Visual Guide – Using ‘Add a Leaf’ to share a file

The “Add a Leaf” button on the top toolbar allows you to publish content in your Google Drive or Device to SharingTree. Start by clicking the ‘Add a Leaf button and then follow the steps below. Publishing should only take a few minutes and be sure you have the right to publish the content.

Once you click ‘Add a Leaf’ you will search your Google Drive to locate the file to share.

Add a Leaf screen, Red indicates a required field

One important choice is the type of COPYRIGHT to apply to your document. See our copyright guide to help you decide. Copyrighted content can always be converted to Collaborative or Creative Commons later. You can also revise most information later by going to Leaves -> Published. The exception is you can not change Creative Commons or Collaborative content you publish to Copyrighted later. The last page you will see for ‘Add a Leaf’ is below.

View your added Leaf and Sharing on Social Media

This page lets you click the link to view your published leaf. You can also change any information or add a custom image using Leaves -> Published or selecting Manage leaf.

Thanks for learning how to use ‘Add a Leaf‘ to share content with the world directly from G Suite. Please let us know if you have any ideas to improve collaborating from G Suite using contact@sharingtree.net.

Sharing for Teachers: When to use Google or SharingTree?

The expectations placed on teachers are increasing quickly, and I’m not sure any of us can meet them by ourselves. Eddie and I built SharingTree.net to help teachers share, collaborate, and inspire each other. Not just the teachers you see in video meetings but also teachers from around the WORLD. In this article, we show ways to share your curriculum using Google and SharingTree and the benefits of each service.

Sharing options provided by Google and SharingTree

1. Provides a URL

This is the most basic function for both services, and they both offer similar capabilities.  

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Google Drive

To share any file or folder in your Google Drive you can follow this three-step process.

Step 1 – Right click and select ‘Share’ on file or folder

Step 2.  Select your sharing options. For public sharing choose ‘Anyone with the link’ and ‘Viewer’.

Step 3.  Copy the link and share.

SharingTree

Sharing a file on Sharingtree requires the following:

  1. Go to SharingTree.net, select ‘Add a leaf’, then select the file to share in your Google Drive.  You must be signed in share.
  2. Add tags, a description and choose copyright type
  3. Copy the link for for your Leaf and share anywhere.  We call shared content Leaves.

SharingTree allows you to share ANY file in your Google Drive through our website, SharingTree.net.  Just click the  ‘Add a leaf’ button shown below.  

Using ‘Add a leaf’  to share files on SharingTree

To use ‘Add a leaf’ you must be signed in, find/select the file in your Google Drive, complete the tagging process, and then copy the URL.   See the short video below on this process.  

The last step once a leaf is published it to copy the link (from URL or share icon) and use your link as normal on FB, Twitter, email, etc.

Two ways to copy link for shared content (Leaf or Group)

2-6. These steps take some extra time for publishers but it protects your files and allows users to easily find them.  

Here our service starts to show its benefits over Google Drive. It will take about 1 minute to share your content on SharingTree since you are adding tags and a description.

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Google Drive

Google does not provide these options, with the exception that Google does generate preview images for Slides and Drawing files.

SharingTree

The major benefits for items 2-6 are the following:

1. No more File -> Make a copy for users accessing your shared file or trying to find copied files in your Google Drive. All shared files are added to your Google Drive when you ‘Open’ a Leaf or Group. For a Group we transfer all the files to a folder in your Google Drive so you can easily find and edit them.

2. Users can search the WEB or SharingTree.net to find your content.  If you have ever tried to search for ‘Google Docs’ you know it is an uphill battle.  The option to share a Google file with ‘Anyone with the link’ provides limited ways for people to find your file on the web.  

3. SharingTree provides a permanent backup of all your Open/Purchased/Published files. SharingTree protects your files by making a separate copy and never sharing them from your Google drive.  

