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Guide to Setting Up and Using Google Drive

2 minute read

Google Drive is here, and it’s a game changer for Google Apps. Now you can easily sync those pesky desktop files with your Google Docs account, and truly have your entire file library instantly updated and available on the web.

But Drive isn’t simply a file-syncing tool. It’s actually much more and we go into detail about that in the video. For example, did you know that the Google Drive update also introduced the ability to bring files from third-party applications like LucidChart and Smartsheet into your Docs list via Chrome extensions? Very cool!

1. Within Google Docs, click on the gear on the right side of your screen and select the option to enable Drive.

  • A notification should pop up asking you to download Drive for your PC/Mac, which you should allow.

2. Once Drive is downloaded, you will be prompted to sign in with your Google account.

  • Be sure to sign in with the account you would like to sync your documents with.
  • From there you can drag documents (or folders) from your desktop that you would like to upload to your Google account, as well as automatically download your Google documents to your desktop.
  • The great part about Drive is that it updates constantly (whenever you have an internet connection), so there is no need to monitor it.

3. The presentation of Drive compared to Docs has changed slightly, and that begins with the tool bar on the left-hand side.

  • The drop-down My Drive signifies all items that are synced with your computer, while the Shared with me tab displays all items that other users have shared with you, but are not automatically synced to your drive.
  • To ensure items are synced to your Drive, click on Shared with me, check the box to the left of your document, and click on the Add to My Drive icon at the top of your screen.

4. Another new option involves an alternative way to view a folder.

  • If you click on the arrow to the right of a folder and select Open Folder, it will open the documents within the folder.
  • From here you have the option to open the file in the same window by simply clicking on it.
  • You are able to make changes directly, which is an entirely new feature native to Drive.

5. Finally, Google Drive allows you to include third-party applications.

  • After downloading your preferred application (we really like LucidChart and Smartsheet), you are able to access them easily within Drive.
  • Click on Create on the left side of your screen, scroll down to More, and choose whichever application you would like to work with.

Google Drive is a revolutionary change to the Google Apps experience, and we think users are going to enjoy the flexibility it provides between the cloud and PCs/Macs. Have you enjoyed using Drive? Let us know in the comments section below, as well as any questions or ideas for new videos you may have. Thanks!

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