Technically Speaking: File Sharing with OneDrive and Teams

Welcome back for the third of three installments in the OneDrive saga. In Part 1, we talked about all that OneDrive allows you to do with file storage and access. Part 2 told you how to find OneDrive on your computer and start using it for personal file storage. Now, let’s talk about how you can leverage OneDrive (and other Office applications) to share your files with other users.

The first way is something you’re probably already familiar with—email attachments. Just like with files on your computer’s hard drive or a shared network drive, you can attach files stored on OneDrive to emails. Just click on Attach File in the email you’re composing, browse to your OneDrive and select a file to attach.  But look—there’s more you can do now! Instead of just attaching a copy of the file, you now have the option to share a link. Like the description implies, sharing a link to the file on your OneDrive lets recipients make changes to the file and see any revisions you or anyone else makes to it!

This eliminates version control, the process by which a user tracks and manages changes to a document. No longer will you have to merge changes made by multiple users into one document.  No longer will you have to keep track of four copies of the same file that all have bizarre names like this:

Is that the final copy? Or the final final copy? Who has time for that? Now, everyone can just make changes to the file on your OneDrive. Oh, and those changes? They’re saved automatically. 

What’s more, like we talked about in Part 1, multiple users can work with the same file simultaneously. This not only lets everyone see the most recent changes in real time, but also prevents the dreaded:

Ugh—I HATE that message! Now there are going to be two versions! Merge changes later sounds harder than taking the One Ring up Mt. Doom; and I don’t want to do this later! But you know what? You and I might never have to see it again if we play our cards right.

When sharing links by email, the default security setting is that anyone who is a Children’s user (or member of another approved domain such as unmc.edu, nebraskamed.com, or catholichealth.net) and recipient of the email can make changes to the shared file. Clicking on the arrow on the right side of the file tile opens a menu that allows you to change permissions.

Whew! Still with me? Good. Because there’s more. So far, we’ve just covered file sharing in Outlook, but you can do something similar in Teams as well! Let’s jump into the time machine and head back to May of 2021 when we talked about file sharing in Teams. Here’s a screen shot of my Technology Leadership Team Teams site:

As you can see, I’m currently in the Files tab. If I click Upload, I can share files with my team, either from my computer or (you guessed it) my OneDrive space. You can also share files in Teams chat, but if you do, please remember that they will not be visible there for longer than 30 days! As a reminder, if you’d like us to create a Team for your group, you can submit a request through the MyServiceCenter portal (snowflake icon on your desktop or Quick Link on the myChildren’s intranet home page).

Last, we now have a more definitive rollout schedule:

  • A – C – Jan. 17
  • D – H – Jan. 18
  • I – M – Jan. 19
  • N – R – Jan. 20
  • S – Z – Jan. 21

That’s really all there is to it. I hope you enjoy using OneDrive as much as I do. Granted, I’m a huge nerd, but I really think it eliminates lots of document management headaches. If you have problems getting OneDrive set up or using it, or if you’d like to request approval for another email domain for file sharing, please submit a support ticket (see above MyServiceCenter process) or call the Helpdesk at 402-955-6700.

Happy New Year, and thanks for all you do!

Stephen Dolter, M.D., CMIO