Organising Files & Folders in Drive

Of all the Google Apps, Google Drive is arguably the most innovative. No other file organisation technology takes quite the same approach to working with documents and folders that Drive does. Such clever technology releases all sorts of efficiencies, creativity, and collaboration but it also means that new users sometimes need a little orientation. With a few nudges in the right direction organising and structuring your files is straightforward and painless. Let’s take a look at some of the user-friendly functions and features that make this possible…

One of the most beneficial features of Drive is the powerful search capabilities. By simply typing keywords into the search bar at the top you can find files including those keywords in the title. This places less importance on having such a regimented filing system like you might have in place on a server or your local desktop. You can easily filter the results by file type.

There are also several advanced options allowing you to set parameters to further narrow your search. For example you can select a specific date range that the file was last modified or who the owner is. You can even search for words contained within the file itself – even if it’s a photo!

Despite the impressive search functionality of Drive, there are some nifty tricks to take your file organisation to the next level. There are six standard tabs to the left-hand side of Drive that help you to find files or folders quickly:

My Drive: You will find files that you have created or uploaded yourself, and files that you chose to Add to your Drive that other users have shared with you (see next section).

Shared With me: All the files that have been shared with you are here. You can check who shared them and when and choose to Add them to your Drive if you think they’re going to be particularly useful to you.

Recent: You will find a reverse-chronological (most recent at the top) history of file and folder edits here so it’s easy to find Drive items that you have been working on lately.

Google Photos: You can view your photos in Drive by opting to sync your Google Photos files. Every user has unlimited photo storage with Google Photos – not to mention some very clever features.

Starred: When you star files that you use often, they will appear here allowing you to shortcut to them without having to go through your folders.

In Bin: Deleted something by accident or just want to look through trash? Just look in your ‘Bin’. You can even restore them back to My Drive

We also have a few general tips to improve your file organisation within Drive:

  • Categorise your folders efficiently by colour coding them.
  • Usually we recommend using list-view to navigate Drive as it behaves like a local file explorer that most people are familiar with. However, if you are searching through images or videos, grid-view can prove to be a better option as you can view a thumbnail of the file.
  • There are four ways that files can be organised within a folder: by name, owner, last modified and file size.
  • Unlike in a standard file system you can store a file in multiple folders at once. To do so select the file and press Shift+Z).
  • Star your files to access them quickly through the Starred Tab or to emphasize/distinguish between them. Or just to show they are important.
  • You can manage multiple versions of a non-Google format file (eg: Word or PDF) by right clicking the file and selecting “View Details”. This allows you to manage the version history from only one file instead of multiple different ones.

Hopefully, you’ve learned a few ways to get more organised using Google Drive – and remember that Drive works seamlessly across different devices including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones so you can get access from wherever you are. Also, if you liked this post check out our previous one – Collaborating in Google Drive.
If you’d like to find out how Google Apps or Cobry could benefit your organisation, please get in touch.