Organizing Google Drive: 13 Best Tips for Your Business

Alisha Shibli
Alisha Shibli
October 16, 2023

Want to learn how to organize your company’s Google Drive?

A little effort today organizing your Google Drive can lead to amazing benefits:

  • Improved productivity
  • Better team collaboration
  • A cleaner and more focused workspace
  • Easy backups and recovery
  • Simplified collaborating and file sharing processes

Tons of teams use Google Drive with Tettra, and here are our recommendations:

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Tip #1: Use Consistent Naming Conventions

Naming convention is how you choose to name your files. It’s an old-school tip, but still valid.

Even though Google Drive allows you to name your files however you want, keeping it consistent will help you stay organized.

Consistent naming conventions will make your Google Drive look neat and organized.

Here are a few ways you can keep your file names consistent:

  • Keep them short but meaningful to you and your teammates.
  • Consider adding a date – include month, day, and year.
  • Use hashtags or numbers to put files and folders in order (instead of going for the often-used alphabetical format)
  • Keep it short, simple, and straightforward. Extraneous words like “and,” and “the” are not necessary.

For instance, when naming files for a marketing ad campaign, use the same naming conventions to make life easier.


  • Campaign XYZ Google Ads
  • Campaign XYZ Facebook Ads
  • Campaign XYZ Content plan

Tip #2: Create folders and subfolders

The key to an organized Google Drive is a well-thought-out folder structure with relevant sub-folders tied to your master folder topic. 

For example, your company has a master folder named “Marketing,” and each separate project gets its own sub-folder like “Content Marketing” or “Email Marketing.”  

That way, everyone knows what goes in which folder, making it much simpler and quicker to find documents when needed. The more organized you are when setting up, the smoother the process of accessing files will be for you and your team.

Google Drive is an especially great tool for managing folders and sub-folders. Learning how to get the most out of this simple feature is hands down one of the best tips to organize your Google Drive and files.

For example, the “Sales” folder can have sub-folders such as Prospect Notes, Sales Collateral, Cold-Calling Scripts, and more.

Tip: Use Tettra to link out to your external Google Doc files and search for even better category & subcategory organization.

Tip #3: Create “Priority” docs and files

The Priority page in Google Drive will help you stay focused and find the files you need much quicker. Think of it as your personalized homepage whenever you open Drive, with machine-learning-powered suggestions tailored to your activity. 

For example, files you can access may appear here whether they’ve been edited, commented on, or used regularly. Even files linked to upcoming meetings might make an appearance. 

To change that, head to settings and deselect ‘make Priority my default homepage.’ you can drag and drop any file into this folder to make it a priority, perfect for those crucial docs you frequently need at your fingertips.

Tip #4: Use file/folder descriptions

Google Drive has this hidden gem that lets you add extra details to your files and folders, giving you that extra layer of clarity when organizing or looking for files and folders.

To unlock this feature, select the file/folder and click the “View Details” icon near the top-right. Use this space to add more info, a detailed description, a personal note, or anything else you deem helpful for your team—making your file even more searchable and organized. 

Tip #5: Color code your folders

Transform your Google Drive into a vibrant workspace by color-coding project or team folders, streamlining the folder hierarchy. This splash of color helps you quickly spot files and adds an extra layer of organization to your virtual space. 

You can quickly locate specific folders with colors as your guide, saving precious time and energy. 

To color code your folders, right-click the folder in Google Drive, then select Change Color (where COLOR represents your chosen hue). 

google drive color code folders

Whether you choose to color-code all folders or just the most important ones, find the system that suits you best and watch your Google Drive get organized.

Tip #6: Add docs to multiple folders

Often when organizing your Google Drive into folders, there can be uncertainty about where to save specific files. For example, should the draft of a particular blog post go to your “Blog” folder or the specific campaign folder? 

This is a very traditional paper-based folder mindset. Google Drive folders offer so much more flexibility.

Need duplicate files? Yes, you can add files to multiple folders without having to duplicate them! This handy feature turns folders into versatile tags or categories, improving organization.

To add a file to multiple folders from Google Drive:

  1. Single-click the file in Google Drive
  2. Use the keyboard shortcut, “Shift + Z.”
  3. A pop-up will open, allowing you to “add that file to another folder.”


Tip #7: Don’t optimize the “Shared with me” section

Often users feel overwhelmed by the “Shared with Me” section in Google Drive. But it’s simply a collection of shared files others have given you access to.

google drive shared with me

While tidying up this area is tempting, it’s best to leave it be. Consider it a feed displaying files you can access but don’t own. 

Deleting files here might cause issues for you or others, so embrace it as a useful feature rather than a cluttered space.

