Using Shared Drives

Shared Drives are a feature of the Google application suite to which the East Kingdom has access.

What is a Shared Drive?

In many ways, a Shared Drive is just like any other Google Drive: it’s a container for files, stored on Google, that you can share with other people (particularly officers and groups).  The big difference is that a Shared Drive is owned by the domain as a whole (that is, rather than an individual. This means it won’t go away if the person who created it leaves their office, the Kingdom, or the Society.

There are five kinds of access to a Shared Drive: Manager (view files, edit files, and add/remove members); Content manager (view and edit, but can’t change membership); Contribute (view and edit, but can’t delete), Commenter (view and add comments, but not make changes), and Viewer (can only look, not touch).

Where do I find Shared Drives?

Shared Drives show up alongside any files your East Kingdom account has stored in your personal Google Drive interface here:

It’s worthwhile to check this location when you take on a new office to see if there are any Shared Drives that are associated with the office for which you have newly received permission to access.

When should I create a Shared Drive?

Shared Drives are a great choice for a batch of group-accessible files that need to have longevity across changes in officers or members.  For instance, if you have a Google Group mailing list for your branch’s officers, you can create a Shared Drive and just add the group to it.  Then, even if an office changes hands, the new officer will automatically have access to the existing files.    You can also create a Shared Drive where an office address (e.g., is a member, and the same thing will happen; the new seneschal will automatically have access.

You can, of course, also create a Shared Drive with ad-hoc, individual members, just as you would with a regular Google Drive.  The main reason for choosing this option is for continuity, in case all of the individual members become unavailable–the Webministry will still be able to recover access to the drive, if necessary.  You can also create a mixed membership Shared Drive, with some group-provided membership and some ad-hoc members.  For example, a Canton may create a Shared Drive where their officers’ group has Content Manager access, and their parent Barony’s seneschal, separately added, has Commenter access. 

How do I know what kind of drive to use?

Shared Drives are best for:

  • sharing a quantity of files with a reasonably consistent group of people or officers
  • if you have a Google Group (mailing list) already set up for that set of people, it’s a perfect match!
  • files needing active collaboration by multiple people

Regular Google Drive is best for:

  • sharing individual files, or just a few files
  • sharing files with just a few people
  • items you’re working on individually

Things to know about Shared Drives:

  • All folders and documents stored in a Shared Drive can be accessed by all members of that Shared Drive.
  • Individual file permissions can be different for non-Shared Drive members, but folder permissions cannot.
  • A person can move files from their own Google Drive into a Shared Drive, but cannot move whole folders.
  • A person can also move files out of the Shared Drive. Google will give a warning and ask for confirmation, but make sure your group is aware of this so you don’t lose files unexpectedly.  (Be extra careful if team members are using Google’s “Backup and Sync” desktop feature.) 

Google’s Help Info