Yesterday we discussed how to quickly and easily set up a simple Document Management and Collaboration to allow you and your team, be it one or one hundred strong, using TeamDrive easily enables you and your team to have real-time collaboration from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection.
But how do we use it effectively? The beauty of this system is that, unlike so many others which require full-blown servers, or sharing files hosted on a third-party site, this one uses your existing file structure. Better, once you are set up the system is pretty much automated for you.
I could continue indefinitely, but you just want to use it the tool and get working. Fair enough. Let us create a couple of SharedSpaces to start with.
There are two ways to create a SharedSpace. You can either use an existing folder in your file system – which is nice because it means that an existing project can quickly be added with about four mouse clicks – or create a new ShareSpace from scratch.
To Create a SharedSpace From Scratch:
Double-click your TeamDrive icon in your task bar by your clock. It will look a bit like a hollow sphere with a line flowing out of it. Alternatively you can click on Start → Programs → TeamDrive 2.0 and select the TeamDrive icon.
Once the software is open you should see a simple window that looks like this. There is a pretty simple menu across the top and a row of icons. The icons are the thing we are interested in. Click the second icon labeled Create to set up a ShareSpace. Clicking this icon opens a new window with two options. The first is to create a brand new ShareSpace from scratch, the second to create a ShareSpace from an existing folder. Click the first option with a big plus sign to create our new shared workspace.
On the next screen you are presented with three options. The first is to change the default location of your new Collaboration ShareSpace. By default this inside the TeamDrive folder inside your My Documents on Microsoft Windows. You can change this location if you want by clicking the button Change stored locationand navigating to where you want the new ShareSpace to be.
Assuming you do not mind the default location, or once you have changed it to your desired folder, we move to the second box where we will enter the name of our Collaboration ShareSpace. I like to use names specific to the project. Using yesterday’s example, lets make a place for editors to pick up and drop of shared documents. I will call my share Editors.
The third box is beyond the scope of this article. If you have access to a WebDav system you can add the appropriate credentials here. Since our interest is simple and fast, and we do not intend to use this feature, we will leave it alone and click Next.
Our third and final screen comes up, and after a second or two informs us that our ShareSpace was successfully created on the local system, provides an address to the relay server our ShareSpace is using, and that the ShareSpace was created on the server.
That is it. In three steps, less than two minutes, you have created a folder which can be accessed by anyone you invite to collaborate on an existing or new project. At this point you can either click the Finish button and return to the main TeamDrive program window, or if you have a team member in mind click on the button labeled Invite Members.
For the sake of exercise, lets push the Invite Membersbutton and send out an invitation or two to our team members.
Pushing this button opens this window. Since this is our first project and we do not have any members in our user list yet, we just type in the email address of the person we want to collaborate with. If we had worked with other projects before, pushing the button User list will open a small window on the right hand of our screen listing their user names which you could select to invite them.
The next box has the default text “Please enter my SharedSpace“. You could leave this alone, but it makes sense to announce who you are and what you are doing, so we use this location to briefly describe the project we want to collaborate with them on.
Now we push the Finish and wait for our collaborator to get our invitation which will be received very quickly. For example, you could call and tell somebody that you are about to send them an invitation, within a minute two they should receive an email that looks like this:
Please join my space: Articles
Please enter my SharedSpace.
The sender of this e-mail personally invites you to join his SharedSpace in your TeamDrive software. This notice is for your information only. If TeamDrive runs on your computer you just respond to the invitation there.
If you don’t have TeamDrive installed on your computer, to respond to this invitation, you can download and install TeamDrive from
As you can see this is all quite painless from both your end, and the recipient’s as well.
To Create a ShareSpace From an Existing Folder:
Now we will create a ShareSpace from an existing folder. As in the previous process you click the button Create, this time though we push the second option with a magnifying glass on the icon labeled Select an existing folder in the file system…
Pushing this button opens a window exactly like the one to create a new ShareSpace, except that instead of the first box being to alter the default store location (Change stored location), this one is for an existing folder in your file system that you want TeamDrive to monitor. Push the Select folder button and navigate to the folder where your current project is located in the window tree that opens. Highlight the desired top level folder, then click on OK.
Unlike in the process to create a new ShareSpace, your next step is not to give your project a name in the second field. This will be the name of your chosen folder and is the name that you, and your collaboration partners, will see in the TeamDrive application. A good concise name will allow everyone to know what they are looking for – especially if they run multiple projects with a variety of collaborative teams.
As a result you may want to ensure the folder has a good name before selecting it in the step above.
Again, like the process to create a ShareSpace we do not need to worry about the WebDav option and can leave it be. Once you have chosen your project folder in the file system simply push the Next button.
As when we created the new ShareSpace we see a brief screen where the system assimilates the data you have given it, then you will see a conformation that your new ShareSpace has been created locally and on the remote server.
And now we are at an identical point where we send out invitations to join our team.
If you do not have anyone to invite right now, or at a latter date need to send an invitation to someone who was not in your original group of invitees, that is easy to deal with. When you have the main TeamDrive application open, right next to the icon we used to create our ShareSpaces you will find an icon labeled Invite. Clicking this icon opens the same invitation screen you see after creating your ShareSpace.
As in the creation process, you simply enter the invitee’s email address, or if they are or have already been part of a team with you, simply click User list and choose their user name from the list. Once you have entered all the users you want to invite and set the project and description simply send the invites and wait for the acceptances.
At this point you have setup a shared workspace where you and your team can collaborate together on projects of virtual
ly any type, with no limit to the kinds of files used, or made a place where your data can be automatically backed up. Or simply to share your music collection between your main PC and your laptop.
The only thing which remains at this point is to discuss rights and privileges for individual user’s; say Joe can Only view files, Tom can only edit and view them, while you and Suzy can do everything. After all, without some control like this a project management tool is not very useful, the other thing is a short glossary of terms. Until then, happy computing and collaborating!