Sunday, April 13, 2014

Why Can't I find It In Shared With Me?

Has this ever happened to you...


You're a teacher:

Someone at work tells you that your principal or your department chair shared something with the whole staff a week ago, and you need to work on it.  You go straight into your Google Drive, check your Shared With Me section and cannot find it whatsoever.  Now you go back and search through your email, only to find you've already deleted it. Now you have to ask the original person to re-share it, and they insist they've shared it to the whole school, "just look in your Google Drive," but you just cannot find it there?
This only happens with stuff shared to the whole school, why can't they share anything right?

You're a principal:

You have an important document that you need to share with all of your staff, both teachers and clerical.  You click the blue share button, type in the group email alias for your site (i.e. Crystal-all@fsusd.org), click Send, then Done, and you're good.  Right?

Two weeks later a handful of your staff say they can't find it in their Google Drive.  You double check your email and Google Doc, and you did use the right email group.  When you tell them to check Shared With Me, they claim to not be able to find it.
Why can't they organize their Google Drive better? Are they maybe not receiving all the group email?

In truth, everybody is a little right here, and everyone is also a little off.
The principal did share it to the whole school and it is also not in anyone's Shared With Me.

Many people don't realize that for a shared file or folder to appear in another person's Shared With Me area, that person's specific email address, NOT a group email alias, has to have been used in the share settings.

Using this kind of email group means it will NOT appeared in people's Shared With Me Area.

Does that mean I have to type in everyone's name each time I am going to share will all of my teachers/students/grade-level teammates?


No, fortunately there is a pretty simple solution.  It's not as effortless as the group email alias, but it is more functional, and after the initial setup it should be pretty easy to maintain.
Then answer it go into Gmail, and get into your Contacts Manager.

Once there, it is pretty easy to set up a contact group. Once you've done that, you can then type in the name of that contact group in the invitation area of the share settings, and Google will automatically insert all the individual emails for you.  Then, share away as you have been doing.  Now when you share with your group of people, you're still only typing one email address, but it's going to all the people you need it to, and going to a useful place in their Google Drive.

If you'd like to watch a step by step screen-cast video on how to do this, click here.