If you have used Google Drive, then you know how difficult it is to manage the drive (at least for beginners) because of lack of various organizing features. Few similar services like Evernote have a huge range of options to organize any content. Hope Google too adds such features in near future! Now, let’s know how to organize google drive with these limited available options.
Organize Google Drive Using Folders
This is the first thing which comes in mind while organizing google drive. You can categorize all your content into different folders. All know this, nothing to speak more. Just click on “New” option at the top left of Google Drive’s homepage and create folders.
Naming Convention for Files and Folders
Naming Convention can be very useful in the long run. As the number of files increases in the drive, it becomes harder to recognize and differentiate files. Using thoughtful names for files and folder can help a lot in such situations. This can be a short name of the content in the file, sorted numbers, alphabets, etc.
Using Description for Files and Folders
A step ahead of the naming convention. You can add a description to your files and folders which can be longer than the traditional naming convention. This can help in recognizing the content of a particular file without actually opening it. To add a description, select the file or the folder, click on the “i” icon at top right and then click on “Add a Description” option.
Sort Files by Size in Google Drive
There is no direct option to sort files in Google drive. Sorting files are useful especially while deleting files to save space in Google Drive. To organize Google Drive, this is the minimal option required, but it is not readily visible to first-time users. To sort files by size, hover over “Upgrade Storage” at the bottom left and then select “Drive” option. Then you can click on “Quota used” option to sort the files in ascending or descending order based on size.
Add Files Without Increasing Size of Google Drive
This is the most interesting option in Google drive, though not readily visible. Using this option, you can make the presence of the same file at multiple locations without increasing the storage space of the drive. It is like hard linking in Unix based operating systems. In the back-end, drive stores only one copy of the file but has multiple links to open the same file. This is applicable for both files and folders. To add a file at other location, select and highlight the file, and then press Shift+z on your keyboard (hold down shift and then press z). “Add here” options box will appear. Select the destination location and add the file there.
Few important thinks to note while using this option:
- After you have created multiple links of same files, deleting any one of them will delete all the links.\
- If you want to delete only a specific link and keep all other links as it is, select and highlight the link file, then click on “i” icon at top right and watch out for the location option in the sidebar. If multiple links are associated with the file, then all those locations will be shown. To remove a particular link, click on the cross mark beside the link’s location.
Add Star to Files to Organize Drive
This is same as the starred emails option inside Google mail. Adding a star to important files or folders will make it available under the Starred option in the left sidebar. Click on the three vertical dots at the top right and select the “Add Star” option.
Using Search and Filters to Locate Files
The Search option in Google Drive is somewhat more powerful than other options to locate files with ease. This search can be filtered based on different criteria like type of file (pdf, word, ppt, text, audio, video, etc.), modification date, file name, words of the file name, owner of the file, location of the file, etc. Just click on the downward arrow next to the search bar in Google drive to view all the available filters.
Using Different Colors for Folders
By default, the color of a folder icon in Google Drive is gray. You can change it into something else to quickly recognize the folder without even looking at folder name. This can be more useful when used in combination with the naming convention of folders. Select and highlight any folder, click on three vertical dots at the top right and then select the change color option. There is no option for custom color, and you have to choose from one of the existing colors.
Manage Versions of the Same File
This is a good option for organizing Google drive. You can upload multiple revisions of same files, and all of them will be available under one file name. This prevents cluttering of Google drive with various versions of the same file. Most of the times these changes are minute and naming each version is time-consuming and unnecessary. Select any file, right-click on it and choose the option “Manage Versions“. You will be able to upload a new revision of the same file. One thing to note is that Google drive stores the older version only for 30 days. To keep it forever, click on the options menu beside the older version and select “Keep it Forever” option.