Google and more over Google Drive make it easy for you to take your classroom into the virtual realm of online assignments and paperless living. Being Google, Drive is setup with all kinds of Googley tricks to help keep you organized and on track. When I first started using Drive (some 8 years ago) I quickly realized that I had a plethora of files and folders but started having difficulties keeping it all organized and quickly accessible. While Google’s bread and butter – it’s awesome search abilities – are available in Drive, having to search for everything you want kinda defeats the purpose of having a folder structure. Here are the top three ways I’ve found to keep my Drive nice, neat, and organized.
1. Naming Conventions
If you use numbers or symbols in your Folder (or file) names they will appear towards the top of your List of Folders.
For example, I have a folder with all of my lesson plans in it. I renamed it from “Physical Science LP” to “1 Physical Science LP”. This makes it the first folder I see in my list of folders when I open my Drive.
2. Color Code your Folders
If you right click on the folder one of the options you get is to “change color”. By color coding your folders you can have a quick visual reference for your folders. This is not unlike many teacher’s organization scheme that I have seen in file cabinets. Instead of having physically different or differently colored folders you can put your hands on, it’s the exact same concept but in your virtual file cabinet – Google Drive!
3. Star your Folders/Files for quick reference
Just like in Gmail, you can start folders in Drive. This will allow you to be able to sort by stared folders, or have yet another quick visual reference point to help you locate important or frequently used folders quickly. Just remember that the more folders you star, the less effective this feature becomes.
Final tip – give your naming conventions some serious though. The better and more consistently you name your folders and files the easier it will be to locate them when you need to. Also, just like I’m sure you already do with your paper files, folders, ect.. take some time each day or week to go through and make sure that everything is organized properly. 15 mins of organizational time now will save you hours of time and frustration later down the road.