Creating and saving files directly in SharePoint Online and OneDrive

If you’ve been working with computers prior to “the cloud”, it’s very easy to have your behavior default to saving your files to your local hard drive or a file share. However, now with SharePoint Online and OneDrive, doing that limits the opportunities you have to work with the files in new and collaborative ways. Instead, start creating and saving your files directly to SharePoint document libraries or your OneDrive space. Here’s how that works…

First off, it’s good to remember that OneDrive = Me and SharePoint = We. Your OneDrive area is meant for files that belong to you, or files that you are working on before sharing them to a wider audience. SharePoint is meant for files that belong to or are shared with a larger group of people:

Things stored in your OneDrive area could be deleted if you leave the company, so you don’t want to store content there that is used by a large group of people and would be difficult to replace if you left.

When you are creating new content, you can either create it directly in SharePoint or OneDrive, or you can upload it if you did create it on your local hard drive:

If you started a new file, such as a Word document, you can easily save it directly to SharePoint or OneDrive:

If you select OneDrive, you’ll see a list of the folders you have in OneDrive on the right side of the screen, and you can select an existing folder to save your file into:

By selecting SharePoint Sites, you’ll see a list of your frequently used SharePoint sites, as well as any sites you follow:

And if you select one of those site, it will drill down and show you all the document libraries in that site that you can save a document to:

So… why should you take the extra step to save it to SharePoint or OneDrive? Well, next week we’ll talk about how you can have multiple people collaborate and edit a file at the same time. But to do that, you need to have the file stored on either SharePoint or OneDrive. Getting into the habit of storing your files in the cloud will make it easier to start taking advantage of those collaboration features.

Oh, and by storing your files in SharePoint or OneDrive, you get other features like versioning. 🙂

Finally, here are some short videos that talk about saving your files in SharePoint and OneDrive:

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