Don’t save any documents to My Documents

Yes. You read it correctly. If you have OneDrive for Business, there is no logical reason why you would want to store files in My Documents. Here is why.


Why did we use My Documents for so many years?

Many reasons…

  1. Internet was not always available
  2. Internet connection was costly
  3. Documents created in the company remained in the company
  4. Documents were not needed to be accessed from outside the company
  5. Everybody did not have a mobile device
  6. We are too used to it (comfort zone)

The problems

We have been suffering from these issues for so many years, that these no longer feel like problems. We have just accepted them as a part of life. But read the list below and think afresh- notice that there is an elegant solution available and use it.

  1. Files were available only from that PC
  2. With shared folder, network access was possible, but usually within the company premises. Outside the company, the files were not available at all
  3. Usually the IT department does not take backup of local PC files.
    Most of us do not have the discipline to take backup regularly.
    Due to this each one of us has lost data and documents at least a few times.
  4. If others need to see / edit the file, the only choice is to send it as attachment by mail.
    This creates too many copies and versions requiring repeated copy paste and lot of manual work.

OneDrive for Business changed the game completely!

  1. OneDrive for Business gives you UNLIMITED space
  2. Local hard disks typically range from 512 MB to few TB
  3. Documents stored on OneDrive can be accessed on all types of devices, tablets and mobile phones
  4. In the worst case scenario, all files are available just using any browser and an internet connection
  5. Office documents can also be edited on any browser
  6. Mobile phones and devices are carried by almost everyone
  7. Internet is available in most locations quite easily
  8. Cost of internet connection has reduced significantly
  9. Even if there is no internet connection, OneDrive can sync files locally on all devices

In short, it is eminently better to store documents to OneDrive by default. Sync selected files on any devices as per your needs. Local My Document is simply not required!

What to do with existing documents in My Documents?

Of course, I am not asking you to move all of them to OneDrive. Even though it is possible, it may not be necessary nor beneficial.

Here are the guidelines of effectively balancing a best-of-both-worlds scenario.

  1. Keep local My Documents files locally
  2. Make sure you have backed them up at least in two separate places
  3. Establish Sync from OneDrive to your work PC / Laptop and mobile devices
  4. DO NOT sync all files and folders. Only sync what is required.
  5. Whenever you open an existing document, store it on OneDrive and delete original local file
  6. Before deleting local files – especially Excel files – check for dependent linked files.

That’s it. Get used to the new way of working with files.


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