If you have ever clicked an older link and seen Google’s “Page not found” message, it just means the file is not shared anymore.  This error can happen for many reasons, but as teachers, we should not consider our district Gmail accounts as permanent.  If you ever switch jobs, then all of your files may not switch with you unless you share them using SharingTree!

Google “Page not found” error message

You can also go SharingTree.net Account section (☰) and Get/Open any of the content you have opened, purchased, or published.  I find it faster to go to SharingTree to locate my final version of shared files than my personal Google Drive. Publishers can also revise their shared content to an updated version at any time.

Go to Account to Opened/Purchased or Published leaves and groups

Once you are in Account -> Leaves -> Purchased you can see all leaves you have opened or purchased and ‘View‘ or ‘Get the leaf‘ again.

7-8. And here is where SharingTree really differentiates itself from Google or any other lesson sharing site.  

Once you share your original content in a format that can be remixed, other users can COLLABORATE on that content and share their modified version on SharingTree.net. We have two FAQ articles titled ‘What is a Collab?’ and ‘Publishing Content: Copyrighted, Collaborative or Creative Commons?’ that discuss collabs. I’ll give a quick overview below.

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Google Drive

Nope.

SharingTree

These services are only provided by SharingTree.net for FREE content with a ‘remix’ license type. Remix licenses include SharingTree’s ‘Collaborative’ license (like a CC-BY-NC-SA but with redistribution through SharingTree.net only) and Creative Commons licenses without ND (no derivatives).  

Examples of a ‘Collab’ could be a user translating the original file to a different language, adapting the content from secondary to elementary, or switching the format from Google Docs to Slides or Forms. We hope we have piqued your interest and try ‘Add a leaf’ or  ‘Add a collab’ today!

9. Allow PAID($) content sharing for copyrighted content  

This option could be a game changer if you want to share PAID content you create. You can share individual files as Leaves or collections of files as a Group. Both options allow users to pay for the content using Paypal or Venmo (mobile only) and then have the files added directly to their Google Drive. PAID content must be copyrighted and “remixing” using Collabs is not allowed.

If you have any questions about sharing or collaborating using SharingTree just let us know at contact@sharingtree.net.

Links to related FAQ Articles

What is a Leaf?

Content that is published to SharingTree is called a Leaf. Any file in your Google Drive or on an electronic device can be published in minutes using our service. You can choose to publish your original content for free or charge any price. Users then use Paypal for paid content or just OPEN the leaf to have it transferred directly to their Google Drive. Publishers can also add a title, tags, and a description to help others find their content. For education resources, the grade level and standards can also be entered. Leaves looks like the following in SharingTree:

Leaf Page
Preview of Leaf

For Leaves you have published you can also revise any information and add different preview images to it by going to Leaves -> Published

You also have the option to delete any content you have published using the Trash can or Remove options.

If you would like us to add additional features let us know by going to Account -> Contact

What is a Group?

A Group is a collection of content from one person. They can include leaves (shared files), images, and links to YouTube videos. Groups are easily recognized in SharingTree by their blue Group banner in the upper left corner.

Group Preview Page

Purchasing or opening a Group creates a folder in your Google Drive with all the shared files called Leaves copied inside in one simple click!


Editable content can then be customized for your personal use. We also include a Google sheet in the Group folder with links to all the images and YouTube videos. Groups can be offered at a discount compared to purchasing the individual Leaves and you also qualify for free updates or additions to any content in the group. Check out shared “Groups” by going to the right toolbar on the desktop or clicking the three dots ( ⋮ ) icon on mobile .

Right Toolbar with Leaf and Group search options

And all of this works identically on your phone as long as you have Google Drive app installed (see link below).

Google Drive App (iOS)

Google Drive App (Android)

Hopefully we have inspired you to share your content 🙂 Start by clicking ‘Add a Leaf today or to publish a Group by going to Groups -> Published -> New Group. For more on how to make a Group see this article.

Option to make a ‘New Group

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