When’s the last time you heard someone say, “back up, back up, back up”? That’s the answer to owning a computing device.
Do you use Google’s cloud service, Drive?
The latest news is that Drive will become a place where you can back up your computer. That service will be offered in a few days. But, what about all the other things it can do?
If you have a Gmail account, you have 15 gigabits of free space available to you in Drive.
Google Docs, which is tied to Drive, allows for document creating and editing, much the same as Windows Word. Google Sheets can create spreadsheets for schedules, time sheets, grocery items, just about anything you can imagine, and it’s all stored in Google Drive.
I’ve used Drive long enough to discover things that make Google’s cloud service an even better tool. Here are a few features I use that might also help you.
Google Drive’s Recent view, found at the top, can find the documents you store on Drive. In the search field, enter a keyword or document date to find the doc you are looking for. This works on the Drive web and the mobile app.
A new feature called Quick Access adds a list of thumbnails across the top of the My Drive view. Right under the search field, you’ll see it allows you to click the box to make relevant files handy when you need them and then refresh the page.
Next, notice in the search box at the top of Google Drive, there’s a down-arrow button on the right edge. Click it and you’ll get a panel of search options to filter your search results. If you’ve been using Google Drive for awhile and have accumulated a large library of files, then these search options are hugely useful to narrow your results.
Google Drive allows you to Share files with others. Simply open the file and click the three dots at the top right for a listing of things you can do including sharing with someone or copying the link to drop in an email.
When using Gmail, you may have noticed there’s a little Drive icon at the bottom of Gmail’s compose window. It lets you attach files you have stored in Drive or simply send a link. For Google Drive formats — Docs, Sheets, Slides and so on — your only option is to send a link to the file. For other file types — PDFs, Word docs, images — you have the option of sending them as an attachment or a Drive link, which lets you share files larger than Gmail’s 25GB size limit for attachments.
You’ve got a few options for clearing the formatting for text you paste into Docs. You can highlight the text and select Normal text from the toolbar at the top. Or you can go to Format > Clear formatting. (For the latter, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-\, or Command-\ for Mac.) You can avoid the format-removal process by holding down Shift when you paste text. Yep, Ctrl-Shift-V pastes without any formatting.
Want to back up your phone’s important data to Drive? On the mobile app, go to Settings > Backup and choose what you want to back up … contacts, calendar events or photos and videos (or all three). Just tap the Start Backup button.
As I mentioned before, you’ll soon be able to use Google Drive to backup and sync any folder on your computer. But for now, you can make the Google Drive folder appear like just another folder on your desktop instead of accessing it from a browser. Just install the Drive app for Mac or PC and head to Preferences > Sync Options and you can sync the entire My Drive folder or just certain subfolders within it.
And Google Drive is secure and safe to store private information such as passwords and tax records. All you need is a good password to your Gmail account. But you can also create a password to lock Drive. Click on the three lines on the top left (aka “hamburger menu”) and in Settings > Passcode lock.
So there you have it. Using Google Drive makes storage quick and easy and hopefully, something you will enjoy using to backup your files. https://www.google.com/drive/
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That’s it this week. Have a great weekend and may God bless you and keep you safe.
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