Friday, January 5, 2018

Google Drive Organization You Can Do

🎉 Happy New Year! 🎉

I'm starting this year off with my favorite topics - Google & Organization - and when you put these two together, I'm in heaven!

Remember the days of 4 drawer filing cabinets ... I do!  They took up a lot of floor space in my classroom (I might have even decorated mine 😆 ).  These are fabulous organizational tools ... and, at the same time, organizational nightmares! 
You know what I'm talking about!  

A lot of thought and energy was put into the overall organization of these file cabinets, but we all kept a section for papers "To File Later" ... which we rarely did! Your Google Drive can easily become the same nightmare ... but it doesn't need to be.

The new year is a great time to make the decision to organize your Drive.  Below, I've shared some basics to get you going.  But I must warn you.  It will be an ongoing task.  You will never be "done". Organization is something you must do regularly and faithfully.

Get Started:

"My Drive" ... the big picture ...

How do you organize? How is your day divided up? Content? Periods? Do you manage groups? What are the biggest chunks of your day?  Make folders to match these groupings.  Don't get hung up on how to organize inside these yet. Then, drag & drop individual files or folders inside these "main folders". 

Tip - if you have files/folders that you have no idea what they are, I recommend opening them and decide to keep or delete.  Don't be afraid to delete ... this is an incredibly important organization feature! 

Folder Names ... an overlooked tool ...

When you decide names for your "main folders", think about this ... does your brain organize by dates? By names? Be sure to use terms/phrases that you are familiar with. Keep it simple and broad.  

  • prefer dates? ... do entire years 
  • teach multiple subjects? ... Math, ELA, Science, etc
  • teach one subject? ... think how you divide it up (Algebra I, Calculus, Geometry OR by unit - Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3, etc) 
  • multiple grades? ... a folder for each grade

How Much Time ... pace yourself ...

Remember I said it can be overwhelming to organize? I do not recommend sitting down with the idea that you will completely re-organize your Drive in one day. Set a time limit or a reasonable goal.  

Tip - once you have your main folders, I recommend setting a timer for 10-15 minutes to drag and drop the files you have just sitting on your Drive. When the timer goes off, move on to something else. (If you are highly motivated, feel free to continue, but don't stress yourself out!) Once you've completed moving all the files into their "main folders", shift your focus inside each "main folder" and repeat the process. Don't be afraid to delete!

Keep It Going:

To keep the momentum going, when you create new files/folders do this INSIDE the main folder where it belongs. Don't veer off this path! This will prevent the need to have "organizational time" later on.


  1. Thanks for the great tips. I also have seen Ts use "01 Unit - Plants" "02 Unit - Animals" as a naming convention so the alphanumeric sorting puts them in order.

  2. Love these ideas Sarah! Thanks for sharing.