Google Drive Tutorials

Last week a teacher came to me with a few questions about the new google drive. It speaks to our level of busy-ness at the school that it has been almost a year since google docs became google drive, and we are still trying to figure out the new lay out.

Now, if you use google drive, you will notice that as soon as the new platform was implemented, all your documents became jumbled up. The teacher who came to see me likes her interface to be clean and organised and the new look of google drive was driving her nuts.

I didn’t want to admit it to myself, as it is indicative of a flaw in my personality where I can ignore little niggly things until they become big pains in my backside, but I agreed with her. It’s annoying how the default setting on google drive is alphabetical- it means that documents you haven’t seen in years are suddenly showing up and the ones you use the most are lost in a jungle of other files.

Personally, I would love a default setting where all I see is a nice list of my extremely organized, colour-coded files instead of a long list of documents. Alas, I am coming to the conclusion that my reliance on files dates me. The search function in google drive is faster to use then to go digging through files (assuming you remembered what you named that darned document).

This epiphany occurred while I was perusing Alex Anson’s tutorials. He has a four part series on how to effectively use Google drive that I highly recommend for all those who’s brain hurts when they are faced with a jumble of documents. I would also recommend for those who think they know all about google drive (like myself)- two minutes into the first tutorial I learned about the “Activity” view, which shows you only those documents that have been recently updated (Halleluiah!)

Here is the first tutorial:

I watched a little bit of this one but then skipped to number 4 called document organization.

But if you don’t feel like you have the time to watch the videos (which are about 15 minutes long each), Here are a couple of tips:

1. The default view in google drive is My Drive. This will show you all your documents. If you click the sort option in the right hand corner, you can sort by last modified:

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 9.09.09 AM


But then I noticed that it only shows me documents that I created that were last modified, not all documents including those shared with me.

2. If you want to see all the documents (created by you as well as those shared with you, I recommend you go directly to the activity function (if you don’t see it, click on the “more” on the left hand sidebar):

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 9.12.28 AM


Tomorrow…Unexpected functions of Google drive!



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