Google Team Drives benefits and caveats

Google Team Drives allows creating arbitrary numbers of Teams consisting of people with Gmail addresses (corporate or personal). However, public folder sharing is not possible as it is with personal Google Drive. Public individual file sharing is possible with Google Team Drives, but it would be tedious to share very many links. Implicitly, someone can come up with a hack around this, but the missing built-in public folder browsing of personal Google Drive is missed sorely.

Workaround for public Google Team Drives folders

Since it has been several months with no change on this matter, I’m assuming public folder sharing from Google Team Drives is not a priority for Google.

Our approach is to publicize that we have working data in a “public” Google Team Drives folder, so that all an interested person needs is a Gmail account to access after we manually add their account.

Workaround for no granular folder permissions

Permissions (Full, edit, view) are uniform across all folders & files in each Google Team Drive. To workaround this limitation, create multiple team drives–even if it’s for the same physical team. For example, imagine an engineering firm with Sales, Engineering and HR departments.

HR’s Team Drives

Drive Read/Write Content
HR-int R/W HR only Employee performance records
HR-share R/W HR, R employees vacation request forms

Sales Team Drives

Drive Read/Write Content
Sales-int R/W Sales only sales records
Sales-share R/W Sales, R employees contact info

Engineering Team Drives

Drive Read/Write Content
Eng-int R/W Engineering only detailed tech docs
Eng-share R/W Engineering, R employees asset summary, user docs
Eng-client R/W Engineering, R per client docs for each client

For Eng-client, each client has a Team Drive, maybe there would be dozens or hundreds of such Team Drives.



Written by Michael Hirsch, Ph.D. //