Google Drive has honestly saved my life so many times. From Drive, you’re able to create Google Docs (similar to Word), Google Sheets (similar to Excel) and Google Slides (similar to PowerPoint).

These files are automatically saved every few seconds onto Google Drive’s storage, so the fear of losing your work becomes almost nonexistent. Additionally, you can open these files up onto any computer that has access to the internet.

Forgot your laptop that has everything you need for your presentation today? No worries, just sign into your gmail account and access your drive from a different computer!  To understand how to use this convenient and simple feature, read on.

First, you’ll need a gmail account. If you don’t have one, simply go to www.gmail.com and hit the “Sign Up” button located on the bottom of the page. From there, fill out the questions and create an email.

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From there, fill out the questions and create an email.

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Once you have a gmail account, go to drive.google.com. “Go to Google Drive” will pop up in the middle of the page; click that, then it will take you to a site to log in to your Google account (which is what you created at gmail.com). If you’re already logged in, typing in drive.google.com will take you to your personal drive.

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This account comes with 15 GB of storage. To give you an example of how much that is, a couple years ago I bought a new computer that I didn’t want to install Microsoft Word on, so I exclusively use Google Docs; I still haven’t ran out of space!

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The first thing you need to know how to do is create a new document. When you’re logged onto Google Drive, on the top left of the page is a red button that says “New.”

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Click this, then select “File Upload” or “Folder Upload” if you’d like to upload an existing document from your computer. Otherwise, choose “Google Docs,” “Google Sheets,” or “Google Slides,” depending on what you would like to create. Technically, there are more options on Google Drive, but we’ll stick to the basics for now.

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Otherwise, choose “Google Docs,” “Google Sheets,” or “Google Slides,” depending on what you would like to create. Technically, there are more options on Google Drive, but we’ll stick to the basics for now.

Additionally, if you click the “New” button, you can create a folder. This is simply for organizational purposes and will be shown on your Google Drive home page. Files will be displayed directly below the folders and can be dragged into whichever folder you’d like by clicking the mouse over the file and holding it down while dragging it to the appropriate folder. Otherwise, you can right-click and select “Move to…”.

If you have a file you’d like to be able to reach quickly and often, you can make it a favorite it by right-clicking and press “Add Star”. From here, simply click “Starred” on the left side of the page to access these documents.

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By right-clicking on a file, you can also share, download, remove, make a copy, rename, or get a sharable link by clicking the appropriately named option.

Another option is to click once on a file. Then, multiple buttons appear near the top of the page with most of the same options. Hover your mouse over them for text to appear stating what each one is.

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This intro post taught you almost everything you need to know. In following posts, we’ll talk specifically about Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides. But for now, you officially can use Google Drive!

~ Angela Karl

www.angelakarl.com