5 tips to know

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Today, it is essential to know how to use Google Drive. This platform is arguably one of the best productivity tools on the market – reaching one billion users worldwide in 2018.

As good as it is, there may be hidden features you don’t know about – features that can help you work better and smarter. Here’s how you can use this storage platform to its full potential, and additional plugins you can consider installing:

Google Drive supports offline access so you can work on your document even when you’re not connected to the internet. Source: Franck Fife/AFP

5 Ways to Use Google Drive Effectively

1. Install add-ons to check for grammatical errors and plagiarism

When editing your documents on Google Drive, installing Google plug-ins is a great way to improve the function of your Drive.

If you need a tool that revises your spelling, grammar, and punctuation, consider using Grammarly. The best part? This software uses artificial intelligence so you can focus on your homework content because Grammarly will do its job automatically.

You can also use Grammarly to check plagiarism by clicking on the “plagiarism” function. Note that this feature is only a suggestion from Grammarly, so we recommend directly attributing sources and citations and cross-checking facts with reliable websites and sources.

2. Learn how to use Google Drive shortcuts

Running out of time and need to quickly browse your files on Google Drive? Practice this trick.

You can view a full list of shortcut keys by Ctrl-clicking and/or while in Google Drive. Once you’ve done that, choose the hotkeys you want to learn.

For example, you can j,k,l and h to quickly scroll through the items you need on your Drive. Hover over a folder or file and click x to navigate to it.

how to use google drive

If you find yourself constantly updating new versions of your PDF document, here’s a trick for keeping multiple versions of a file. Source: Fayez Nureldine/AFP

3. Keep multiple versions of a file

Do you find yourself downloading multiple versions of a PDF, image, or video? In Google Drive, you can constantly upload new versions of a file while keeping its old versions.

To do this, right-click on the new file you uploaded to Google Drive and click “Manage Versions”. Here you will be able to download newer versions without creating duplicates. Remember to select the “Keep forever” option when uploading your new files, otherwise older versions will be deleted after 30 days.

Unfortunately, this feature does not work with Google Docs, Sheets or Slides.

4. See your files sorted by size

Generally, Google Drive offers 15 GB of free space to each user. Those who signed up for Google for Education using a valid student email address are entitled to unlimited Google Drive storage.

Whether you’re a general user or a student, knowing how to store your files optimally helps free up more storage space – and that starts with organizing your files by size.

Here’s how:

  • Go to Google Drive and click on “Storage” to see files sorted by size
  • Locate files you no longer need
  • Right-click on the file and choose “Delete” from the context menu
  • Files will be transferred to the “Trash” folder
  • Hover over files you don’t need and select “Delete Permanently” to delete them permanently

5. Save files directly from the web (via extension)

We understand: it can be tedious to download files from the internet to your Google Drive. Consider adding Save to Google Drive to your list of Google Chrome extensions. With this, you can instantly save links, images, and videos. It also lets you save an entire webpage as HTML, MHT, Google Docs, or PNG.

Check the options of this extension in order to save the files directly in the folder of your choice. To do this, right-click on the extension to display the “options” menu. Here, make sure you have linked the correct Google account and set the correct folder location.

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