Being organized is my thing! I love sharing tips with teachers on how to stay organized during the school year. One of those tips was to use Google tools. The Google tools go-to is Google Drive, and the first step to using Drive is organizing your files. Read these tips to organize your files with Google Drive!
What is Google Drive?
Google Drive is a free, web-based, word processing program from Google that is like a virtual filing cabinet. First, it is an educational online filing system dream! Google Drive allows you to store files, photos, videos, and more. In addition, Drive is easily accessible from anywhere which allows you to create and edit, share, and store thousands upon thousands of files from anywhere. However, if you’re not organized, that dream can turn into an organizational nightmare!
Develop a Google Drive Naming System
First, one of the keys to organizing your files with Google Drive is to create a simple naming system. Google Drive defaults to alphabetical order, so when naming your files, keep that in mind. Short and sweet is the way to go because your files will be easier to find and easier to organize.
- Math Lesson 1 – Adding
- Math Lesson 2 – Subtraction
- Overall, finding a naming system that works for you will help you keep your Drive organized.
Another essential part of your organization in Google Drive are folders. This is where you will house your files that you’ve created and named. First, be consistent with your folder names as you are with your file names. For example, create a master folder for each school year and within that folder, add sub-folders for each subject you teach, extra duties, PLC committees, etc.
The default color for new folders in Google Drive is dark gray. Color coding your folders can help organize them visually. For example, Math classes might be purple, Language Arts, green, Reading, blue. The world is your oyster when it comes to color coding. It just adds that visually appealing aspect to your folders as well as helping you organize with that visual effect.
Search in Drive
If you get lost, don’t fret, Google Drive has a search bar at the top where you can do a “search in Drive”. This is why it’s important to name your files and folders accordingly, it makes it easy to do a quick search. In addition, from the search box you can do an advanced search for specific types of files, such as pdfs, videos, files, slideshows, photos, spreadsheets, and more.
Since Google Drive defaults to alphabetical order, adding numbers can help keep certain folders or files at the top.
For example label your folders based on the periods or blocks:
- 1st period Math
- 2nd period ELA
- 3rd period Science
If you are an elementary teacher that doesn’t switch classes, you can still use a numbering system to keep your files in order.
You don’t have to name a folder an elaborate name in order to find it. Again, keep it simple and add details in the “View Details” space. One of the cool things about Google Drive is that it allows you to add information and descriptions to your files and folders. Just right click on the file or folder, scroll down to “View Details” and you can add the extra information or more details to that particular file or folder. This makes it easier when you do a search and allows you to keep your titles short and sweet.
One of the many benefits of Drive that helps with organization is the ability to add documents to multiple folders without having to stand in line at the photocopy machine. If you’re not sure what folder a certain file should go in, you can make a copy of it and add it to as many folders as you’d like. Keep in mind that when you make a copy, Google Drive will title it “Copy of______” So be sure to rename it or simply delete “Copy of” to keep the original title.
Your organizational dreams can come true with Google Drive! This virtual filing system is a breeze once you get the hang of it. Don’t be afraid to mess up or re-organize your folders and files; find what works for you. Just remember, you got this!