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5 Google Drive Tips to Make Your Teacher-Life Simpler

Does anyone else love the Google Platform? From Google Docs to Google Forms, there are so many ways to make your teacher-life easier with their tools. However, it can be difficult to keep your Google Drive nice and tidy. So, what can you do about that? Follow these great Google Drive tips to make your teacher-life way easier! 


What is Google Drive? 

Google Drive is the magical place where all of your Docs, Slides, Forms, and Sheets go to live once you have created them. While this technology tool is wonderful for the classroom and digital centers, they can get a bit messy if you don’t have the right organizational Google Drive tips and tricks to help you out. 

#1 Enable Offline Access to Files 

One of the biggest complaints some people have about Google is it seems like you have to have Internet access to make it work. While this seems very true, there is a way to use Google offline as well. To make sure you can work on things offline, you can change a setting in your Google Drive. 

First, go to the “cog” on your Drive. Then, go to Settings. In Settings, you’ll want to make sure the box that says “create, open, and edit your recent Google Docs, Sheets, and Slide Files when Offline.” Finally, you just hit done. 

Now, all your most recent files will be available. However, that doesn’t mean all your files are available. All you would need to do is reload the page that you wanted to edit it offline. 

Why Do We Need Offline Access? 

You might be wondering why this is a Google Drive tip. I mean who doesn’t have Internet access? For one, there are times we are not in an area where we can work online. Therefore, having offline access is really nice. You can also save your data if you are working on an iPad, tablet, or your phone. This is also great for students who do not have Internet access at home but want to make sure they can get their work done! 

The best part about working offline is your edits are still saved. All you have to do to update your Google Docs, Slides, or Sheets is connect the device you made changes on to the Internet and your files will be updated. What a great Google Drive hack for those inconvenient times when Internet access is unavailable or unreliable! 

#2 Keep Your Google Drive Organized by Color Coding 

This Google Drive tip is all about organization. Did you know you can change the color of your folders in Google Drive? If not, then you have been missing out! I have all of my folders color coded so it’s easy for me to see what I need right away. This is an easy way to keep all your items organized which can help you move quickly through your Google Drive instead of having to track down files. 


How Do You Color Code? 

It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3 to organize and color code your Google Drive folders. All you need to do is create a folder, hover over it, right click, and select “Change Color.” You have several options for colors so you can color code to your heart’s content. 

#3: Add Some Fun to Your Google Drive 

Google Drive tips for organization doesn't stop with color! Not only can you color code your folders, you can also add emojis to your folders. This is great for so many reasons. One, you can use emojis to symbolize different subjects for your grade level which makes them so much easier to find. Plus,  you could also use emojis to sort out your digital center activities by having a calculator for math and a pencil for literacy. Just like you want your centers to be organized, having your materials organized is important as well. 


Adding Emojis to Your Google Drive

You can easily add emojis to your Google Drive by right clicking on the folder and going to “rename.” Then you just pull up your emoji characters and you can click on and add the emoji you want. There is no rhyme or reason to where the emojis go in order, so you’ll have to play around with them to see what you like. 

No matter how you choose to use this Google Drive tip (to organize a specific way or just to liven up your folders) it is going to be great for visual organization.

#4: Organizing Your “Shared With Me” Folders on Google Drive

Am I the only one who seems to get so many files shared with me? I have so many files from Docs to Slides shared with me and they all get thrown in this “Shared with Me” folder. It’s a hot mess and I can’t handle that! You can fix this by adding these to your own Drive without making a copy! Remember, if you

For example, I participate with these bundles with my friend Kristen from Easy Teaching Tools. From this, I have so many files in my shared folder. Now, there is no rhyme or reason to how these files are stored. 

How to Fix the Mess 

So, what you do is go to your Google Drive and create a new folder. You name it whatever makes sense for you. For example, you might call it “Co-Teacher Documents” or “Admin Files.” Then you go into the “Shared with Me” folder. You create a shortcut by right clicking on the file you want and click on “Add Shortcut to My Drive.” This doesn’t take it away from the shared folder, it just makes it available on your Drive. This makes sure your files are easy to find and save you a ton of time! 

Please keep in mind, you only created a shortcut. If the person who shared the file with you decides to not share it with you anymore, it will be deleted. 

#5: Publish Your Documents Online 

I was so excited about these Google Drive tips because there are so many reasons to use them! You might not see how great this tip is yet but you will. I know you might be thinking you can just share the file, but making it available online opens up a whole new world of keepin’ it stickin’ simple. 

First of all, we have to remember not all of our parents have a Google account. I know that sounds strange to us, but not everyone has a need for millions of documents at their fingertips. Even if they have a Gmail account, they have probably never messed with Google Drive. However, they all know how to click on a link and access the Internet which makes communicating with parents easy as pie. To make this even simpler, I created a free flip book on Google Slides that you can use to communicate with parents. In the flipbook, you can put information about you, content information, and more! You’ll have access to the pre-labeled and the editable version of this awesome resource. 

How to Publish Google Files Online 

Could I just hit share and send the link to my parents? Yes. But it’s not going to work right. Therefore, it’s better to publish this online. How do you do it? Easy. First go to “File” and click “Publish to Web.” Then you will have some information to fill out about how long you want it to stay on a slide before flipping to the next etc. I shared how I chose to fill it out on my Facebook Live. Then you want to hit Publish. It will give you a link that you can share with your parents, and that link will make a webpage parents and students can easily access. 


You could also embed this link on a class website which is helpful for posting classroom procedures, a schedule for parents, or anything else you can think of. You can embed this by simply clicking on the “embed” code instead of the link. Then you go back to your website and use the embedding code to put it into your website. Every website will be different, so you’ll have to know what you need for your classroom website. 


Google Drive is a wonderful tech tool that can be used literally at any time. These Google Drive tips will not only help you work offline, they help you get organized, and communicate with parents and students alike. So, if you’re a Google Drive user like me, utilize them to help keep everything efficient and stinkin’ simple. 

Until Next Time…

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