File Management 101— Using Teams as Your Digital Filing Cabinet

One useful function of Microsoft Teams is its ability to organize shared files. But what's the use if you don't know how it works?

One useful function of Microsoft Teams is its ability to organize shared files. But what's the use if you don't know how it works? We're continuing our series on the many tools of Teams by discussing the ins and out of file management and how it’s used to increase efficiency in your office.

Teams and Channel Creation

Before diving into the specifics of file sharing, it's important to understand the basics of creating teams and channels. Forming teams is important for targeted collaboration within your company. You wouldn't want to bother your finance team with a discussion about your new logo, would you? When forming teams, organize them broadly for different departments. From there, you can create channels to direct conversation around specific topics related to the team. For example, your HR team could have separate channels for onboarding materials, payroll, and so on. You can also create private channels with selected team members for when you have specific projects that only apply to certain people on the team.

Updated Files Tab

One of Teams most recent updates included the addition of a "Files" tab along the top bar of each channel. From here, you can access any files shared in your team posts. Or you can create folders to organize files for specific projects and directly add to them. All the files are still separated by channel, so you can stay organized and save time from hunting down the document you need. Access to the files is granted to anyone who is a part of the team. But if you share a file on a private channel, only those with access to the channel can view those files. And with any file you view, you can start a conversation about that specific document to ensure clear communication among your team.

Where else do your files go?

There are two other apps that are essential to know when sharing files on Teams: OneDrive and SharePoint. Depending on how you share your files, they can end up in one of these two locations. If you send a document to a coworker over the private chat function, it will be saved in your OneDrive. However, if you share a document through one of your teams, it will save on a SharePoint site under a folder matching the channel name. Knowing how all these apps are connected will save you time when it comes to finding exactly what you're looking for.

Teams makes it easy to keep your files organized, but it's important to know how to navigate these functions effectively. Using teams and channels to manage your files can save time from back and forth emailing and provide you a platform to clearly share your ideas with coworkers.