Google Drive Basics
Minimum Year Group
Documents, pictures, videos, things to do, places to be, deadlines to meet. This life can be hectic, so why not invest the time to use some digital tools to get yourself organised?
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- Documents, pictures, videos, things to do, places to be, deadlines to meet.
- This life can be hectic, so why not invest the time to use some digital tools to get yourself organised?
- This unit covers some of the basics of staying organised using digital technology.
Sort That Desktop
- Do the files on your desktop look this this?
- Do you struggle to find your files quickly?
- The first step in getting more organised is to keep your desktop tidy, which you can do by using folders.
- To create a folder right click on some empty space on your desktop, which will show the following context menu:
- Click on the New Folder entry, and you will see a new folder appear on your Desktop:
- Your folder will be called untitled folder by default:type a new name into the folder, and then press the Enter button.
- Take some time now to create as many folders as you need to organise the files that you have.
- Some example folders would be: Work, School, Home, Personal
- Remember that folders can contain other folders (called sub folders)
- Now drag your files into your folders, clearing your desktop as you go.
- You should end up with something that looks like this:
- On a Chromebook, you can't save files and folders to your desktop. However, most of the file work you do will be in Google Drive anyway, so refer to the section below about organising folders in Google Drive.
Folders in Google Drive
- Whether you're on a Mac or a Chromebook, organising your Google Drive will be very important for keeping your schoolwork in check
- The person writing this is a writer with a whole lot of ideas, so it's helpful for them to organise their projects into folders, like this
- Of course, your folders won't have silly names like all of these. Try creating ones for each of your school subjects, and any hobbies you might have
- To create a new folder, click on the New button in the top left of Google Drive and select Folder
- Like on a Mac desktop, you can use the same process when inside a folder to create a sub-folder
Search Made Easy
- Over the course of your life you will create a tremendous number of computer files.
- For some of us, these files end up looking like this:
- This makes it very hard to find work, even if it is located in a well name folder.
- Better would be to use meaningful file names, such as Assessment - Term 1 - Building A Blog.
- Not only are such file names easier for you to locate, but they mean that you can use Spotlight or Google Assistant to have your computer find them for you.
- Take some time now to track down some of your files, see what's in them, and give them meaningful names.
Getting Things Done
- Now that your files are well named, and stored in folders, let's turn to keeping track of things you need to do.
- There are many different pieces of software to help you maintain a todo list. One of the best, available on the web, is Trello:
- Trello allows you to store todo list entries in different lists, which can be shared with other users (click on the image for a larger version):
- Items can be given deadlines, dragged to order by date.
- Once a task is complete, it can be checked off (very satisfying)
- Take some time now to open Trello in your browser. Sign up for an account, and get started by adding in some things that you know you have to do in the coming days and weeks.
- Somewhat less sophisticated than Trello, Gibbon can help you stay on top of your homework in the following two ways:
- Teacher Recorded Homework - using the Planner, teachers assign homework to a whole class.
- Student Recorded Homework - using the Planner, you make a not of homework you need to do for yourself.
- These two features can be accessed when you view a lesson in Gibbon:
- From the homepage you can use the link to ... to view all deadlines, and to mark off homework you have completed:
Not Missing Things
- Whilst Trello is great for todo list items, it is not a full calendar/diary solution.
- For really getting to grips with events and scheduling, Google Calendars is hard to beat, providing:
- The ability to create events that:
- Occupy a specific part of a day
- Take up a whole day
- Span multiple days
- Repeat at regular intervals
- The ability to invite guests to an event
- The ability to share calendars with others
- The ability to view all of your calendars in one view, by month, week, day or agenda.
- The ability to receive reminders for upcoming events
- Access from any computer or phone, via the web or a range of apps.
- Use the link above to access Google Calendars, using your Google Account to sign in.
- Once the interface loads, click on the Create button to add a new event:
- Enter the various details for an imaginary event, and use the Add Guests functionality to invite your mentor to the event (click for a larger version of the image):
- When you are ready, press the Save button. You will be prompted to invite your Guest, before being returned to the main calendar interface, where you should see your new entry.
- Note that on the left hand side of the main calendar screen, you can see a list of your own calendars, and those that have been shared with you.
- Clicking on these calendars shows/hides them from the main display, letting you control what you see.
- In addition, clicking on the down arrow that appears on hover gives other options for each calendar:
- Finally, you can use the view changer at the top right of the screen to switch the time frame over which you are viewing your calendar events:
- Take some time now to create a few upcoming events in your calendar.
- Ever wonder how some people have an email inbox that looks like this?
- The fact of the matter is, you probably get a lot of emails. Clearing them all out might seem daunting, but there are a few simple tricks you can use to clean up your inbox.
- Firstly, think about your main sources of spam emails
- A common source will be websites and accounts you've signed up for using your school email. Sites like Pinterest are particularly egregious about sending you loads of promotions and updates that you won't care about
- To get rid of these emails, figure out a key word in their titles - usually it'll just be the name of the website - then put it in the search bar at the top of the page. Click the Select tick box in the top left, then the bin-shaped Delete button. Rinse and repeat until all the spam is cleared out.
- If you find that you can't stay on top of these emails, websites like Pinterest will offer an option to unsubscribe from their updates. Useful if you're repeatedly overwhelmed!
- But what about emails you've already read and don't need any more? Not to fear - Gmail is here to help with its Labels function. You can create a new label from the Move To button on the top row.
- Create a new label - call it Actioned, like I have - and start bulk moving your read emails into it by using the select all function. This might be a little tedious, but you can burn through emails quicker than you think. Before you know it, you'll have a clear inbox!
Other Tools to Consider
- The following systems provide a range of different services which might help you stay organised. Spend a little time looking at them, and pick one to sign up for and use:
- Diigo - web-based social bookmarking for storing sites you like, and learning about new sites.
- Symbaloo - web-based visual bookmarking for storing sites you like and create jumping-off pages.
- Evernote - a web- and app-based colossal digital notebook for storing all sorts of information.
- LibraryThing - a web-based system for cataloging books you have read or want to read, and for getting reading recommendations.
- Google Keep - store notes, memos and todos in one place. Integrates with other Google services.
- In order to provide evidence of your learning create a document with the following elements:
- Include a screenshot of the contents of a folder full of files with meaningful names.
- Include a screenshot of your Trello, with some of your upcoming todo list entries included.
- Include a screenshot of your Google Calendar
- Include a screenshot of at least one of the services mentioned in the Other Tools To Consider section.
- Once your evidence is ready, submit the document to this unit.
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