Cloud-based storage is an amazing technology and makes entrepreneurship just a little bit easier. There are a ton of options out there like DropBox, Google Drive, or OneDrive.
Which one do I use? Google Drive. Keep reading to find out my favorite aspects and how I organize it!
What I love about Google Drive
Google Drive is free for up to 15GB of storage. That’s quite a bit of storage for your average person! I’ve been using Google Drive for my business for two years and have a ton of documents, worksheets, etc and haven’t quite filled up my 15GB.
Even once you do find the need to upgrade your storage, it’s only $1.99/month for 100GB and $2.99/month for 200GB. What a steal!
Losing your work is the absolute WORST! Thankfully, Google Drive has you covered. When you are working in your documents, presentations, or spreadsheets, it saves your work every few seconds as you are working. Gone are the days where you have to interrupt your flow to hit “save.” A computer crash won’t lose it all for you either!
Some storage tools and systems limit you to how many devices you can access your information on, i.e. Evernote. Google Drive doesn’t care how many devices you use. I regularly access my files on m laptop, phone, and iPad whenever I need to. If I’m on someone else’s computer, I can access my files there as well.
Sharing Folders & Files
It is impressively simple to share folders and files with Google Drive. Select the folder or file you want to share, right click, select “Share with others” and it will open a small window where you fill find the link to copy directly into an email or message or you can enter the person’s email address directly.
You can also change the settings on what the receiver can do with that file. It is automatically set to “anyone with the link can view” but you can change it to “anyone with the link can comment” or “anyone with the link can edit.” Which brings me to my next favorite point.
Multiple people can work on the same document at the same time! No more keeping track of who has done what on which copy of the document. Share the document with as many people as you need to and then everyone has equal access to make changes as they have the time, including working on it all together as a team simultaneously.
Access and edit files everywhere
I can access my files from ANYwhere I am and I don’t even need to have wifi to do it! If you know you will be traveling but want to work on specific documents while on the airplane without paying for wifi, mark those documents as “available offline” and you can do whatever you need to with them. When you have wifi again, those documents will automatically update to the cloud.
How I organize my Google Drive
Folders, Sub-folders, & Colors
These are the mainstay of every type organization out there. You must have folders and sub-folders. A word of caution though. Do not create too many. There is such a thing as over-organizing and it only ends up wasting your time instead of saving it.
Make a list of all of the folders you think you want to have. Now, go back through that list and group them together by similar topics. Keep grouping until you can’t group anymore. Ideally, you only have a main folder and a handful of sub-folders in them. You really don’t want to have very many sub-sub-folders or beyond because that’s where it just ends up taking more time than it saves.
If you like color-coding or just having something colorful to look at, select your folder, right click, and select “change color.” You will see several options to choose from. The only limitation is that you can’t enter your own hex code, you must use the colors they have.
Document Naming Structure
This is something I’m still in the process of implementing for myself, but I can already tell you that it saves me so much time! Come up with a structure that all of your documents can follow so you can search for them quickly and accurately.
For example, WS_FC_Growing Your Email List tells me that this file is a worksheet from a free course titled “Growing Your Email List.” Without even opening it, I know exactly what I’m going to find when I open this file. If I don’t remember what the name of the course, but I know that it’s a worksheet from a free course, then I can search “WS_FC” and find it quickly that way.
I know that renaming all of your files is likely a monstrous task, I know it is for me, but it will be worth it. Start today by just making a key for how you’d like to name your documents and then use this key with every document you download starting immediately. Don’t hit “save” on anything without including this structure. As you have time, work your way through your other documents.
If the idea of renaming your files is overwhelming or you just don’t think it would be useful for you, then please, don’t waste another moment thinking about it. Just setting up your folders and sub-folders properly will make a world of difference for your efficiency.
In the end, organization is all about how YOUR mind works! For another perspective, here’s how Maris over at Jungle Soul Collective organizes her Drive. If you need some help getting knowing, let me know and we’ll chat!
How do you keep your files organized?