Google Drive is a cloud storage and file backup system. We keep a lot of documentation on Google Drive, though we’re slowly switching material over to the Handbook.
Because Google Drive is a web application, you don’t need to install anything.
We use Google Drive to keep track of documentation for different projects:
Everything in Google Drive can be FOIA’ed.
Blog drafts are written in Google Drive in the Blog folder. Instructions are here.
Every GSA employee can view and access docs. If another agency employs Google Docs, documents can be shared directly with them. If the agency does not use Google Docs, here are approved instructions for sharing documents with them. Note that the agency staff could also create a google account using their work email by using this form. Ask in #teamops or #it-issues if you need help.
Offline syncing for Google Drive/Docs has been disabled for GSA.
You can share files with partners that have a .gov Google account directly, or have them make a GSA Affiliated Customer Account (GACA).
The main way we collaborate on documents is by adding them to the 18F Team Folder in a relevant sub-folder. (You can make a new sub-folder if it wouldn’t fit into the existing folders.) This automatically gives the document the right permissions and makes it easy for the rest of the team to find.
If you’re working outside the 18F Team Folder, make sure you change the permission on new documents so that your collaborators can view and edit them.
If you’re using a non-Google service and it requests access to your GSA Google Drive (such as to enable an integration feature), please deny that request. In other words, don’t grant OAuth access to GSA Google Drive. Here’s an example of what this kind of request might look like:
We have more explanation of why this is our policy in this blog post about how we handle information security and third party applications.
To be sure you haven’t enabled this access accidentally in the past, you can check Google’s list of “Apps connected to your account”, expand each item, and look for the Google Drive icon.
Google Apps Scripts
If you create a Google form that is intended to be filled by employees of another agency, keep in mind that in a few agencies, Google Forms are blocked. Among the largest agencies that are known to currently block Forms are: DHS, VA, and EOP. In the case that you intend to involve those agencies in an initiative where a Google Form is being used, it’s smart to create a version in another format, like a Word doc or fillable PDF.
- Finding recent documents To find recently documents, use this link, which you can find by clicking on the “AZ” button and selecting “Last opened by me.”