Google drive is a service offered by Google to all the users. With Google drive you can store your files online and then access them from anywhere from the cloud. Not only that Google also offers us with services such as Google docs, sheets and slides to create and manage documents, spreadsheets and slideshow respectively.
Why use Google Drive?
While there are alternatives that offers free online storage as well. So, why use Google drive? The first major benefit is offers compared to alternatives is that it is easier to collaborate. With Google drive collaborating with others is very easy. All you need to do is add others email to the document you want to share or you can just share the link to the person you want to share the document with. Anyone can with link can access the document. While you can also change the rights for the people who have access to it.
While collaboration is the major advantage compared to alternatives, there are other reasons as well. First you need not to create any separate accounts for using Google drive. All the programs that comes with google will work with your Google account. And the files stored in the cloud can also be synced across multiple devices. You can edit the document from your smartphone or from your laptop.
Getting Started With Google Drive
Getting started with Google Drive is straightforward. To use Google Drive all you need to do is to have a Google Account. Most of the people with an android phone usually already have one. And even who don’t own an android usually do have a Gmail account. But just in case you don’t have one you can head over to Google.com. There you need to add some of your basic information to create a Gmail account.
Google Drive Basics
To access Google drive you can fill in the following the URL in your browser’s address bar drive.google.com or you can use their android application Google Drive. It will directly take you to your drive. When you first visit the Google drive. You can also get a desktop client to access the Google drive.
All Google drive users get 15gb of cloud storage for free. Those who need extra storage can easily expand this storage by spending a nominal amount of money. I believe this 15gb is more than enough if you plan on storing only some important documents and pictures on Google Drive. But if you do end up needing more getting additional storage is quite easy. But for most of us it is going to be enough.
Get to know your drive
Before trying to learn how to use google drive let’s look around and get to know your drive better.
All the files or folders that you have uploaded or created are present in this view. This is the view that opens up by default when you open up the drive on web.
Shared With Me
Shared with me is the section of Google Drive where all the files that are shared with you by others are present.
Starred and Recent
Starred section of the Google Drive contains all the files that you have marked with a star. To mark an item with a star right click on the item and click add to starred and to remove it do the same. You can also star an item by simply clicking ‘s’ from your keyboard.
In the Recent section you will find all the files in the reverse chronological order based on the last time you opened that item.
Trash contains all the files and folders that you delete from your drive. After deleting a file or folder from Google drive they are not permanently deleted by default. They first get sent to trash from where you can permanently delete the item.
You can either choose to empty out all the items of trash at once. Or you can select the individual item from the trash and delete it. From trash view, you can also choose to restore a deleted file.
To preview the file, you have selected along with some additional information about the file you have selected click on the ‘i’ icon on the right corner of the screen. For images and other documents, you will be able to see a preview of the file. And some information like date on which the file was created and also the date when it was last modified. To view the preview you can also use the shortcut key ‘d’.
Adding or Uploading A File
The purpose of cloud storage is to store files and to store files in Google Drive you will need to upload them on Google drive. To do that, you need to click on the New button on the left side of the screen. There you will primarily have two options. Either to upload two files individually or a bunch of them together. Or you can directly select the folder in which you have all the files you want to upload. This saves a lot of time. And the drive stays manageable.
After uploading these files you will find those files in my drive section of Google Drive.
To create a file, you will need to use the New button on the left corner of the drive. Or you can use the shortcuts as well.
There are various type of files that can be created from within the Google drive. You can create and edit documents, presentations, spreadsheets, drawings all from within the Google drive. And the files created in Google’s native format doesn’t take up any storage from your storage quota.
Creating a Folder
To create a folder you can either use the New Button on the top left corner of your drive or you can use the shortcut key Shift+f to create a new folder. When creating a new folder it will ask you the name for the newly created folder. Name the new folder and then press enter and it will create a new folder. Folders make it easier to organize the files. You can create folders according to your needs.
Sharing a file With Others
To share a file with others, you need to select a file and click on the Share icon (as shown). A window will open up from where you can enter the email of the people you can to share the files with. You can also get the link to your file along with privacy settings for the file you want to share.
You can set who can view the file and also what are permissions the users with the link have. With this, you have better.
Google Drive Shortcuts
You can get the most out of your Google Drive account by using the shortcuts that are available with Google Drive. To check the list of shortcuts you can use the keyboard shortcut “ctrl+/”.
Buying additional storage
If you find the 15 GB free cloud storage to be insufficient, you can always buy more. To buy additional storage, you need to click buy additional storage from the left side of my drive. Then you can choose an appropriate plan that suits your needs. You can increase the cloud storage to 100 GB for 130 rupees per month.
Google Drive is a must-have tool for all of us. It can save us from a lot of hassle by syncing the files across various devices. And the first 15 GB is being offered for free. So even if you don’t want to spend your money on cloud storage you can try it out.