Store files in Office 365 – Best Practices

(Reading time 3 min ) This article provides concise instructions on where to store files when you have Office 365 E3 or above in your organization. There are multiple places and apps within Office 365 where files can be stored. But there is no clarity about which file goes where.  Here is a simple guide for everyone.

where to store files poster

Store files: Newly created file

    • If you are creating the file and you are going to use it for your work, store it in OneDrive for Business. Create folders to store files to simplify finding the files in future.
      If you need inputs from others, just share the link with them. Note that we can now share files with external users (including those with Gmail or Outlook type of personal email ids).
    • If the file is specific to a time-bound, cross-functional project or initiative, create a place for storing the file using Teams. Teams allows you to handle multiple projects. For each project there are channels. Default channel is called General. You can create more channels as required. Each channel has a place to store related files. Store the file in the correct channel. Ensure that your team members also store project specific files here.
      Files stored in Teams can also be shared with external parties by adding them as members of the Team.
    • If the file was earlier stored in a departmental server share then you should store these files in a SharePoint site.
      DO NOT use OneDrive for Business OR Teams for storing departmental files.
      Why? Because OneDrive is for ONE person. That person can leave. These files can then be assigned to the new person who takes up that role.
      Teams are used for time-bound projects. When the project is finished, the files are archived and the Teams site is no longer used.
      Departmental data, on the other hand, is eternal. Department does not have an end date. Department does not resign. That is why departmental data should be stored in SharePoint.

Store Files: Existing file

    • If it is opened from OneDrive, Teams, Groups or SharePoint store it there itself.
    • If it a file which you opened form local laptop (or desktop PC),
      Store it in one of the recommended places as discussed above.

Related articles

Older guide for storing files on Office 365 is here.
Learn more about OneDrive for Business here.
Explore Teams usage scenarios here.

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