5 Simple Google Drive Tips That Make Life Easier

by Randy Fairfield, 10/24/17

I really enjoy discovering little tips and tricks that save me time on menial tasks and help me focus my energy and attention on what’s most important. Being able to be a “tech ninja” and get stuff done quickly is so helpful when you’re in a pinch! Here are five very simple ways you can use Google Drive to become more productive in your day-to-day work!

Tip #1: Make the left-hand menu wider

If you have folders within folders within folders within folders, sometimes it’s helpful to widen the left-hand menu. This is especially useful if you like to move files around by dragging and dropping them into the left-hand menu.

Tip #2: Change the colors of your folders

One of the things I like to do to help me stay organized is change the colors of my folders. One of my favorite uses of colorizing my folders was when I was an AVID Site Coordinator and was responsible for evidence collection for our site team certification. I’d change the colors of the folders from red to yellow to green based on the amount and quality of the evidence I had collected for various criteria. More on that, if you’re interested.

Tip #3: Star your files and folders

One of my favorites! Starring files and folders allows you to quickly access a file that you repeatedly access, which is especially useful if that file is organized and tucked away into a folder within a folder within a folder.

Tip #4: Switch between grid view and list view

I’m a list view kind of guy, but I know there are some of you crazy kids out there that prefer the grid view. At the very list, do yourself a favor when you click on “Shared with me” and switch to the list view so that you can see who shared what with you and when!

Tip #5: Convert your files to Google files upon upload

If you’re taking the Google plunge and are ready to go Google once and for all, changing this setting can save you a lot of time and hassle. When you check this box, your Word/PowerPoint/Excel files will automatically convert to Docs/Slides/Sheets. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, you will be satisfied with the conversion, but it’s always a good idea to keep that Microsoft Office file backed up somewhere someplace just in case.

Randy Fairfield, MEd and MBA, is a teacher and consultant in the Richland School District in Eastern Washington. He is also a Google for Education Certified Trainer, Edmodo Certified Trainer and Hapara Champion Trainer and Consultant.

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