access to the files can’t be lost if a team member leaves. New members of the Team can easily be granted access to the whole Shared drive. We do not need to remember to share access to new files and folders in our Shared drive.
  • Organisation: We have a filing system of folders that everyone in the team can use.
  • Access Permissions There are a wider range of access permissions available to give to collaborators in Shared drive compared to My Drive. This feature is useful for protecting our folder filing structure and reducing the risk of files being accidentally deleted or moved out of our Shared drive.

Limitations of using Shared drive

  • Sharing files outside the Team It isn’t possible to share whole folders with people outside the Team, only individual files. We share individual files with our staff and Postgraduate Google Groups and give them ‘view only’ access before adding links to the files from our intranet pages. We need to remember to do this for each new file we link to the intranet.
  • Organising files that have been shared by another Shared drive If you share a file with someone outside the team, they see the file in their ‘shared with me’ Drive. Files that have been shared from a Shared drive have the Shared drive logo at the end of the file name. The functions ‘Add to My Drive’, ‘Move to’ or ‘Add to’ are not available in files that have been shared from a Shared drive. This means that they can’t be organised into folders in My Drive and so can make it more time-consuming to locate the files again in future. (however you can use the Google search dialogue box to locate them, see: Find Files and folders in Google Drive)Shared drive icon
  • We often link Shared drive files to our intranet pages and categorise the links under subheadings to make it easier for our colleagues to locate them again in future.

Collaboration tips (applicable in Shared drives and My Drive)

  • Tag a collaborator into a comment - When we wish to bring a comment in a Doc to other people’s attention then, rather than send them an email, we tag a team member or our team’s Google Group into comments in the Docs themselves (“+forename surname” or “”) and Google sends them an email with a shortcut link to the relevant section.
  • Suggesting mode - When collaborating in a single Doc, we often use ‘suggesting’ mode rather than ‘editing’ mode to make it easier to identify and then accept or decline the proposed changes by other collaborators. This is similar to the ‘track changes’ function in Microsoft Word.