Is Google Drive a Good Home for Your Team’s Knowledge Base?

If you are asking yourself whether Google Drive is a good place for your team knowledge base, then you aren’t the only. That’s right, everyone starts exploring free options first. After all, G Suite’s basic edition offers enough space to store even the most extensive knowledge base. But is it a good alternative to knowledge management software?

Well, this is precisely what we decided to answer it days article. And yes, the answer is not as straightforward as it might seem. But enough with the intros, let’s dive into the article itself. 

Why Do Companies Consider G-Drive?

As we already mentioned, many people consider G-Drive cause it is free and inexpensive. Yes, if 15 gigs of free data are not enough for you, for just 2 of your US dollars a month you will get upwards of 100 gigs which are, frankly, more than you’ll ever need. But even this isn’t the main reason why people consider using G-Drive. 

Indeed, the main reason is that by the time you consider adopting a knowledge base space, you are most likely already using some of Google products. It could be your email or the Docs suite. Anything really. The eco-system is well connected and can be scaled across the board. And then there is the fact that it doesn’t take a genius to use the included user management tool. 

Giving access to a user is as simple as adding a single email into the field. And if you need more control, you can set specific permissions. It’s great, it’s secure, and boy oh boy, it is extremely fast since the infrastructure is already established. Oh, and did we mention it’s in the cloud and it is ultra-safe, well, we did now. 

Google has well embedded itself into our lives. If we need instant info, we go to Google, if we need instant entertainment, we go to YouTube, and it is only natural that we will go to Google when we need work done. But this is the main pitfall most company owners fell in. 

Here’s When You Should Not Use It

If you are considering using Google Drive as your main tool and storage for your knowledge base, then we suggest that you don’t. Why? Well, first off, the whole thing gets disorganized extremely fast. Like very fast. Especially if you have a lot of people contributing to your knowledge base.  Let us illustrate. You have 40 employees, each of which is working on expanding your knowledge base. If you don’t have strict rules on how to do it, then you will end up in a pile of different docs. 

And don’t even begin telling us that there is a search system. That “search” system is one of the worst things about the tool (bet you didn’t expect to hear this about the leading search engine). Unless you know the exact file name, you will get results from all sorts of places. What we mean, well, from your docs contents, image meta-data, among other things. It’s functional but it is tailored to find specifics. 

It was never meant to be used as a knowledge base for large teams. In fact, it can hardly be used as a knowledge base system for a single individual. Yet, despite all of this, you can still use it but as a complementary tool, which leads us to the next section. 

Here’s When You Should Use It

So, the first thing you must understand that G-Drive is a poor tool for your knowledge base but is excellent for archival purposes. That’s right, old articles can be stored there and in case of necessity, retrieved. 

Another reason to use Google Drive is for sharing purposes. If you have a ton of heavy files that you need to move from one place to another, then the best way to do it is through the sharing options. G-drive allows for single-file single-person access sharing meaning you won’t be risking anything. 

Finally, you can use Google Drive in conjunction with a help desk. That’s right, those help desks that have a dedicated knowledge base module. You can use G-drive to host document types of files (i.e word docs, PDFs, and PowerPoints). 

Bottom Line

You can use Google Drive as your main internal knowledge base but it will be far from optimal. The system was never meant to be used as a knowledge base and it lacks the basic functionality specialized tools have. The search doesn’t really work, the sorting options are limited, and it will get cluttered fast. 

We suggest that you opt to use a specialized tool such as a help desk system. You will not only have a better time managing it but will have more options in regards to formatting. Finally, they are more scalable than G-drive and also offer dedicated customer support functions.

So there you have it. Our take on the subject. If you already tried using G-drive and realized that it is not your cuppa tea, then we can help you move stuff from G-drive to a help desk. Just drop us a message and we’ll send our best people to help you with the process. But for now, thanks for joining.