How to organize and name folders and files in Google Drive

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Be taught 5 greatest practices for storing and naming recordsdata and folders in Google Drive.

Google Drive logo (center, bottom), with three icons of folders at varying angles arced (above it to the left), and three icons of a document (arced above it to the right)

Illustration: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

When your group transitions to Google Drive for storage, you’ve the chance to make modifications to legacy storage construction and file naming practices. When you merely transfer your folders and recordsdata from a neighborhood server to Google Drive, your group and crew are lacking the possibility to have a helpful dialog about how folks work on paperwork as a crew.

SEE: G Suite: Ideas and tips for enterprise professionals (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Speak by every of those 5 greatest practices along with your crew as you progress to Google Drive. Establish an individual for every of your group’s key areas to work with colleagues to maneuver objects to Google Drive. A greater construction makes it simpler for crew members to search out recordsdata as they navigate folders, whereas higher names assist folks discover recordsdata in Google Drive search outcomes.

1. Totally different folks? Totally different shared drive

Normally, create a brand new shared drive whenever you determine totally different group of individuals must share recordsdata. When the identical set of individuals begin to work collectively on a unique undertaking, take into account a brand new folder inside the identical shared drive. This helps decrease the variety of shared drives that individuals who work collectively must overview to discover a file.

2. Construction: Folders and recordsdata

  • Search to stability the variety of folders and recordsdata. Nearly nobody desires to click on (or faucet) by a protracted sequence of folders nested in different folders. And nearly nobody desires to browse an especially lengthy checklist of recordsdata. 
  • Keep away from the extremes. Some folks create a brand new folder when file lists require greater than a single display to show; nevertheless, lengthy lists of recordsdata might make sense when you’ve a folder crammed with many related objects, equivalent to photos.
  • Speak issues over amongst your crew to find out the right way to group recordsdata. In lots of instances, it is sensible to group objects by buyer (who), operational perform (why), undertaking (what), location (the place), or time (when).
  • Be sure that folks know your group’s most popular folder hierarchy. For instance, if the group prioritizes “who” over “when,” the top-level folders ought to have buyer names, and inside every buyer folder are folders with years.

three. Know-nothing naming

If you identify a doc, be sure that the identify is sufficiently clear so an individual who is aware of nothing concerning the doc would at the very least have a basic concept what the contents of the doc is likely to be. In different phrases, in case you knew nothing concerning the doc, would the identify provide you with an correct concept of the doc’s content material?

four. Named model v. make a replica

Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides all help named variations. When it’s good to replace a doc created final 12 months for use this 12 months, you may make your edits after which identify the brand new model. Named variations of a file enable you get rid of file litter as a result of a number of “-version2” or “v2” file names.

G Suite apps additionally embrace the power to make a replica.. If you need to adapt the contents of 1 document–for one other crew, one other buyer, or one other purpose–use the Make a replica command.

5. Embody customary dates

For tasks the place a date issues, you would possibly embrace the date inside the file or folder identify, as acceptable. This makes it simple to seek for objects related to a particular date, even when these recordsdata had been edited at a later time.

Use the worldwide date format customary, with the four-digit 12 months first, two-digit month second, and two-digit day final. Be sure that to incorporate a ‘zero’ earlier than any month or date lower than 10. For instance, 2019-02-03 would point out an merchandise related to the third of February in 2019. Some folks desire to omit the dashes, so dates in names change from 2019-02-03 to 20190203. Both format will work, however be constant.

If you create a folder, embrace descriptive textual content with a 12 months. For instance, folks will extra possible acknowledge a folder named 2019-Shopper-Undertaking or Shopper-Undertaking-2019 than a folder known as 2019, though each is likely to be discovered inside a consumer folder hierarchy. An efficient folder identify identifies the folder content material with out the context of the folder hierarchy.

Your expertise?

What requirements does your group use for shared drives, folder buildings, and file names? How typically do folks in your group overview or revise these practices? What different folder and file practices have you ever discovered useful? Let me know, both within the feedback under or on Twitter (@awolber).

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