The benefits of OneDrive and how to use it

Frustrating file searches, lost files, and difficulty sharing documents aren’t pain points your business needs to face. With Microsoft 365 tools like OneDrive, you can easily store, manage, and share all of your documents in the cloud, making them accessible from anywhere with any device. Sharing files for collaboration only takes a few clicks, and with proper file and folder naming, you’ll never lose track of a document again.

Learn more about the benefits of OneDrive, how to use it, and best practices to follow to ensure seamless file management for both your personal and business files.

An introduction to OneDrive

OneDrive is a cloud service included with Microsoft 365 that lets you store, access, share, and manage all of your files from any device (smartphone, laptop, tablet, etc.). If your Microsoft 365 account is provided by your company, you may see it titled “OneDrive for work or school”. Before Microsoft 365 rebranded from Office 365, it was called “OneDrive for Business,” so you will still see that title used in articles published before mid 2020. 

All files you store in OneDrive are private unless you choose to share them, which you might do with coworkers or clients if you’re collaborating on a project. You and other stakeholders can work and make edits to the project in real time from any device and any location.

OneDrive vs. SharePoint

OneDrive is designed for personal work files and resources such as spreadsheets and documents, whereas SharePoint is designed for storage and collaboration of company files. If you’re working on a project by yourself, save it to OneDrive, and if you later need to share it with someone else, you can. If the project becomes a team effort, OneDrive files can be moved to SharePoint for wider access.Both OneDrive and SharePoint store your files in the cloud. You can learn more about the differences between OneDrive and SharePoint from Microsoft’s support page.

The benefits of OneDrive

Access anywhere

You can access OneDrive documents from anywhere on any of your devices, including computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. You have individual control and access whenever you need to view or edit files such as documents, spreadsheets, photos, or videos.

Easy to share

From OneDrive, you can easily share documents or entire folders with anyone, giving them access to view or collaborate on the project according to the permissions you set. It’s simple to share files with coworkers, clients, external vendors, or partners who then can access the files from anywhere on any device. You can even set an expiration date so that the link will only be accessible for a limited time.

How to use OneDrive

Content and file management: follow protocols

As with any of Microsoft’s tools, you’ll get the most out of OneDrive by setting clearly defined protocols. Decide on your organization’s specific processes and naming conventions, and have everyone on your team follow them to keep all business files organized. Even though OneDrive is used primarily for personal projects, an employee may need to share a file with a coworker or client, and the file could eventually end up being moved to SharePoint for wider access. By following the same file management procedures, you can ensure consistency across all your Microsoft tools. 

A key to using OneDrive is consistent file naming. For each file, add a descriptive name that follows your team’s specific protocols before you select Save. If your organization has naming conventions, ensure you follow them to avoid clutter, confusion, or lost files. If it doesn’t, now is a good time to create them. 

Employees should back up all of their files using Microsoft’s cloud-based tools as opposed to keeping files on their local systems—this safeguards against losing data if a device crashes or a hard drive fails. You can save your files to OneDrive in a few simple clicks. For documents, it’s as simple as selecting File > Save As and choosing OneDrive. You can choose to save your files to your personal OneDrive or your company OneDrive, depending on how you plan to use the document.

How to search for files

When searching for files, be as clear and accurate as possible. The search bar doesn’t work the same as Google: If you type in a piece of a word, it will search for only that piece instead of populating the full word or extra letters for you. The better job you do labeling your files, the easier it will be to find what you need in OneDrive.

Don’t forget about data protection

Microsoft does not cover data protection. There are protections in place, but not nearly the security you need for your critical business files. You should be using a third party data protection tool to automatically backup and protect your data. Many businesses—and some of the MSPs they hire—miss this crucial step, putting your data and business processes at risk.

Leverage IT can take care of it all

Contact Leverage IT to help set up your company’s Microsoft 365 applications, including OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, and all of the data protection protocols your business needs.

We can train your team, get your best practices in order, and protect your data so that everyone in your organization can collaborate better. Contact us to begin leveraging your IT today.