For many years, we’ve learned to save files to folders. And within folders, we’ve created subfolders as yet another location to store files. And then you might create a folder within that subfolder… The result can lead to a complicated collection of nested folders with files stored in disparate locations.
Then along came SharePoint where we learned a new way to sort documents – with metadata. Metadata hasn’t gone away at all, but I only see its best value when considering larger document libraries.
Now we have Microsoft Teams and its filing system! Because each channel within Teams has an associated folder in the Team’s SharePoint document library, we’re starting to consider yet another way of looking at file management. Perhaps we can think of a Teams channel as a folder?
The General folder for the General channel is seen from the RIT Finance SharePoint team site.
If we were to add a new channel to a team, then a new folder by that name would appear in addition to the General folder.
But now we have to talk about sharing files within Teams.
When a file is shared with a colleague while in a private chat, then the file is stored within the OneDrive repository belonging to the person who shared the file. In truth, OneDrive is actually a hidden SharePoint library, but that’s fodder for another conversation.
But when you share a file while in a channel’s group conversation, then the file becomes stored within the respective channel’s Files tab, or rather, the channel’s folder within the Team’s SharePoint document library.
If you’ve forgotten which channel’s folder contains the file you’re looking for, then you can go to the Files button in the left-hand rail to view and scroll through the collective list of files belonging to all teams and channels. Or you can search all files across all Teams’ channels from the Command bar at the top-center. This search tool is available at all times wherever you are within the Teams app. You can also sort using metadata within the Files view by clicking the column labels, such as Type, Name, Modified, and Location.