Knowledgebase: Network File Storage
Where is the best place to store my documents
Posted by , Last modified by Melinda Barnsley on 07 June 2017 04:11 PM

Good file management is critical to staying organized and many of us have several choices on where to store documents and presentations. However, it can be confusing to decide which place is most appropriate.

When choosing where to store your documents, consideration must be given to federal regulations such as FERPA and HIPPA. Additional factors may also inform your decision; such as if your documents contain any personally identifiable information, file size, or the data has any mandated storage requirements.  It is important to note that while both Google Drive and Office 365 One Drive offer large amounts of space of each of our users and both have the additional benefit of allowing groups to collaborate on a single document, the O365 One drive is encrypted, which makes it a better choice for storing some types of institutional data.

That said, it is a best is to completely separate the electronic resources used for work from those used in our private lives.  This is particularly important when we work at a public institution. Our electronic resources (electronic documents, files, email and other data) can be discoverable not just from a court order, but from a right-to-know request. Having separate email accounts, having separate online storage accounts, etc. makes good sense.  Indeed, Plymouth State University's Acceptable Use Policy is very clear on this point which states in part, "The use of university computing resources is for PSU related work". 

See the table below for a list of document types and suggestions for choosing the best place to store them.

Document TypePSU owned computerPersonal M-DriveDepartment Share SpacePSU Google DriveOffice 365 One DrivePersonal Resources
Course Syllabus Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Course Schedule planning Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Meeting Minutes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Sabbatical Proposals & Reports Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Maybe
Grant Proposals Yes Yes Yes Maybe Yes No
Course evaluations Yes Yes Yes Maybe Yes No
Scholarly Writing Yes Yes  Maybe Yes Yes Maybe
Conference Planning Yes Yes Yes Maybe Yes Maybe
PBLG Requests Yes Yes Yes Maybe Yes No
Lecture notes & presentations Yes Yes  No Yes Yes Maybe
Travel Requests and Reports Yes Yes Maybe Maybe Yes No
Research Data Yes Yes Maybe No Maybe No
P&T Documentation Yes Yes Maybe Maybe Yes Maybe
Photos from Department Event Yes  Yes Maybe Yes Yes Maybe
Correspondence with Students Yes Yes Maybe  No Yes No
iTunes music files Yes No No Yes Yes Yes
Vacation Photos to share Yes No No Yes Yes Yes
Accreditation Planning Yes Maybe Yes No Yes No
Departmental Budget Planning Yes Maybe Yes No Yes No
Copies of student work for Accreditation report Yes Maybe Yes No Yes No
*Staff Evaluations Yes Yes No No Yes No
*Exams Yes Yes No No Yes No
Personal correspondence Yes Yes No No No Yes
*Advising notes about advisees Yes Yes No  No Yes No
*Student Grades Yes Yes No  No Yes No

* Indicates legally protected content.

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