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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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                                Published on September 20, 2018

                                11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                                11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                                In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

                                Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

                                In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

                                Minimizing Tabs

                                Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

                                Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

                                Incognito Mode

                                Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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                                1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
                                2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
                                3. Download extension New Incognito Window

                                This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

                                Save Webpages as PDF Files

                                Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

                                Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

                                Open Recently-closed Tabs

                                Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

                                One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

                                The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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                                Solve Mathematical Problems

                                Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

                                For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

                                Play Media Files

                                Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

                                In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

                                Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

                                With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

                                Stay Focus(e)d

                                Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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                                Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

                                With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

                                This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

                                Grammarly for Editing

                                Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

                                You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

                                Loom

                                There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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                                There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

                                With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

                                Chrome Calendar Extension

                                No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

                                Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

                                Final Thoughts

                                Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

                                Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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