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7 Must Have Office 365 Apps #3: OneDrive

Author: Mo Anwar | 5 min read | January 23, 2019

When you implement Microsoft’s OneDrive for Business in Office 365, you’ll be providing your organization with a number of new capabilities. The worst thing that can happen after implementation is that nothing changes. In order to make use of new productivity tools, you’ll need to pay close attention to the techniques you can use to increase adoption. Here are some features that people may overlook; therefore, you’ll want to reinforce their use.

Version History

When an employee is working on a complex document that must be reviewed by a significant number of other people, it’s easy to lose track of the changes that were made. It’s also relatively common that someone in the review chain wants to see an earlier version of the document.

Tracking versions can be a time consuming task. However, OneDrive handles versioning automatically. Every time someone makes a change, OneDrive will save those changes in a separate version. The versions are easily accessible from within the document itself.

The versioning feature is also handy if something happens to damage or corrupt a document. It’s quick and easy to pick up from the last version that was created.

File Sharing

There’s no need to email documents to other employees or even partners outside of your organization. Sharing can be done quickly just by right-clicking on the file name in Explorer and then using the Share a OneDrive Link option.

The system will create a link to the document and copy it to your Clipboard. You can then send the recipient an email with the link and they’ll be able to open and edit the file in the cloud. It will avoid creating another copy of the document on their local computer, and save storage space. You should only use this shortcut to send to trusted individuals, since the ability to read and edit the file is automatic.

There may be times when you want someone else to read the file, but you don’t want them to be able to edit it. OneDrive has an answer for that, also. Users can open a Share dialog box that lets them allow editing or not, set a password on the file, and/or set an expiration date. After the expiration date, the person who has the link will no longer be able to access the file.

While this sharing feature can save time, you can use the overall permissions in Office 365 to prevent people from using it when necessary.

Keep in mind that OneDrive also allows multiple people to view one document at the same time and see each other’s’ edits. Be sure to help employees understand when to do file sharing and when real-time document sharing would be the most efficient.

File Synchronizing

OneDrive is an excellent enabler for today’s mobile workforce. However, it can be difficult to break the habit of tracking changes made on one device to another. The file synchronization features on OneDrive will save time and confusion for all involved.

Let’s say that you are going to an industry conference, but you need to continue working on a big RFP response. All you’d need to do is copy the document from your OneDrive to your laptop, for example. You can work on the document while you’re on the airplane. When you login to the internet again, OneDrive will automatically synchronize the OneDrive document with the one on your laptop.

In addition, assuming you have more than one mobile device available on your account, you could put OneDrive capability on your home computer and your phone. Then, no matter where you are, you can edit without worrying about the impact that will have on the same document saved in different places.

Making the Most of OneDrive for Business

Along with the other applications available in Office 365, OneDrive can have a significant impact on your organization’s productivity. Implementing Office 365 can be a challenge. The software can do many things, but you need to choose those that are most beneficial for your organization.

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