Sharepoint file structure question

For those of you farther down the migration path to O365 than we are, specifically related to moving on-premises file storage to SharePoint and utilizing Teams, what advice do you have for setting up the file structure? I’m trying to lay out the best path forward, and looking for some best-practice advice.

Have you created Teams, and then placed the respective files in the default teams-site Documents folder?

Have you created a central “file” site and made SharePoint libraries and then point tabs and/or shortcuts inside Teams to those libraries?

For all-staff files, have you created an org-wide team and put the documents inside that team?

There are lots of different ways to do it, with pros and cons of each. What have you found most successful, or what would you do differently?


Hey Aaron! We actually made the switch to SharePoint a little less than a year ago, and our users are pretty happy with it. We haven’t quite gotten the buy-in for Teams yet, but I’m hoping to roll that ball in 2020.

In regards to where the files are being stored… I think it depends on the size and amount of what you are dealing with. For us, we were coming from a local network file store (Shared S: Drive) and we decided just to create a document library under our root SharePoint site named Shared Files and just copied the file structure (with some clean up) to that document library. We are also utilizing SharePoint as our Intranet, so this helps with the usage of the Shared Files as well. For the migration, we used a piece of software called DMS Shuttle ( If you email them, they will give you a free license for 1 server/computer.

If you want, I would be more than happy to set up some time to hop on a Zoom call and I can show you what we are doing and hopefully answer any questions you may have. My email is caleb.stanley at

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We made the move several months ago (with the help of CITN Partner, Enable Ministry) and we are just finishing up the move. In our case we had users with Home H: drives and everyone had access to Shared S:. We had users move their own files with the request/option to do some clean-up and reorganization along the way.
H: files for the most part moved to their OneDrive accounts. Our Shared was a free-for-all mess so we created a new structure with top-level document libraries by department or function. Then we set permissions on those as needed. Everyone can see most libraries but some are limited by security group in AD (HR, Accounting, etc.) Only department users can write to their libraries, also assigned by AD security groups.
Users are free to move files and set up their own structure within their top-level library.
So far it’s been going well. I’m finding users struggle most with understanding (or not) the difference between local file server storage (which they probably didn’t understand either) and cloud storage with sync relationships. But we’re getting there.

Tim and Caleb-

Thanks so much for the insight. Our situation is similar in that we have users folders which I plan to have people move what they need to keep to their OneDrive, and also a few network shares to move. One with mostly all-staff access and a couple with more restricted access. The thing that is making me leery of moving them to corresponding document libraries on SharePoint, is the integration with Teams. If we really do embrace Teams, and it’s the focus of Microsoft’s future development, there are a couple issues I have run into with it. 1) You now have more fragmented file locations. Some files may be stored in your “Team”, and some are in the sharepoint document libraries causing confusion on where users need to look. You can add the needed document library to the Team either under the Files tab, or as it’s own tab, but I’ve run into the following limitation to this. 2) Teams search does not appear to crawl connected document libraries, and 3) in Teams mobile, connected document libraries don’t show under Files, and only show up under “Other” if they are added as a tab in the channel, and then when you click on one, it boots you out of the Teams app into a browser and makes you log into the library.

That just seems kind of disjointed and clunky. Unless there is a configuration I’m overlooking to make it more seamless.

Thanks again for sharing how you set things up and experiences.


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