When thinking about where to put files/records of your program, there are several factors to keep in mind:

  • Who needs access to the materials
  • How long the records need to be retained
  • How secure is the location

Below is a chart of common file storage locations and why they should or should not be used.

As you will see, however, we recommend that you store program records in either the Shared Drive or on Teams/SharePoint.


Don't store program records... Why Not? Instead...
OneDrive OneDrive is tied to you. When you leave, unless your supervisor takes immediate action, your OneDrive and its contents will be deleted (even if shared with others) Use Teams or SharePoint to collaborate on program files.
C Drive/I Drive Other people cannot access your C: Drive, so it is not appropriate to save program records there.
Additionally, the C: Drive is not backed up and you can lose information if the drive is damaged/corrupted, or if your computer is lost or upgraded.
(The I Drive is backed up, but is not accessible to others who may need access to the files)

For program records, use the Shared Drive or Teams / SharePoint.

Use OneDrive for files that are just yours: rough drafts, reference materials (copies of records/documents that you may need to reference, but aren’t yours or the official copy)


Email is not sharable with others without making multiple copies of emails and any attached documents.

It is also tied to individual employees. Even if retention labels are applied to emails to keep them around after an employee leaves, the emails will not be readily accessible to others

Save pertinent emails to the program location where the related documents live.

Save any attachments that must be kept in the program’s designated file storage location.

External Media (hard drive, thumb drive, etc.) External media is very vulnerable to corruption and damage and easy to get forgotten about.
External media is also not searchable, so if someone else is looking for information stored on external media, they will not find it.

Use Teams or SharePoint if you need to access items off VPN.

Note: External media can be helpful when transferring files, but should be wiped as soon as the transfer is complete.


Box.com costs per user and does not allow for easy discovery and legal holds.


External collaboration: Contact ETS for options to share and collaborate with external users.
Internal collaboration / cloud storage: Use Teams or SharePoint.



Do store program records... Pros Cons
  • Allow for easy collaboration with others across programs, divisions, and the agency
  • Allows for various levels of permissions to access and interact with files
  • Don’t need VPN to access
  • Easily searchable – makes it easier to find things
  • Built in retention tools to make retention and disposition easier
  • Multiple options for organization of files
  • To work most efficiently, Teams / SharePoint needs to be thoughtfully set up
Shared Drive
  • Access is limited to specified individuals, and is not tied to a specific individual
  • Familiar to most users
  • Regularly backed up
  • May already be established
  • Limited to a hierarchical filing structure – meaning it can be more difficult to find what you are looking for
  • You don’t need VPN to access
  • Can share with others if need be
  • OneDrive also has retention tools built in
  • Files on OneDrive will be deleted after you leave DES, unless moved elsewhere. OneDrive should not be used for files that belong to the program.


Once you have determined which solution works for you (Teams/SharePoint or the Shared Drive), you'll need to begin planning the new set-up.

Shared Drive Set-up

Setting up Teams Files