This is the fifth blog in our G Suite Tutorial Series and the second one about Google Drive. The purpose of this blog is to walk you through some of the slightly more advanced features of Google Drive. These features and pro tips make collaboration easier and give you better control over the files and folders you share.
But that’s not all, if you want to take your G Suite game to ninja level, we have an extensive G Suite FAQ section in which we address the most commonly asked questions when people migrate to G Suite. We will share tips and tricks that will up your efficiency as well.
1. How to resolve conflicting accounts for shared Google Docs - organizational accounts vs. personal accounts?
Organizational account vs Personal account
This issue is similar to the case where you have Google Drive documents through your personal Gmail account (except in this case documents are shared to email@example.com account that started out on Microsoft). Essentially, G Suite treats the document sharing to firstname.lastname@example.org Microsoft account as a personal account (the same as it treats document sharing to personal Gmail accounts). The conflicting account is a bit of a pain as Google doesn't allow you to easily merge accounts. Basically, you had a "personal" account before and now you have a separate "organizational" G Suite account and both accounts use the same username (i.e. email@example.com) so there is a conflict.
Change your “Personal Account”
What you need to do is change the document sharing from the "personal" firstname.lastname@example.org account username to any account that uses @gmail.com username (email@example.com).
Then log into the firstname.lastname@example.org account and share any documents you want to bring over with your "organizational" account (email@example.com). Once you're done sharing everything and you can access it via your "organizational" account (firstname.lastname@example.org), you can delete or ignore or forget about the email@example.com "personal" account as you won't need it any longer. If you are curious to learn more, check out G Suite Administrator Help.
2. How to manage document sharing settings on Google drive?
Once a document is open within Google Drive, start by clicking on the blue "Share" button to open sharing options. Alternatively, you can go to File > Share…
You should then see the "Share with others" menu.
Copy link (By clicking on this button, you will copy the link for the document to your clipboard making it ready to paste elsewhere. The level of access to your linked document will depend on what permissions you set. The default is usually "Anyone at your organization with the link can view."
From here you can choose the following permissions:
OFF - only specific people can access (Definition: This turns sharing with the entire organization off and you'd have to enter individual email addresses if you'd like to share the document).
Anyone at your organization with the link can edit (Definition: All users at your organization have access to the document and can freely edit the document).
Anyone at your organization with the link can comment (Definition: All users at your organization have access to the document. They are NOT able to edit the document but can make comments on sections).
Anyone at your organization with the link can view (Definition: All users at your organization have access to the document. They are NOT able to edit or comment on the document. However, they can view it).
More...(This option will open up more sharing settings. Read further for more instructions).
3. If you selected "More..." from the "Share with others" section, you will see additional "Sharing settings." From here you can access additional controls with permissions.
"Who has access" gives you the full list of accounts with access to the document.
"Invite people:" allows you to grant additional people access to the document.
You can manage access for individuals by hovering over their name:
The stopwatch button allows you to set an expiration date on an individual's access to a document. Note: You will not see this button unless you hover your mouse over the person's name.
Click on the pencil button to toggle between permissions for that individual: edit, comment, view. You can also set the expiration for access here as well.
Click on the "X" to remove access for a user altogether.
When complete, click on the blue Done or Save changes button at the bottom of the window.
3. How to comment on a section?
To comment on a section...
Highlight the text that needs comments
Right-click and select comment
If you add email addresses in the comments, you can even assign tasks
Comments can then be replied to and marked resolved
4. How to create private folders in Google Drive?
Creating private folders and documents in Google Drive is fairly simple. Follow the steps below to create your private folder in Google Drive (screenshots of each step are provided below):
Start by creating a "New folder..." in the desired location within Google Drive. You can click on the blue "NEW" button or right click.
Update the name
Right click on the new folder and click "Share..."
You will then see "Share with others" menu.
Next, click on "Advanced" to pull up the "Sharing settings" window.
Under the "Who has access" section and on the "Anyone at your organization who has the link can view" option, select "Change..." From here, you should see the "Link sharing" window. Make sure to select "Off - Specific people" so that the folder documents will only be "Shared with specific people." Next, click the blue "Save" button.
Once your folder is private, the "Sharing settings" should list the "Who has access" section with "Private - Only you can access". Once this is set, you can add people to access the folder in the "Invite people:" section.
When inviting users to access the folder, be mindful of the desired permissions.
You can choose between: "Can organize, add, & edit" OR "Can view only."
You can keep the "Notify people" checked and click the blue "Add message" link to include an optional personal message to give people a heads up.
Under "Owner settings" you can check "Prevent editors from changing access and adding new people" to lock the folder down even further. The only problem with checking this option is that any others in your private folder group will have to go through you each time additional users are added to the private folder...just something to think about.
After inviting people, you should see the list of users "Who has access." For additional help on managing the permissions, have a look at our article on managing sharing on Google Drive.
To create private documents in your private folder, select "New" or right-click within the private folder. Then select the type of document you want to create.
Once a document is created, you will get an alert "Create in a shared folder? The created item will have the same sharing permissions as the selection folder." Select "OK" and you have successfully set up your private folder and document!
If you need to update the sharing settings for an individual document, right click on the file and click "Share..." OR when the document is open click the blue "Share" button. Additional details on managing sharing can be found in Google Drive Help.
Hello, Cloud Collaboration!
Congratulations, you have mastered some of the advanced features of Google Drive. Is Google Drive your favorite cloud-based storage and sync service yet? If you have any Google Drive tips that have made collaboration more efficient, please share them in the comments section below.
This is the final blog in our G Suite Series. We hope you have found these blogs useful. Here are the links to our previous posts for your reference:
If you haven’t done so already, please subscribe to our mailing list and as always share it with the world.
If you enjoyed the blog, share it with your friends!