June 19, 2015

A Perfectly Organized Google Drive

Everyone organizes their Google Drive differently. Shockingly, many Google Apps users don’t organize them at all. By using a few best practices, there is a system for making Google Drive much more organized and easier to navigate.

Proper folder structure, naming conventions, color coding, and keeping track of what is shared with you can go a long way when used properly. 

These 4 tips show the best way to organize your Google Drive for faster navigation so you never lose track of a document again. 

1. Folder Structure Comes First 

The best starting point is creating a clean universal folder structure. An easy way to do this is to create a folder for each category of document and then make subfolders for each aspect of that category. 

Within each subfolder, it is a good practice to create folders that are dated by week to keep track of the dates each document is created, that way no folder becomes too full and difficult to sort through. 

To create a folder click the red NEW button and then select the option for folder.

2. Add Some Color 

Google Drive has an awesome feature that allows you to color code your folders, this can be done in such a way that makes sifting through your drive much faster. 

To change the color of a folder click the arrow to the right of the folder name on the top bar then select the change color option. Or right click on the folder selected. You can make each folder in My Drive a different color and then each subfolder a different shade of that same color. 

3. Standardize Your Naming Conventions 

For example a student loan payment receipt created on the 19th of April would be titled “[4.19] Student Loan Payment Receipt” this will be easy to find whether you are searching for the date or the title of the document. 

Date created is a mysteriously absent field in Google Drive, instead you can only view when a document was last updated. Finding a document by its creation date is sometimes useful and more intuitive, which should be considered when designing your naming convention. Might be a good idea to name every document in the following way "[DateCreated] DocumentName" and then let the folder structure and color coding do the rest. 

To rename a document, highlight the documents name in Drive and then click the three vertical dots on the right side of the top bar. Then select rename. 

 4. Shared with you, organized by you 

When a document is shared with you, it can be hard to locate because it is not automatically added to your My Drive folder. The "Shared with me" area is where you’ll find the files, folders, and documents that have been shared with you by other people. Think of it as a repository where all Google files that are shared with you end up. 

Note: There is no way to organize the Shared with me area. Don’t even try! Google doesn’t give you the option. All your organization structure should occur in your My Drive area. 

To add a document that is shared with you to your My Drive, highlight the document in the Shared with me area and then click the three vertical dots on the right side of the top bar and select Add to My Drive from the dropdown menu. This action does not break the edit sync to the original document. It only adds the file to My Drive.

Article edited and posted by Lisa Bono, written by Google Gooru