Best practices for Box at IU

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

On this page:

Securely setting up your account

After creating your Box account, be sure to set it up securely.

About university data

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

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

Uploading content

Click Upload in the upper left to upload a file to the folder you are currently in.

  • Select Files to upload a relatively small number of files.
  • Select Folders to upload one or more folders, or a large number of files. (Java is required for this option.)

To upload a new version of a file, click the ... to the right of the file and select Upload New Version.

See also What is the maximum file size I can upload to my IU Box account?

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".
Folder and file names have a 255 character maximum.

Using Box Sync

For details, see About Box Sync.

Managing content

Make use of Box's features for managing content:

  • File locking: While working on a file in a collaborative space on Box, lock the file so that collaborators cannot download or edit it, thereby preventing out-of-date files or conflicting versions.

    Click ... to the right of a file, and select Lock File. You also have the option to lock files when opening them via the Box Edit app.

    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.

    After you have set your lock preferences, clicking Continue will lock the file. A padlock icon will appear to the left of locked files.

    To unlock a file, click ... to the right of the locked file and select Unlock File.

  • Saving bookmarks: If someone sends you a link to a Box file (or any URL), you can save that 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.

    To save a bookmark, copy the web address, and then navigate to the folder in Box where you wish to save the bookmark. Once there, from the + New drop-down list at the top of the screen, select Bookmark. Paste the address in the "Address of page/content" field, and enter a name and description if you wish. Select Okay.

  • Tagging content: To make it easier to sort or filter your Box content, assign tags to your files and folders. Your tags are visible to collaborators on the files and folders.

    To assign tags, select ... to the right of a file or folder, select Properties, and click Add/Edit Tags. Assign a new tag, or choose an existing one.

    To filter by specific tags, click the tag icon near the top of the page, and a list of your tags will appear. Make your selections and click Apply.

Also, see Managing files and folders in Box.

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. For details, see Sharing files on Box. The following are some additional tips for using the collaboration option.

Accepting collaboration invites

You may not wish to be part of every collaboration to which you are invited, and you can make accepting such invites a conscious decision. To revise this setting, click your name in the upper right and select Account Settings. From the Content & Sharing tab, in the "Collaborating on Content" section, uncheck Automatically accept incoming collaboration invitations. You will receive collaboration invites by email, and can choose which to accept. Pending invites will also appear at the top of your main Box page.

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.

Using Box Notes

Box Notes is Box's online, collaborative word processor; it replaces Box's Webdoc service. 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 2016-06-10 00:00:00.

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