15 Google Drive Tips and Tricks for Better Productivity (Part II)

(This article was originally published on the 12th of February, 2013. Click here for the latest version.)

There are many cloud storage services out there, one of which is Google Drive. We’ve pitted it against Dropbox and OneDrive, another two crowd favorites and each cloud storage service have their strengths and limitations that would cater to a wide range of customer needs. But if you have decided on Google Drive, here are some handy tips to help you work better with them.

The good thing about Google Drive is that it’s linked to your Gmail account and of course, the 5 GB free storage space. It also supports basic document editing through web browsers.

Here are 15 more tips and tricks that to get more out of Google Drive.

Google Drive Tips and Tricks (Part III)

Google Drive Tips and Tricks (Part III)

Google Drive is one of the most versatile tools that you can have in your toolkit, and it... Read more

Attach Google Drive files on Gmail

Because Google Drive is linked to your Google account, you can attach files stored in Google Drive directly to your Gmail.

Unlike traditional attachments where you first have to upload an attachment, attaching a file through Google Drive does not require you to re-upload the file.

The filesize limit does not apply since a link is given for the email receiver to download.

Google Drive Gmail

Keyboard shortcuts

Google Drive allows you to use keyboard shortcuts for navigation right in your web browser. Here are some of the keyboard shortcuts you can use.

Shortcuts Descriptions
S Star or unstar current highlighted item
X Select or de-select current highlighted item
. Share current highlighted item
J or K Navigate to previous or next item in the list without selecting it
Up Arrow or Down Arrow Select previous or next item in the list
Shift + Up Arrow or Down Arrow Select multiple previous or next items
Shift + A Select all items
Shift + N De-select all items
Shift + T Create a new text document
Shift + P Create a new presentation
Shift + S Create a new spreadsheat
Shift + D Create a new drawing
Shift + F Create a new folder
Ctrl + Alt + G Opens Revision History in files

Use forms to collect data

You can create forms to help you collect data, whatever information that has been input into the form will be automatically compiled into a Spreadsheet document.

You can create a new form by clicking on the Create button and selecting Form.

Create Form

You have many options or ways to collect data. You can use textboxes, checkboxes, multiple choice, lists, scales and grids.

Once you’ve created the form, you can easily share it with other people by providing a direct link to the form or sending it to their email.

Form Preview

Once the form is filled, the results will be automatically and conveniently compiled into a spreadsheet. Google Drive’s spreadsheet works similar to Microsoft Excel where you can calculate values and use mathematical formulas.

Form Result

You can view it in a list as well for easier organization. To do this, click on View and then List.

Form List

You’ll then see a cleaner version of your collected data.

Form List View

Save website images to Google Drive

If you want to instantly save images, documents, HTML5 audio and videos to your Google Drive, you can do so by installing the Save to Google Drive Chrome extension.

With the extension, whenever you right click on a link or image, you get the option to save the image or link directly to your Google Drive.

Google Drive Chrome Extension

Edit Google Drive images online

Installing the Pixlr Editor on your Chrome web browser will enable you to edit photos on your Google Drive.

Once you have Pixlr Editor, right click on any of your pictures and open it. Pixlr Editor comes with many basic tools Photoshop has and should be more than sufficient for basic editing needs.

Pixlr Editor

Add filters to your photo

Want to bring the Instagram feel to your Google Drive photos? You can with Pixlr Express. Pixlr Express only works on Google Chrome.

Once installed, right-click on any photo in your Google Drive and open it with Pixlr Express. You can choose from many filters, borders, fonts and tilt shift effects.

Pixlr Express

Listen to music files

By default, you can only download music files from the Google Drive website. If you want to listen to those files, you can install Drive Music for your Google Chrome web browser.

After installation, whenever you click on a music file, Drive Music will launch in a separate tab that has basic functions similar to a music player.

Drive Music

Edit videos

By installing Pixorial Video to Google Chrome, you can watch your videos in Google Drive through the Pixorial Video library.

From there, you can combine different video clips, trim them, and add titles, music and transitions to create a basic video.

Pixorial Video

Create, edit and save Mind Maps

MindMeister is a Google Chrome App lets you create mind maps right on your web browser. You can then save it in your Google Drive, allowing you to view and edit whenever you like.


Add Google Drive to Windows ‘Send To’ menu

Isn’t it cumbersome to have to open Google Drive first before you can add items to it? Yeah, we thought so. To skip this step, download and install Google Drive into your desktop PC.

Send To Menu

Once you have it installed, navigate to Users > [yourusername] > AppData > Roaming > Microsoft > Windows > SendTo.

Now use the Right Click on your mouse to drag Google Drive from the Favourites panel to the SendTo folder. When you let go of the Right Click, a menu will appear; click on Copy here.

Send To Step

Now whenever you want to move a file from your desktop directly to Google Drive, you can right click on the file, select Send to then Google Drive.

Pin Google Drive to File Explorer Jumplist

Pin the Google Drive folder to the file explorer jumplist for fast access to Google Drive.

File Explorer Jumplist

To do this, all you have to do is drag the Google Drive folder to the file explorer icon on the taskbar. Once you’ve done that, you can easily navigate to the Google Drive Folder by right clicking on the file explorer icon and selecting Google Drive.

Pin Folder

Use Revision History to avoid mistakes

If you’ve accidentally deleted a file on Google Drive, you can reclaim the file from the Bin within 30 days before it gets deleted for good. For individual files, you can view and choose to restore a revision you’ve made in the past.

All you have to do is open a file from the Google Drive website, and hit Ctrl + Alt + G where you can see a panel on the right of your screen showing the revisions you’ve made in the past.


Disable Automatic Deletion of File Versions

By default, Google Drive allows you to restore 100 previous revisions of files. You can have an unlimited amount of revisions, at the sacrifice of your storage space.

To disable automatic deletion, right-click on a file on the Google Drive website and select Manage revisions.

Manage Revisions

Another window will popup; select the file revisions you never want deleted. The list will be longer if you have more revisions synced to Google Drive.

Manage Revisions

Install Google Drive apps for Google Chrome

Like the extensions we mentioned above? Well, there are a lot more apps for Google Chrome that work with Google Drive. Browse through the Google Drive apps collection to find something that may benefit you.

Drive Apps