When it comes to productivity and collaboration in a remote workplace era, GSuite is a key component. The key is to master how to organize Google Drive to manage everyday work tasks efficiently.
Google Drive offers a seamless system for cloud file storage and document collaboration in real-time. Boasting of more storage than Dropbox offers for free, many were excited about the possibilities when it first launched. The excitement came somewhat to a halt when users realized that there’s limited functionality to tag google drive files for easy retrieval in a relevant search. One of the main reasons google drive tags are a necessity is Google Drive file search engine is imperfect when you're dealing with massive volumes of files and folders.
Because of this, a major downside for many users of Google Drive is adequately keeping track of everything saved in the My File and Team shared folders. With this in mind, we’ve curated a list of tried and true productivity tips to help you organize Google Drive. Spoiler alert, you can tag google drive files, so keep reading!
#1: Tag Google Drive files in Bulk
For organization fanatics, document tagging saves time. When you're dealing with countless files and pending deadlines, you don't have time to sort through all of your documents. Even when utilizing all of these tips to organize Google Drive, you might be wondering how you can survive without functionality for document tagging. You aren't alone.
Digitile's marketing-leading tag management platform makes for better file management. For the first time, you can add group and category tags, improving document discovery, reducing duplicate files, and making available to reuse for future projects.
Who Should Use Digitile’s Tag Document Management Platform?
- Teams looking for a universal file taxonomy solution
- Teams looking to help teammates discover the right file quickly
- Teams looking to search for documents spread out across multiple cloud solutions
- Companies who want to use their existing tech stack with an organizational umbrella
- Employees interested in managing relationships between files
#2: Find Orphaned Files
How many times have you searched for a file in Google Drive that you know exists, but you can't find it, and you don't know why? If you create a file in a shared folder owned by someone else who deletes the folder, that is the result. The file exists, but it no longer has a parent folder.
What to do? Run an advanced search using is:unorganized owner:me. Once you find the file, you can add it into an existing folder so it's searchable.
#3: Organize Google Drive Folders with Color Coding
Color coding your Google Drive folders will improve your memory of which files are stored in what specific folders. For some, coming up with a hierarchy of folders is the most helpful way of maintaining an organized system. For those who are more visual, this system is the way to go. A burst of color is an ideal break from the otherwise muted tones associated with Google Drive.
It’s really simple to organize Google Drive folders with color coding: just right-click on a folder and you’ll be able to select a corresponding color. Set specific colors for certain clients/work tasks, personal tasks, and more! Good chance if you're using Google Drive, you also use Gmail. Here's an article that helps you organize Gmail labels.
#4: Use the Star Tool to Organize Google Drive
We like the simplicity of this feature! If you use Gmail, you’re likely familiar with the ability to “star” important emails for easy access and recall. You can also organize Google Drive for a similar purpose, using the star tool to bring important files (or files you’re working on currently) to the top of your attention. Keeping files you are working on separate from those that are already completed can keep things less cluttered so that nothing important goes missing.
#5: Add Searchable Keywords in File Descriptions
Think like an SEO expert: add easily searchable keywords to your file descriptions to save you time and a headache when trying to recall relevant files. Descriptions hold a lot of potential for sharing information and file management.
Not unlike their regular search tool, Google Drive’s advanced search tool makes it easy to search for specific words and file types, making it easy to quickly access relevant files without having to scroll through everything in your Drive! Once you select an item, you’ll see corresponding information about the item in the details panel to the right of your documents list.
Tip: Just like tags, the keywords have to be memorable for everyone on the team if you're applying descriptions for shared files and folders.
You can also make your descriptions stand out in the way you format them:
- Use underscores to italicize words
- Use asterisks to bold a word
#6: Advanced Search
Hunting through thousands of files is tedious and annoying. With Google Drives Advanced Search, you can search by file type, date modified or a date range, file owner, shared with, and even keywords within the document.
#7 Search Via the Chrome Browser Bar
Put your fingers on a Google Drive file quickly through the Chrome browser bar. It’s such a simple solution, here are step by step instructions.
- Open Chrome Browser Tab
- Settings -> Search engines
- Add -> Search engine: Google Drive
- Keyword: drive
- URL: https://drive.google.com/drive/search?q=%s
Now, in your Chrome Browser bar type drive (lower case), space bar, and then your search keyword. Here’s the flow.
In your Chrome browser, type “drive” and you should see it change to this:
Press Space Bar and you will see ‘“drive” change to this:
Then, add your keyword search after the pipe which and press enter
After enter, it will automatically take you to Google Drive and search for the keyword e.g. “dashboard”
#8 Bonus Tip: Cover Your Bases, File Twice With A Shortcut
Although it's more functional to add google drive tags here's an alternative option. In Google Drive, shortcut Shift + Z makes it super easy to add the file to another folder. This means you can have your file in a folder that you normally work with, and it also shows up in a shared folder. This feature allows the file to be visible in two separate locations, not as copies of the file, but as the same file in two places.
Final Thoughts How to Organize Google Drive
Whether you are using Google Drive for school, work, or personal life, tag files in Google Drive to ensure that you and your team can find the right file at the right time.
For more tips on universal document management, read up on organizational expertise on the Digitile blog.