One Drive or SharePoint Teams?  Where should I save my files in Office 365?

Mar 5, 2018 | Microsoft 365 Hints and Tips, Uncategorised

At first sight either One Drive for Business or a SharePoint Team site seem to do similar jobs but there is more to it than that.  It all comes down to collaboration and if or how you need to work on your files with others.

Cloud computingOne Drive for business is a cloud-based storage solution which allows you to access files from many different devices such as a PC, tablet or mobile device.  The files are not stored directly on any particular device so can be accessed from anywhere as long as you have the correct login details.  If you are not planning on sharing the files it’s great.  Even for sharing individual files that’s fine you just send a link to the file with editing permissions. You even have version control.  In addition, if another person starts editing a document that someone else has already open then it will notify you that this is happening and the changes get viewed real time.

Office 365A SharePoint team site however is far more sophisticated on the sharing front.  It is also cloud-based with all the same features as One Drive but there are many additional advantages if you are doing a lot of sharing on a regular basis.  A team site is a location that actively promotes collaboration of files and other related information for a project or department.  All the information related to a particular project is stored in one place and can be shared with a group of people efficiently.  The team can be subdivided into channels enabling large projects to be broken down into smaller parts with different individuals getting access to only the specific information related to them.

The information on a team site is not restricted to files like Word and Excel however.  It also includes conversations between members of the team.  You can set up a meeting and by setting a channel to meet in anyone in that channel is automatically invited.  As well as multiple people being able to edit a file at the same time, in SharePoint Teams files can be checked out when in use so no one else can edit them until they are checked in again.  It really is designed to be a fully collaborative experience.

So, to summarise, if you are not going to be sharing your files or only sharing occasionally and often for a short period of time then One Drive for Business will do what you need it to do.  If your sharing is more extensive and not confined to files but also conversations and meetings SharePoint Teams will be a better option.