9 Google Drive Tricks

9 Google Drive Tricks - Mostly a Repost

Why use these 9 google drive tricks?  In the good old days, between typewriters and cloud documents, there were applications that lived on computers, programs they were called, two of the most popular were Word and Excel.  Like a typewriter they produced a single version document.  The document could be created, saved, then sent to someone else.  Who would edit, save, and send back.  And then there were 2 (3 actually, v1 - original, v2 - edit, v3 - copy of edit).  This produced unlimited versions of essentially the same document which changed each time opened/saved and copied itself exponentially.

When NiM started, we knew that wouldn't work in a collaborative environment so we used google docs from the beginning and while there have been formatting limitations, for the most part we are much more efficient because of gDrive.  One of the limits to drive is the inability to tag documents.  This is ironic considering Google basically invented the concept of tagging, but drive doesn't support it.  I know this because I was looking for a way to tag documents and came upon this article by CloudDock (which navigates to their "how it works" page because their home page forces a signup).  Their post is copied in this post, but they wrote it, not us.  We don't use CloudDock, but we do use most of the 9 tips they recommend in their article.

Do you use any of these features?  Are there other power features you're aware of?

9 Google Drive Tricks

Google Drive has really upped its game of late. You get up to 15GB for free, 100GB for $2 a month, or 1TB for $9.99 a month. Hard to complain with that. While Google Drive is easy to use you may not be aware that there are several easy ways to get more out of the service without having to use any extra apps. You can use Drive to attach larger files to emails, save space on your hard drive, recover old version of a file and more.

Check out the list below for some useful tips to get more out of OneDrive.

1. Use Drive to attach larger files to emails

Google Drive has made sending files and photos as email attachments sexy again, apparently. When you’re attaching files from you computer, you can only attach files up to 25 MB. But, by inserting files using Drive, you can now send a file up to 10 GB. The recipients can easily view them online. And if the files aren’t shared, Google Drive will prompt you to do that before the email is sent.

Also unlike traditional attachments where you have to wait for the file to upload, attaching a file through Drive doesn’t require you to re-upload the file. Simps.

2. File Versions

If you collaborate on documents with colleagues or clients it helps to see exactly what changes were made and who made them. Did you know you can use Google Drive for this? Drive keeps 30 days worth of file revisions (up to 100 versions).

To view older versions of the file, just head to the Google Drive website:

1. Navigate to the file you want to see the revision history of.

2. Right click on the file and click Manage revisions… from the drop down menu.

3. Now you can see all the versions of the file as it was updated.

Unlike Dropbox, if you rename the file or change the file location you can still see the history of the file.

3. Make Google Drive your default documents folder

You might want to make Google Drive as the default documents folder considering the features it offers.

For Mac users, Open Terminal (in Utilities) and type cd Google\ Drive/. Hit enter, and then type In –s~/documents /documents. Hit enter again and watch the magic happen.

For windows users, right-click on your Documents folder, click Properties, click Include a folder, choose your Google Drive folder and finally select it and click Set save location. And that’s it, next time you save a document in a program like Microsoft Word; Google Drive will be selected as the default save location.

4. Work Offline 

Make files available offline so you can view them when your phone or tablet loses service, like on a plane or in a building with a bad connection.

To make files available offline just head to the Google Drive app on your phone or tablet:

1. Navigate to the file you want to be available offline.

2. Click on the Info icon to the right of the file name.

3. Slide the Available Offline toggle to On.

Now that file will be saved to your mobile device so you can view and edit it when you’re offline.

5. Save space on your hard drive with Selective Sync

Selective Sync is a feature of the Google Drive desktop application that allows you to select only the folders you want to be synced to your computer. Selective Sync gives you the control to ensure you have only the files you need on any computer. It’s especially handy if you want to save space on netbooks and other computers with small hard drives.

To enable Selective Sync, head to your Google Drive preferences from your desktop:

1. Click on the Google Drive icon from the menu bar.

2. Click Preferences… from the dropdown menu.

A window will appear with a list of the top level folders in your Google Drive. Once you select “Only sync some folders to this computer” only the folders with a tick next to them will be synced to your computer. All un-ticked folders won’t be synced to your computer but they will still be available through the Google Drive website, your mobile apps, and on any other computer linked to your Drive account.

6. Restore file from bin

Accidentally deleted a file from Google Drive on the desktop? No biggie, just head to the Google Drive website and log in to its online version, click Bin on the left menu. And there you go, all the files you’ve deleted.

Now all you have to do is check the box beside the file you want to recover and just click Restore. Emergency over!

7. Use Forms to Collect Data

Google Forms lets you run a survey or quickly create a team roster with a simple online form. Whatever information has been input into the form will be automatically compiled into a spreadsheet, neatly organized so you can analyse the results.

To create a Form just head to the Google Drive website, click on the Create option and select Form. From here you’ll be able to set up the form.

8. Inserting Images

Google Drive allows you to drag and drop images directly from your desktop into specific Google Docs, which is a pretty quick way of sprucing up a document.

You can also insert images directly from a Google Image Search. Simply go to Insert and then Image on the menu bar, and take it from there.

9. Use stars to flag key files

Stars allow you to identify important files for quick access. To “star” a file, just head to the Google Drive website or the mobile app and click on the star on the left hand side of the file name.

That concludes our list of 7 Things You Didn’t Know Google Drive Could Do. If we failed to mention any tips it would be awesome if you could share your own tips and tricks for Google Drive in the comments below!