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15 Tricks You Never Knew Can Get The Most Out Of Google Drive

15 Tricks You Never Knew Can Get The Most Out Of Google Drive

Google Drive has a lot to offer, much of which you might not even know about. Read about 15 tricks that will enable you to use Google Drive to the best of its ability.

Keyboard shortcuts

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    Shortcuts are one of the ultimate hacks, and Google Drive has its share of them. Learn them here to maximize your efficiency.

    Google Drive on the desktop

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      This is a pretty obvious one, but it bears mentioning because of how much it can transform your use of Google Drive. While you’re on Drive on the web, click “Install Drive for your computer”. You’ll be able to automatically upload the important documents to the cloud just by putting them in a folder that will sync to the cloud.

      Monitoring your storage

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        On OS X you can find the Google Drive icon right in your menu bar. All you have to do is click on it to see how much storage you’ve used up.

        Empty the trash

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          While having Google Drive right on your desktop can be great, it comes with some downsides. If you delete Drive files from the desktop, they’ll still be stored online and take up space in your account. To truly delete files go to Drive on the web and empty the trash there.

          Make forms

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            Google Drive is popular for its free-to-use word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation, but less so for its extremely useful Forms app. It even has a large template gallery where you can choose from hundreds of themes.

            Search by file types

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              Click on the downwards arrow on the search engine of the Google Drive web page to search for files either by type, visibility, or ownership.

              Research

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                Have your document and the web open side-by-side with the Research function found under Tools to avoid having to switch between tabs.

                Translate

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                  Under Tools you can translate your text in Google Docs into dozens of different languages.

                  Save to Drive

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                    With the Save to Google Drive extension you add documents, images, audio and video to Drive with a simple right click. Find it in your browser’s web store.

                    Sync your cloud storage accounts

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                      If you use other cloud services along with Google Drive download CloudHQ to sync, back up, and integrate your files across multiple platforms. Its a paid service, but you can get a 15 day free trial.

                      Get add-ons

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                        In Google Docs you have the option to get add-ons that enhance the workflow. Popular ones include citation generation EasyBib, a Thesaurus, and a tables of contents.

                        Use Google Drive offline

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                          Obviously you’re not going to be syncing files without an internet connection, but Google does let you continue working on your documents. You need to set it up in advance. Choose the Offline link from the file list to enable offline editing.

                          Look at revision history

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                            It’s amazing all the things a right click can do. If right-click with a document or folder under your cursor you can see changes you made and even restore previous versions of documents made with the Google Drive web apps.

                            Use Drive for media

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                              Now that extra storage is priced ridiculously low, Google Drive is a great option for storing media. Depending on the size of your collection, you might be able to store everything you need to for just two bucks a month. There’s even a music player where you can play any audio from your Google Drive on the web, so you can listen to it anywhere with an internet connection.

                              Transfer files to your mobile device

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                                If you do use Drive for media, this trick is especially powerful. You can download the Google Drive app on to your smartphone or tablet, and download files directly to your device. Want to listen to a song that’s not on your phone? Just download it with the Google Drive app.

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                                Matt OKeefe

                                Freelance Writer, Marketer

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                                Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                                7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                                Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                                Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                                Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                                So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                                Joe’s Goals

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                                  Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                                  Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                                  Daytum

                                    Daytum

                                    is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                                    Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                                    Excel or Numbers

                                      If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                                      What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                                      Evernote

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                                        I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                                        Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                                        Access or Bento

                                          If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                                          Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                                          You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                                          Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                                          All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                                          Conclusion

                                          I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                                          What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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