Best practices for Box at IU

UITS recommends following these best practices for effective use of Box at IU.

On this page:


About institutional data

Be sure to use your Box account appropriately; see What types of data are appropriate for my IU Box account?

To ensure that institutional data stays with the university as positions change, UITS recommends that departments use Organizational and group Box accounts.

Naming folders

Since you may end up with many collaboration folders, establishing a naming convention with your collaborators will help differentiate and organize your folders. For example, you might prefix the folder name with the name of the submitting organization:

  • For a class, use the class code, e.g., "A511 Jones Case Assignment", "A511 Midterm Prep".
  • For work, use a departmental or group abbreviation, e.g., "CHEM Committee Assignments", "CHEM Lab Schedules".

If you may be adding any collaborators to sub-folders, it's best to continue your naming convention in all the sub-folders as well, since those collaborators will not see the parent folders in their view of Box.

Folder and file names have a 255 character maximum.

Managing content

Make use of Box's features for managing content:

  • Saving bookmarks: You can save any URL as a bookmark within your Box account; this can be a handy way to add links to useful external resources related to a particular folder. See Creating Bookmarks.
  • Tagging content: To make it easier to sort or filter your Box content, you can assign tags to your files and folders. Your tags are visible to collaborators on the files and folders. See Tagging Items in Box.

Also, see Managing Files and Folders.

Collaborating and sharing files

Box is a powerful collaboration platform, and has many features to simplify sharing and working with others. You can share files using two distinct methods, inviting collaborators and sharing links. When collaborating with others, be mindful of the settings you use for folders and files. For details, see Sharing and collaborating on files with Box.

The following are some additional tips for using the collaboration option.

Managing collaboration

When creating and accepting collaborations, it is important to consider how long the collaboration will last and how long you will need access to the files. If you are the owner of the collaboration folder, have a plan for if and when the collaboration will end and how you will inform your collaborators of that. Collaborations may end when you choose to end them, or when you leave the university and your Box at IU account is disabled.

For departmental collaborations that involve university data, UITS recommends the use of organizational and group Box accounts. By managing departmental collaboration within an organizational or group Box account, university data will stay within the department even as positions within the department change.

File locking

While working on a file in a collaborative space on Box, you may wish to lock the file to prevent out-of-date files or conflicting versions. This is most useful when you are editing a file in its native application (i.e., on your local computer). However, when using Box for Office Online or Box Notes, locking is unnecessary, since multiple collaborators can edit concurrently.

You can choose whether collaborators can download a locked file. If you wish, set an expiration time for the file to automatically become unlocked, which can be helpful in cases where you forget to unlock the file when you are finished with it. Additionally, editors on the folder can unlock files that have been locked by other collaborators.

Using Box Notes

Box Notes is Box's online, collaborative word processor. Features of Box Notes include:

  • Sharing and collaborating: You can generate a link to allow others to view your Box Note, or you can invite them to edit it, even if they are not collaborators in the folder containing the Box Note. For details, see Sharing Box Notes.
  • Real-time collaboration: Up to 20 collaborators can edit a Box Note at the same time. When this happens, all updates are seen by other collaborators on the Box Note in real time.
  • Text editing: Box Notes offers some lightweight text editing features, such as text size, color, emphasis (bold, italic, or underline), alignment, and bulleted or numbered lists.
  • Annotations: Annotate sections of text in a Box Note by highlighting the text and clicking the Add Annotation icon that appears. Type your annotation, and click Post. The annotated text will be highlighted in yellow. To view the comment, hover over the annotated text with your mouse. There can be multiple annotations on a single string of selected text.
  • Hyperlinks: Add hyperlinks to text in a Box Note by highlighting the text and clicking the chain link icon that appears. Enter the hyperlink and press Enter. A collaborator can click the linked text to be taken to the appropriate web page.

For current issues with Box Notes, see Known Issues with Box.

This is document bdsv in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2017-08-15 11:20:40.

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