How to organize your Google Drive.
Over time, with some carelessness and possible laziness, Google Drive can accumulate tons of files and become a mess to find anything. Here’s how to organize your Drive to find everything quickly and make sure it’s in order.
Organize your files in folders
One of the easiest ways to organize your Google Drive is to create specific category folders. For example, you can have separate folders for images, documents, projects, or other descriptions that help you locate files.
From your , click the “New” button at the top left and then click “Folder.”
Enter a name for the folder and click “Create”.
From here, drag the files you want to add directly into the new folder you created.
If you already have some files in other folders and want to relocate them, no problem. Select the files, right click and then choose “Move To”.
Navigate to the destination folder, click on it, and then select “Move” to transfer all the selected files to that folder.
Use a naming convention
Try to use a naming convention that helps you easily differentiate files and folders from one another. When you start to accumulate more items on your drive, thoughtful names could prevent you from opening multiple files while trying to locate a specific one. Having several spreadsheets with extremely ambiguous names is not a useful way to find something in a pinch.
To rename a file or folder, right-click on a file or folder and click “Rename.”
Give the file or folder a short, descriptive name, and then click “OK.”
Remember to keep a consistent and descriptive naming scheme so that it is obvious where to find specific elements and what the actual file contains.
Delete files you don’t need
After moving your important files to more distinguishable folder categories, you may have some duplicate or unnecessary documents left over on your drive. This is when you can delete potentially unnecessary files that are still hogging space.
All you have to do is highlight the file, right-click on it, and then select “Delete”.
Drive doesn’t give you a confirmation message when you delete files, but it does give you the opportunity to undo a deletion. Click “Undo” to reverse the deletion.
If you miss the chance to click “Undo” after deleting some files, click the “Trash” button located on the menu bar, right-click the files you want to recover, and then click “ Restore”.
Previously deleted files will now go back to the drive they came from.
Create symbolic links to files and folders
Google Drive has a hidden shortcut that allows you to symlink something in a completely different place, without taking up any extra space on your drive. Google stores only the copy of the original file in the cloud and displays a separate version wherever you link to it.
If you remove/delete a symbolic link, all other versions go with it, the original included, to safely remove just the link, you need to unlink it via the “Details” panel. Here’s how to do it.
To get started, click on a file or folder, and then press Shift + Z to open the special context menu.
Navigate to the folder where you want to link the file or folder and click “Add”.
To get rid of a symbolic link, right-click on it and then click “View Details.”
In the “Details” panel that opens, click the “X” next to the location you want to unlink.
Take care to only remove the link rather than the file you are linking to. If you delete the original file, the link will also disappear.
Star important files and folders
Starring essential files and folders in Google Drive works just like starring emails in Gmail. When you highlight something, Drive adds it to a special “Featured” section that you can access directly from the menu panel on the left side.
Right-click on a file or folder and then select “Add to Featured”.
You can view the featured items by clicking on “Featured” in the panel on the left side of the screen.
The item stays in its current place, and Drive essentially creates a symbolic link, just like we did in the previous section, to the original that appears in Featured.
Color code your folders
By default, Google Drive uses gray for all folders. While the color of the folder is not a decisive detail, you can color-code them to make it easier to recognize a folder and make it stand out from the rest. You can choose from 24 colors to add a touch of dynamism to your Drive.
Right-click on a folder, hover over “Change Color” and then choose one of the provided colors.
The folder changes to the color you chose. This option is available for all folders on your drive.
No matter how disorganized your Drive is, you can quickly stop the clutter and put everything back into a neat and organized structure. Gone are the days when you feel overwhelmed every time you open Google Drive and see the mess that has unfolded over the years with these tips.