You can do a lot to keep your Google Drive organized and efficient, from creating separate folders for different types of data to color-coding and making them stand out. This article lists all the features you can use to organize your Google Drive.
1. Create folders for different types of data
Start by separating files in your Drive based on their type. To do this, create category folders for work, personal life, and education.
- Open the Drive, and from the tab on the left, go to My Drive.
- Here, click the New button, and from the drop-down menu, click Folder.
- Finally, give the folder a name and click Create.
In each category folder, create subfolders to sort the data further. For example, you can create “Movies” and “Family Photographs” subfolders in the personal category folder.
2. Use color, emojis, and naming conventions
Organize folders further by assigning them colors and using emojis and naming conventions.
In Drive, you can color-code a folder by right-clicking on it and clicking Change color. Then, assign a color to each main category folder, and apply the same color to all its subfolders.
Naming folders in a uniform way helps keep the data organized even more. An example would be numbering the folders.
This will also help you sort the files in ascending or descending order.
Insert emojis in folder titles to make them more attractive.
3. Add, move, and copy files to where they belong
For existing files, start by moving them to category folders. Go to My Drive, and one by one, move them to the category folder they belong to. To do this, right-click and then click Move to. A pop-up will help you choose the destination for the selected file/folder.
Alternatively, drag-and-drop files into each folder.
For new files, upload them directly to the category folders they belong to. You can do this by dragging-and-dropping files into the Drive or using the New button on the left-side panel.
4. Rename files
Rename files that have varying names to make them more uniform and organized. You can do this by right-clicking the folder, then selecting Rename from the context menu. Make the names descriptive so that it’s easy for you to find them later on using the search tab.
5. Add descriptions to your files
A brief description of files and folders can help you know their content without opening them.
- Right-click the file or folder and select View details.
- Enter its description in the right-hand window.
6. Deleting files and folders
Unnecessary folders or duplicate files can take up space. To delete them, right-click on the folder/file you want to remove, and from the context menu, click Remove.
Deleted files are moved to the Trash folder. From there, they will be permanently deleted after 30 days. If you have accidentally deleted something, you can restore it by right-clicking the file in the Trash folder, then selecting Restore.
Click Empty trash to clear up the Trash folder and permanently delete everything in it.
7. Change view
You can use the list view or the grid view when organizing your Drive. You can change between the two by clicking on the View icon in the top-right corner of the My Drive folder.
List view provides more information, such as the file’s owner, size, and the last modified date.
Grid view gives a minimalistic view of your files and folders.
8. Sort files
Sort files in a consistent order throughout your Drive to make it more organized. You can sort them in ascending or descending order based on their name or date modified.
9. Symbolic links
If you want the same file in multiple folders, you can use symbolic links instead of copy-pasting them. This makes your Drive more organized and saves up space.
- Right-click on the original file and select Add shortcut to Drive.
- In the new window, navigate to the folder you want the shortcut in.
- Click Add Shortcut.
The shortcut file will have a small arrow to indicate symbolic linking.
Note: Deleting the shortcut file does not delete the original file. However, deleting the original file permanently will render the shortcut file unusable.
10. Star important files
You can mark your important files and folders to access them quickly later. Right-click on the file and select Add to Starred. You can access all of your starred files in the Starred folder. Starred files will have a star next to their name.
11. Ignore the “Shared with me” tab
The Shared with me folder contains all the files and folders shared with you by other users. You cannot organize this folder because it contains the file you have access to but don’t own.
However, if there is a file that you access frequently, you can either create its symbolic link or make a copy of it and move it to your Drive.
12. Regularly Audit your Google Drive
Go through your Drive regularly and keep your files and folders tidied up. Instead of letting files pile up, place them in their designated folders from the beginning using correct naming conventions and the tips listed above.