How to keep your Google Drive files in order

Subject:  Multidisciplinary
One girl writing on a laptop and surrounded by boxes and filing cabinets
Author: Sandra Pérez

Compartim amb tu alguns consells per ajudar-te a trobar i preservar fàcilment els teus documents.

To help you with your studies as a student at the UOC, we provide you with access to the Google applications package. This includes Gmail Manager as well as Google Drive, which provides 15 GB of cloud storage.

As we head into the final straight of the semester and in celebration of International Archives Day (9 June), we have compiled a list of recommendations to help ease the process of quickly locating your documents and filing them for future reference.

The keys to file organization

Head of the UOC's Document Management and Archives Service, Jesús Sánchez Tenedor, has provided us with some of his top tips for getting our Drive workspaces in order.

The principles of file organization

Sanchéz's advice is to "classify and sort as quickly as possible; procrastination is the root of all disorder and inefficiency". Another important step is to differentiate key documents from those that are ancillary and steer clear of falling into the "I'll keep that just in case" trap as, "every document must always have an established value."

Classifying files and folders

If you can't see the wood from the trees, organize the files and folders you want to keep hierarchically, from the most general to the most specific. Then decide on a formula for arranging your folders: in chronological order, according to subject matter or following an alphanumeric code, for example. "The most important thing is to systematically apply your chosen criteria at all times," advises Sánchez.

Listing and tagging

Always follow the same rationale when it comes to naming your folders and files to enable you to locate and retrieve them quickly and reliably. A few tricks to follow:

  • Choose short, specific, meaningful names.
  • Avoid using accents, diaereses and prepositions where possible.
  • Use underscores instead of spaces (work_01).
  • If you have a number of versions of a document you can identify them (v01; v02; v03).

  • Psychology_Degree
    • Semester_2020-2
      • History_of_Psychology
      • Social_Psychology
        • 01_Teaching_material
        • 02_Projects
          • 2020_04_01_Peiro_Jaume_Research_project

Tips for working with Drive

  • Use the advanced search tool. Search options include filtering by file type, last modified date, people you've shared it with, or words it contains.
  • Differentiate your folders by changing their colour. When you create a new folder in Drive it is automatically displayed in grey by default. Simply right-click on the folder and select Change Color.
  • Create shortcuts for the same document. This option is useful for retrieving an original file from different folders or locations. Select your document, then right-click and select Add shortcut to Drive. Then select the location where you want to place the shortcut.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts. If you go into the Drive Settings area (by clicking on the cog icon), you will find a list of various shortcuts which can be used to perform certain actions quickly, for example, Shift + f to create a folder.
  • Starred and recent documents. A quick way to find a file you have edited recently is by selecting the Recent tab from the menu on the left-hand side of the screen. Also, if you right-click on a file and select Add to Starred, it will always be available for you to access in the Starred section of the side menu.