Billy Attar
Billy Attar
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April 12, 2024

How to Use Google Drive for Knowledge Management

Looking for a knowledge management system that uses Google Drive? In this post, I’ll run you through our 5 step process for setting up a knowledge management solution based on Google Drive files, docs and more.

Looking for a knowledge management system that uses Google Drive? The trick is to use the right type of files and integrations.

This is the approach that we use ourselves at Neatly to manage our shared files, knowledge base, projects and more.

In this post, I’ll run you through our 5 step process for setting up a knowledge management solution based on Google Drive files, docs and more.

Here are the steps to use Google Drive as a knowledge management platform:

  1. Create a list what you’re sharing and with whom
  2. Create the templates needed for your knowledge sharing
  3. Set up your organization-wide resources
  4. Create your collaborative workspaces
  5. Onboard your colleagues

We’ll go into more detail for each step below.

What are the basic needs for a good knowledge management system?

A knowledge management system makes it easy to organize, share and collaborate information within an organization.

A good knowledge management system will help you do the following:

  • Keep your work and files organized across the organization.
  • Make it easier to collaborate with colleagues.
  • Help colleagues find the information and resources they need to get their day-to-day work done.

In order to manage the above, you’ll need to set up files (or integrate platforms) for a company wiki or knowledge base, a collaborative workspace for shared files and some sort of project management solution.

Can you use Google Drive for knowledge management?

Yes, but Google will need some help.

An all inclusive knowledge management platform should include digital asset management, project management, document management and a collaborative workspace.

While Google Drive provides all of the tools to manage your information, you’ll need to find a way to bring everything together in one place. 

Below, we’ll show you how to do just this.

Step #1: Create a list what you’re sharing and with whom

Start off by asking yourself which resources you will be sharing with your colleagues?

Create a list with categories of what knowledge or files need to be shared organization-wide, within your team, department or just for your own reference. It’s ok if the same resource is in multiple lists.

Try to stick to just the most used resources because a cluttered knowledge management system won’t work.

Some examples:

  • Employee handbook
  • Company calendar 
  • Company directory
  • Wikis or knowledge bases
  • Important reports
  • Style guide or brand guidelines
  • Images like the official company logo
  • Links to tools such as project management tools, CRM, etc.

Step #2: Create the templates needed for your knowledge sharing

There may be some files that you use over and over again and would like to include them in your knowledge management system.

These can be basic Google Drive files like a project management spreadsheet (get our template here) or NDA contract (in Google Doc form). The idea is to make it easy for others to access the template, make a copy and use them for their own projects.

Download the Neatly project management Google Sheet template

Step #3: Set up your organization-wide resources

Now we’ll start to put everything together in place for all of your organization to access.

Google Workspace doesn’t have a good tool for this and we all know how messy Google Drive folders become. We’re going to use Neatly as the knowledge management tool to organize and share all of the Google-based information, files and documents.

Neatly is a collaboration tool that’s built on top of Google Drive. It allows you to organize and share your Google Drive files as well as any link from across the web or other platforms.

Neatly is broken up into two areas: Categories and Projects

Categories are meant for your day-to-day resources like the company logo, employee guidelines, etc. Projects are temporary hubs for your project files with which you can collaborate with others.

Setting up your organization-wide categories

First, create your category, let’s call it “Policies.”

Next, we’ll add our files, like an employee handbook, company calendar, etc. You can import them from Google Drive, upload them from your computer (they’ll get saved in Neatly and Google Drive) or link to them if they’re online.

Once you’ve added all of your files and links, you can now invite your colleagues. You can invite them either from within the “Policies” category or inside your Neatly settings. You can choose to give each user either viewer (can access but not edit files) or editor (can edit files) permission.

Only the categories shared with users will be visible to them inside Neatly.

Step #4: Create your collaborative workspaces

Now we’re going to create categories for each team as well as projects for cross-team collaboration.

Create a category called “Marketing” and add your files.

We’ll create sections within the category to further organize our knowledge management

Some examples sections can be

  • Brand - can include a brand guidelines document, company logo, founder bios document
  • Reporting - import reports in Google Sheets or links to reports in your CRM or Marketing Automation
  • PR - save links to media mentions, product reviews, etc.
  • Operations - employee onboarding documents, department directory, links to marketing tools

Now we’ll invite the marketing team to join the category. I recommend giving at least one person from the team editorial privileges so that they can add and remove files from the category as needed.

Setting up project management

For projects, we’ll switch to the project tab.

Projects are similar to categories except that anyone can create a project whereas only Admin users can create a category.

You can use projects to collaborate with people from different teams or external contractors or just create projects for yourself. An example of this is how I create a project to manage my research and drafts for each new blog post.

Step #5: Onboard your colleagues

You’ll have to get your colleagues onboarded to make the most of your new knowledge management system. This means showing them how to use the new system, templates, etc.

It’s also a good idea to assign at least one person per category to be an editor in order to maintain the category and to assign at least one other person as an admin.

Final thoughts

If your goal is to make it easy for people within your organization to find their relevant files, then you need to make a knowledge management tool a priority.

Google Workspace provides all of the tools you need to share and collaborate with your colleagues without the need to move to another duplicative platform. 

Add Neatly to the equation and you have a collaborative knowledge management platform that uses the same Google tools you’re already using.

Interested? Try Neatly for free here.

Billy Attar
Billy Attar
Hey there. I'm Neatly's founder, a 4 time first marketing hire, a hack-a-solution enthusiast & a Turkish coffee snob.