Best practices in document storage when using Teams


Hey all,  I apologize if this is a little long, but I would like to find out what other people are doing about this.

So, when users add files to channels in Teams, they are dumped into folders with no metadata, not exactly a KM/RM best practice.  It really is for collaboration in the moment rather than storage.  What do people do with these documents once they are done?  We need them for records.  Do you ask users to move them to libraries in the group created add metadata, including labels, and archive the Team so they are still accessible?  If so, do you have clean up days or something?  Do you just leave them in that Documents folder and just let them pile up with no metadata?  Do you ask users to put metadata on them, including labels?  Or do you have people store documents in places other than Teams in the first place and link to them?  Follow-up work seems almost more onerous than just using Teams for only basic communication and pointing  to the group for storage.  I'd love to hear your experiences with this and how successful you have found it.

4 Replies
Best Response confirmed by ThereseSolimeno (Microsoft)

Hi @shawn_fielding ,


The file experience does not have a direct correlation to that of working directly within a Document Library granted but it is getting better all of the time and the conversational element and the co authoring all under one roof can make for a valuable proposition.


However if one is looking for true records management then Teams may not be the destination and it is OK to say no sometimes and maybe just look directly to SharePoint Online or elsewhere. And with Teams being Teams you would know doubt be able to surface any effort spent elsewhere within Teams.


I would like to point out as one example however as shown below:


You can add in additional metadata columns and have them visible in Teams. I could also directly within Excel in this example, update the metadata text column, so I pretty much did not leave Teams, other than going into the respective Office Application and I would now have that bit of metadata to sort, filter and search on.


You can also just go directly into SharePoint and use it in all of its glory by clicking on Open in SharePoint, although depending on the experience of your users this may open up a whole can of worms or not.


As for Lifecycle, retention and deletion etc. You can look to things like Group Lifecycle Policies. Or use Security and Compliance features such as Retention/Disposition Policies. You could also set labels.


You can as you have said reference another document library that could be configured as desired and have it appear as a folder in situ alongside other Channel content.





Interesting. You have the ability to see additional metadata in Teams? We do not in GCC, unless you add a tab that points to the SharePoint library via the website tab. That functionality would definitely help quite a bit.

Hi @shawn_fielding ,


That is a shame and I know that GCC tenants are a bit delayed when it comes to certain features.


Do you get the option to add in Document Libraries by way of adding cloud storage or as a Doc Library tab as opposed to a Website tab? If so, might be worth checking out if that experience is any better for you.





@HenryPhillipsNimbitech Unfortunately, adding a tab with a document library does not allow a change from  the default metadata you see.  Oh well, we will have to wait.  Thank you for the help.