This is the second in a series of articles on Curating your Digital Life. In the first article we looked at curation of bookmarks.

If you are like me, your Google Drive started out with a few documents but much like its older cousin (The My Documents folder in Windows) a lot of stuff has been dumped in there and it is really in need of some organization. Fortunately, Google has provided us with the means of organizing Google Drive so that we can make our lives a bit easier.

The first of these is the star feature. Starred documents appear in the Starred section in the sidebar of Google Drive.

You can star a message by clicking the star just to the right of the document name.

The star is also available from a right click on the file in the drive list.

 

The second way you can organize your files is to create folders for them in your drive. To make a new folder click on the new button and choose folder.

 

Name your folder and click CREATE.

 

Click on the folder in drive and you will now be inside that folder.

Any files you create with the New Button will automatically be saved in that folder.

Now a word about folders. You can go crazy with folders and sometimes that makes finding things even harder. I have a simple system that I do which seems to work for me. I make a folder as a catchall for certain file types.

I have folders for each of the major file types (Docs, Sheets, Slides) and more often than not find the files using the Google Search feature rather than navigating to a folder.

To add files to your folders you can either drag the file in Drive over that folder or what I like to do is expand My Drive in the sidebar by clicking on the triangle.

Now you can drag files on the right over to the folders on the left. The target folder highlights as you drag over it. Let go the mouse or trackpad to drop the files in that folder.

Files dragged over a folder will highlight in blue. If you drag many files then the number of files will be shown in blue.

A third way to organize your drive is to add shared files to your drive using the “Add to My Drive” feature. The Shared with me section of your drive contains files that belong to someone else but have been shared with you. The problem is that you cannot organize that section.. Unless you add the files to your drive and then you can put them in folders and arrange them.

Click on Shared with me and then choose a file and right click on it and choose Add to My Drive.

 

Once you have added it to your drive you will see a status message and can organize the file and put it into a folder in your drive.

 

Click organize and navigate to the folder in which you want to put the file. If you need to create a new folder then use the new folder icon to create a new folder.

As long as the owner continues to share the file with you then it will be available in both shared with me and organized in your drive.

The third tip for organizing your files is to clean out old files that you don’t need anymore. If you are worried you might need the file someday then make a folder called Archive and put your old files in there. With a little time and effort, you can organize your Drive and make it easier to find things when you need them.

If you are looking for more help with organizing your Google Drive you might check out the Google Applied digital skills unit on Organizing your Drive.

Next in this series, we will look at Gmail and how you can curate your email content.

 

John Mansel-Pleydell on Email
John Mansel-Pleydell
Instructional Services Supervisor @ Northern Buckeye
Google Certified Trainer