On the Second Day of Christmas, the Waffle Brings to Me...My Files in the Cloud

December 22, 2023
7 min read

We are winding down to just two more tidings of joy in our digital journey through all things Waffle! In the spotlight today, we have (drumroll, please, drummers drumming) ONEDRIVE! 

What is this OneDrive thing? Seriously, in a world chock-full of digital storage options, why would anyone sing praises about yet another cloud storage service? Well, I could just give you the simple answer of “these are the Me” files, but truly, it’s so much more than that! Here's my take on why OneDrive might just save your sanity in the chaos of digital clutter. 

Picture a bright, shiny file cabinet that, in the old paper world, sat underneath your desk. That’s OneDrive! It’s your space to store stuff and organize how you wish, not how Mrs. Claus would organize things. Yeah, yeah, you've heard it before, but listen up. OneDrive's collaboration game is no joke. It's like having your own digital workshop where everyone can frolic around with files and documents. Multiple people editing the same document? Elf’s play. No more chaos of tracking versions or losing your marbles over conflicting edits. With OneDrive, you can say goodbye to that headache-inducing mess. 

To check out OneDrive, let’s fly by the waffle button again in top-left corner (number 1 on Figure 1) and select it from the options. Not spotting it? Click on "Explore all your Apps" (2) and rummage through the apps.  

Screenshot of the Waffle menu with step indicators for the App Launcher and Explore all your Apps. Other options include Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, SharePoint, and Teams.
Figure 1: Explore Your Apps using the App Launcher (waffle button). View Full Size

Next up, you’ll see the card that means you’ve located OneDrive, as shown in Figure 2.  

Screenshot of the OneDrive card indicated by the number three. There’s a little cloud emblem.
Figure 2: The app card for OneDrive. View Full Size

Click the OneDrive card in Figure 2 (3) to open the app. 

I’m not overly thrilled with the recent remodel of the OneDrive home pages. It’s SUPPOSED to make it easier, but this page is now a mishmash of all the files in M365. For your true OneDrive content, click the My Files (marked as number 4) on the left of Figure 3. 

Screenshot of the menu with My Files indicated by the number 4. Other options include Home, Shared, Favorites, and the Recycle bin, a list of common browsing options, and an Add new button.
Figure 3: Click the My Files link to view your OneDrive content. View Full Size

Think of this as your very own North Pole where you can stash all your stuff to keep it safe from Jack Frost. Let’s take a tour. Figure 4 shows an example of the My files file. 

Screenshot of the My Files view of OneDrive with indicators for the elements of the OneDrive. They’re defined next.
Figure 4: Take a quick tour of the My Files view of OneDrive. View Full Size

Here’s a quick guide to the good stuff: 

A. My Files: Yep, these are your digital goodies. Upload 'em. Organize 'em. Think of OneDrive as your digital filing cabinet, but cooler. 

B. Files: If you’re a “piler” and not a “filer,” here’s where you find your stuff.  

C. Column Headers: Too much stuff? Use the column headers to sort your files. 

D. View Options: Sort and filter to your heart’s delight to find what you are looking for. There might even be some chestnuts in there, roasted or otherwise.  

E. Search: STILL can’t find it? Just use Search (or you could have just done that first). 

F. Folders: These are like your digital drawers. Create 'em, label 'em—organize your files and keep 'em tidy. Nobody likes a digital mess and these piles put my OCD on overdrive.  

G. Activity: Who’s been playing reindeer games in your Shared files? It’s like having your own personal spy elf watching your stuff. 

Oh, now that you’ve had the tour, let’s swoop down and get to the important part: Sharing! Spread the wealth. Share your files, collaborate, and work on projects together. It’s like Santa’s workshop, but with files. Files are Private by default. Have a look at Figure 5. You can see how to select a file (5) and Share (6) using the button on the toolbar to delegate some of this work. 

Screenshot of the OneDrive file list with one file selected and step indicators for selecting the file and the Share link. Other options include Copy Link, Delete, Favorite, and Sort.
Figure 5: Select one or more files and click the Share button to collaborate with co-workers View Full Size

Now we’re talking! But you might need to slow your roll a bit right here. Don’t just take for granted that OneDrive can read your mind. Click on that Settings button to be clear what you’re doing here. It’s revealed in Figure 6. 

Screenshot of the Sharing dialog box with the Settings menu indicated by the number 7. There’s space to add a name, group, or email, and there’s another space to add a message. After a note that anyone with the link can edit, there’s a button to copy the link and another to send.
Figure 6: Use the Settings menu to refine your sharing settings. View Full Size

Look at these default settings! Basically, anyone who receives this link can edit the file. What? See Figure 7 for how to edit who’s on the Nice list.  

Screenshot of the Sharing Settings dialog with a red outline on the settings for Anyone and another around Can Edit. Other options include setting the date and password, and for blocking the download.
Figure 7: Default settings are determined by the organization and may not be what you intend. View Full Size

Then you click the Apply button and it’s all set.  

No need to leave the workshop open. You can lock your files down to just specific peeps (see Figure 8). Choose your audience (8) and change their access (9) before you potentially have all of Santa’s Village rummaging through your stuff! 

Screenshot of the Sharing Settings window with step indicators for People you chose and Can Edit. Other options are Can Review and Can View.
Figure 8: Customize your settings to ensure that your file(s) are properly shared. View Full Size

Be sure to hit Apply (number 10 in Figure 9) to save your settings.  

 Screenshot of the Sharing Settings window with a step indicator on the Apply button.
Figure 9: Click apply to save your changes. View Full Size

Now you can pick your hardest working elf, give them some context and send it off to be put on the sleigh, as shown in Figure 10. 

Screenshot of the Sharing window with step indicators for the recipient, a message, and the Send button.
Figure 10: Complete the Sharing Settings with the recipient(s), a message, and then clicking Send. View Full Size

ProTip: Need to find files that you shared or were shared WITH you? Click the Share link in OneDrive and select the With you or By you option, as shown in Figure 11. 

Screenshot of OneDrive with outlines on the Shared link and the With You and By You options.
Figure 11: Use the Shared view of OneDrive to view files shared with you or by you. View Full Size

Curious to learn more about OneDrive? Join me on January 3, 2024 for the “Getting Started with OneDrive for Business” session of our Kick Start 2024 emPOWER!Hour series. 

For more information, check out our 12 Days of Christmas promotion at: https://poweruplearning.com/2024-kickoff/  

Stay tuned for the next tip! Until next time, I’m Shortcut Shari and it’s my job to make your job easier.  

Shari Oswald

Shari Oswald

Shari is known as Shortcut Shari because she believes we should all work smarter, not harder, and she loves to share keyboard shortcuts. Shari has been using SharePoint since before it was called SharePoint and is excited to share her knowledge and expertise with those who are as excited about technology as she is. Shari's focus is the “People Side of Change.” As a Microsoft 365 Solutions Architect and Consultant that grew up right along with SharePoint, her practical knowledge of the Microsoft Productivity stack coupled with her passion for empowerment via learning makes Shari an excellent resource as a consultant and evangelist for Microsoft 365. Her philosophies for information architecture and SharePoint design are centered on solving business challenges with technology and ensuring usability and adoption for the organization. Shari is a Microsoft Certified Trainer, a Microsoft Certified Specialist Master, consultant, presenter, author, and evangelist. When she is not architecting SharePoint magic as a consultant, Shari is in the classroom or creating online learning for LinkedIn Learning, ClipTraining.com, and Pluralsight.