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Have you recently started collaborating on pulling together weekly worship services online? Are you having trouble coordinating your efforts and ensuring that all of the files get to the person responsible? St Mary, Oak Bay has learned a lot over the last several weeks about collaborating online. Here are some tips from their efforts. 


Dropbox has a "File Request" feature that allows the Dropbox account owner to create a folder, and then create a "File Request" link that can be emailed or texted to anyone. When the recipient of that lin clicks on it, they will be prompted to select files on their device to upload to a specific folder in Dropbox (no Drobox log-in necessary).

The Dropbox account owner can review outstanding File Request links and expire them so they can’t be abused.

This feature is available whether one is using a laptop/desktop (Mac or Windows) or a mobile device (iOS or Android).  

Drawback: The account owner (the parish) needs a paid Dropbox account (using a parish or diocesan email account) with enough storage space to deal with all the uploads. 

Office 365 OneDrive 

The same feature is also available in OneDrive, which all our parish email accounts are powered by. There is ample storage space available using these accounts.

Drawback: You can only request files for your own folders – it doesn’t work if you have created an organization-wide shared folder structure and are trying to share from within it.

To share from your personal OneDrive folder:

  •  Sign-in to Office 365 online
  • Create a folder in OnedDrive to hold the requests
  • On the OneDrive page that lists all your folders, click the "…" next to the designated request folder and choose "Request Files", and follow the instructions
  • Give the request a meaningful description (that’s what people will see when they click the link)
  • Click "Next" and copy the link
  • Email or text the link to the relevant people
  • When you want to stop the file request, choose "Manage access’" from that same "…" menu.  

Now all of your files are collected in one place for the organizer to work with and edit. 

Thanks to Craig Hiebert, incumbent at St Mary Oak Bay and regional dean of the Tolmie region for this (and so many other) tips to help us navigate these wilderness times in a digital age.