Box: Best Practices and Tips

Use shared account folders for files that need be accessed/owned by a unit, team, group or department.
Shared accounts provide unlimited collaborative storage. The data is owned by the shared account and remains in the shared folder, eliminating the need to transfer ownership between individuals when group members change. Offboarding is also made simpler as collaborators can be reassigned easily.

Use individual accounts for files that are personal, only needed by you, or only need to be shared on a limited, ad hoc basis.
Alumni and retirees lose access to their U-M Box accounts 30 days after their U-M affiliation change.

Know how to get the support you need.
For help on using Box, refer to:

​Contact the ITS Service Center for any issues with U-M Box.

Properly handle sensitive and/or regulated data in U-M Box.
Keep up to date by checking the Sensitive Data Guide to IT Services. Separate guidance is provided for Core Apps (Official Box Apps) and Non-Core Apps (third party apps that are not covered by our contract). Ensure that you are always abiding by U-M policies and those of your school, college or unit.

Use U-M Box for more than just storage or backup.
U-M Box makes it easy to collaborate inside and outside U-M. In addition to the ability to edit files directly from the Web, U-M Box provides easy access to files from anywhere on any device. U-M Box also gives you a generous maximum file upload size of 15 GB.

Take advantage of multiple levels of sharing and collaboration.
There are several way to invite your colleagues to collaborate with you on files and folders. You can use a shared link to make the folder or individual files within the folder available to anyone, all U-M users, or specific collaborators.

Adjust your notifications.
Tired of getting notification emails from Box? Or maybe you'd like more. You can adjust your notification settings for your account or for a single folder.

Sync only what you need to have available to you offline.
By limiting the number of files you sync, there is less chance of experiencing sync issues. Also, files on U-M Box that are not synced are less vulnerable to attack.

Sort by Date.
Sorting by date puts your most active files and folders at the top of your list. Sorting by date when combined with Box Search and Box Edit make it easy to find what you need and get to work quickly and efficiently.

Search Tips.
Box Search is a powerful tool for finding your content. You can perform a quick search by simply typing in your search term. Click the magnifying glass to access advanced search features. Use a consistent, logical naming protocol to make searching for files and folders easier. Consider using a YYYYMMDD or YYMMDD format for dates so that files sort chronologically.

Use Box Edit to easily edit your U-M Box files directly from the web.
To do this you must have the editing application installed on your computer. You should also take advantage of the opportunity to lock your file so no one else makes changes while you are editing.

Use Box Preview.
Preview allows you to present from Powerpoint, even without the software installed! (However, it will not play animations so plan accordingly as you develop your presentation.)

Use Box Notes.
Box Notes is useful for simple collaboration tasks such as taking meeting notes or discussing folder content with others. While Box Notes is simple to use and allows for simultaneous editing, it doesn't have as many features as Google Docs.

Use Bookmarks.
Bookmarks function as links to web pages and other items using a URL, much as they function in web browsers. If you work with files in Google Drive, you can create bookmarks in your Box folder to link to them. They appear in the folder just as any other file and have the commonly used weblink symbol on them.

Use folder and file properties.
The folder and file properties function is useful for adding a description, instructions, or explanatory text to a folder or file.

Use U-M Box to receive files in different ways.
U-M Box gives you lots of options for how to collect content from collaborators. For example, you can invite others to collaborate with Upload Only permission. Or you can enable the folder for email uploads, so that they don't need to access the folder directly at all. To get a email address, create an MCommunity group and make the folder's email a member. There is also a handy upload widget that you can embed in a webpage. (If you don't have a web page, preview the page and share the link in the address bar with your users.)

New to U-M Box? Get up to speed with these materials. There are lots of resources, training materials, and tutorials to help you get the most out of U-M Box:

Last Updated: 
Thursday, September 14, 2017