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8 Clever Hacks To Get The Most Out of Google Drive

8 Clever Hacks To Get The Most Out of Google Drive

Are you sure you know all the cool functionality Google Docs Suite has to offer you? Whether you’ve been using this cloud storage for years or you just got your hands on it, there’s always more to discover. Here are 8 clever hacks you may have no idea about!

1. You Can Search Inside Photos and PDF Files

Did you know that uploaded PDFs and image files become completely searchable when you upload them to Google Drive? No? Well, you should take advantage of this feature right now.

Also, you can edit this kind of files within the application too. Simply right-click an uploaded PDF or image file, then choose Open with Google Docs. Depending on the quality of file, Google drive will be able to transform those visuals into texts – a handy feature when dealing with scanned documents.

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Additionally, you can store as many photos, as you like on Google Drive (without losing any free space) as long as the resolution size of those is less than 2048×2048.

2. You Can Scan Documents With Google Drive

If you have an Android phone and installed the native Google Drive app for Android, then you can use your smartphone as a portable scanner (sorry Apple fans, this feature isn’t available for iOS yet).

Access the front screen of the app, tap the large plus icon and afterwards choose Scan from the pop-up menu. The automatic detection is pretty accurate, though you can also rotate and crop images manually if needed. All your scans are instantly uploaded to your Google Drive and saved as PDF files.

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3. You Can Dictate Your Documents

There’s no need to install any additional dictating software. Just open a new text document in Google Drive, select Tools, and the Voice Typing. Click the mic icon and you are ready to go. You can right-click the underlined words to receive alternative suggestions. The app is rather accurate and supports common voice commands like “bold”, “italics”, “go to the end of the line” and so on.

4. You Can Adjust Sharing Permissions

Heads up, Google Drive is an excellent collaboration tool, especially for distributed teams. You probably do know about the one-click doc-sharing feature, but you may not have looked into all of the options available.

First, you can regulate whether another user can comment, view or edit the shared file. Next, you can review who has access to the document in the first place and what their roles/permissions are. Lastly, you can adjust various link sharing options and set the access to public, specific people only and so on.

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5. You Can Use Google Drive Offline

You can enjoy the Google Drive Suite even in offline mode, but you need to activate the feature first. For this click the settings cog in the upper right corner on the front page of the Google drive, head to Settings and on the General tab tick the box “Sync…offline” and the app will start caching all the recent Drive files while you’re offline.

Though you won’t be able to watch videos or open photos in offline mode, you’ll be able to view, edit and create new files in native Google Drive formats even when you are not connected to the web.

6. You Can Browse Through Your Files Using Voice

Again, no need to type some search terms whenever you’re looking for a specific file. You can just say the words.

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In order to this, you’ll have to activate Google Now – the apps smart voice assistance available for Android users. Launch the app and say “search Drive for + your file name”.

7. You Can Quickly Discover The Largest File On Your Drive

Those 17 GB of free space can end up faster than you blink, if you’re using this cloud storage regularly. If you’re not ready to upgrade yet and pay for extra space, schedule a spring clean. That could be done quite fast with this hack.

To identify the largest file, go to the Drive’s main screen and look in the left bottom corner. You’ll see exactly how much space you have used so far. Next, click the small Drive entry (or this link directly) and the largest files will show up at the top of the list and you can start cleaning from there.

8. You Can Quickly Sync Files To and From Your Desktop

When you install the Google Drive desktop client for Windows or Mac, you receive access to all the files on your computer and you can choose which folders or docs to sync with one click.

It reduces the time and efforts required for uploading documents, as the client also gives you offline access to all the files on your Drive. Meaning if you can make the changes offline they’ll get synced once you are connected to a network.

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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