Modified 09 April 2020 by Eugen Plesa

Google Drive can turn into a mess very quickly, especially when you're working on multiple projects at the same time. Once your Drive becomes cluttered, finding and managing files turns into a challenge.

Here are 3 best practices to keep your Drive organized so you can use it as efficiently as possible.

  1. Always store files in folders

Avoid uploading or creating new files straight into the My Drive tab. My Drive serves as a central folder or hub and can contain both files and subfolders. Although it's the easiest place to get to and drop files into, make sure that any files uploaded or started here are moved to the right folder as soon as possible to avoid stacking them up in the wrong place. It's even better if you navigate to the relevant folder before you start a document or upload a file.

  1. Colour code your folders

Using a colour coding system for your folders can help you find what you are looking for quicker. To do so, right click on a folder and select Change Colour. You can also select multiple folders at the same time so you don't have to repeat the process individually. Find a system that works for you and stick to it. For example, you can use blue for internal projects and red for external projects which may contain files shared externally.

  1. Avoid using the Shared with me tab

A lot of Google Drive users find themselves going to the "Shared with me" tab very often. Despite the general belief, "Shared with me" is not a folder, but a filter. You cannot organize files and folders within it. The contents of this tab are actually just shortcuts to the files and folders people have shared with you. That's why you should add these shortcuts to your Drive (My Drive) and organize them from there. To do so, select any file or folder from Shared with me and click the Add a shortcut to drive icon from the top menu. Now the file will appear in your Drive so you can freely move it to the relevant folder. Remember this is just a shortcut to the original file someone has shared with you, not a copy of it.