Tip #8: Use the Recent sidebar

As an avid Google Drive user, you’ve probably needed quick access to a document you or your team recently collaborated on within a folder. 

For example, your teammate just finished crafting some ad copy for a campaign, and you need to double-check a detail in the document quickly. Simply open Google Drive, and select the Ad Campaigns folder. The Activity pane will show only recent actions related to that folder, making it easy to find what you need.

google drive recent sidebar

Click on any of the displayed documents to open it and do what needs to be done.

Tip #9: Use the Star feature for quick access to important files and folders

Have you ever searched for those crucial documents scattered throughout your Google Drive folder hierarchy? Starring your files is a nifty trick to help you save some precious time. It’s a simple way to gather all your critical files in one convenient location for easy access. 

Starring a document is simple – click the star icon right next to the file name, and you’re all set! 

To browse your starred content, click the Starred entry in the left navigation of Google Drive, and behold all the essential documents you’ve added to this folder, neatly organized and waiting for you.

google drive starred documents

Tip #10: Select Files Faster with the Ctrl and Shift function

You can easily select multiple files on Google Drive with a few handy tips.

Here are 3 methods to save you time and effort: 

  • Hold Ctrl: Press and hold the Ctrl key while clicking on the desired files to select them all at once.
  • Hold Shift: Click the first file, then click the last file while holding Shift to select every item in between.
  • Drag-and-Select: Click and drag within a range to smoothly choose multiple files.

Moreover, the “Change View” button near the sorting options and info icon in the top-right corner allows you to switch between list or grid views to better suit your preferences. Not only does each view make it easier to see which files are selected, but it also helps you find and select groups of files quickly.

Tip #11: Clear storage to declutter and make space for new files

google drive clear storage

Tip #12: Maximize the Power of the Activity Sidebar

Think about the times you’re engrossed in projects on Google Drive—maybe you’re collaborating on a community newsletter or piecing together a travel itinerary. Quick access to those files is paramount.

Say you’ve just added the latest recommendations to that travel plan and want to double-check a hotel booking. When you pop into Google Drive and click on your “Travel Plans” folder, the Activity Sidebar will adeptly refine its display, spotlighting only the recent tweaks and updates tied to that folder.

It’s like having a trusty assistant who knows just what you’re looking for.

Tip #13: Harness the Power of the Advance Search Feature

You can go deeper with the Advance Search tool in Google Drive. While the basic Search is handy, the real magic happens when you master its intricacies. Sure, the main search bar gets the job done, but you need a bit more finesse to optimize.

Suppose you’re hunting for a spreadsheet about the “annual budget.”

A potential query might be:

“annual budget type: xls”

Or let’s say you’re after presentations made before 2021.


“type: ppt before: January 2021”

Yet, there’s a streamlined approach for those less versed in these specifics. Skip the hassle of text commands; simply tap on the Precision icon (found at the far right of the search bar). A user-friendly panel will pop up, allowing you to fine-tune your hunt.

From specifying file types, to determining ownership, to pinpointing exact phrases within the document, this tool is your trusty companion for a refined search journey.

How Tettra Supercharges Your Google Docs for Knowledge Management

Tettra is a better fit for knowledge management than Google Drive because it is specifically designed for this purpose. It has a number of features that make it well-suited for storing, organizing, and sharing knowledge.

  • A centralized, internal knowledge base: Tettra provides a single place where all of your company’s knowledge can be stored and accessed. This makes it easy for employees to find the information they need, no matter where it is located.
  • A powerful search function: Tettra’s search function is very powerful, allowing users to find information quickly and easily. It can search for text, keywords, and even phrases.
  • Collaboration tools: Tettra makes it easy for multiple people to collaborate on knowledge. Users can comment on entries, suggest edits, and approve changes.
  • Embed Google Drive right inside of Tettra: Work on a Google Doc even outside of Google Drive when you integrate with Tettra.
  • Reporting and analytics: Tettra provides detailed reports and analytics on how your knowledge base is being used. This information can be used to improve the knowledge base and make it more valuable to your employees.
  • Verification & updates: Stale content? Tettra will let you know what content needs to be updated. This can be assigned and verified by an expert.

Tettra can also work with Google Drive to provide a more comprehensive knowledge management solution. For example, you can link Google Drive documents to Tettra entries, so that users can access them directly from the knowledge base. You can also use Tettra to create a wiki for your Google Drive documents.

Learn more:

If you are looking for a knowledge management solution that is easy to use, powerful, and scalable, then Tettra is a great option. It can help you to improve communication, collaboration, and productivity within your organization.