7 Google Drive Tips & Tricks You Can’t Afford to Miss

Jan 24, 2017

7 Google Drive Tips & Tricks You Can’t Afford to Miss

If you’re settling for the basic functionality of Google Docs, you are not leveraging its true potential. Here’s some tips and tricks you need to know in order to increase your efficiency and take advantage of this cloud-based office suite.

1. Use Google Drive in The Cloud

Employ Mavenlink to upload Google Docs or other files directly to a workplace instead of sending attachments that get buried in email inboxes. Since Mavenlink integrates with Google Drive and other Google Apps, it allows you to upload a Microsoft Word doc or Power PDF directly to a workplace.

Alternatively, you could download Drive on your Mac or PC to sync files from your computer to the cloud, to make them available from any internet-connected device. Update a file on one device and the changes are automatically saved to Drive and your other device, so you have the most up-to-date version of your files wherever you need them. After uploading to Google Drive, you can share, backup, and simultaneously edit Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents with coworkers.

2. Backup Your Google Drive Files

Keep an offline copy of your entire Google Drive so you can access your archive even when you don’t have Internet connectivity.

In order to backup your Google Drive collections, go to drive.google.com, sign in to your Google account, and choose the items you want to backup. To back up all the documents, select the tiny little check box next to “Title”, pull down the “more” drop down menu and choose “Download”.

Google Drive allows you to choose the optimal output format of your documents. You can convert all word documents to PDF or HTML and download the converted version with a simple keystroke.

3. Use Google Drive to Create Simple Forms, Surveys or Polls

Google Drive has capabilities beyond documents. You can create surveys and polls, then embed these forms on your websites.

Create, collect and store unlimited number of forms and store unlimited number of responses for every form. Google Drive also forms supports logic branching, so you can design IF ELSE questions depending on the response of the user.

From the user responses, you can analyze large sets of data and generate pie charts, bar graphs, and Venn diagrams. When users enter a response in any of your forms, Google Drive will notify you through an email message.

There are also a ton of free add-on’s available in the Chrome store for Google form tricks.  For example, you can easily convert an existing document into a Google form and convert Google forms to PDF.

Check out Google’s quick how-to for setting up surveys and forms.

4. Save Web Pages Directly into Your Google Drive Account

When you’re reading a webpage and want to archive it into a PDF ebook, just click “File” and “Save Page As.” Select the target location as your Google Drive folder. The current web page will be copied into your Google Drive account and saved in PDF format, while still retaining all the original images, Hyperlinks and other web elements.

5. Suggest Edits

When multiples partners are collaborating on a Google Doc, you may want approval on the edits you are making. On the top right hand corner, change “editing” to “suggesting” mode.

The mode logs each keystroke you make so others can approve, deny or comment on the revision. Approval will solidify the edit. If the revision is denied, the document will be reverted to its original format. Comments can be added on the suggestions for clarification or questions.

6. Use Google Drive to Translate Office Documents to Another Language

Harness the power of Google Drive to conquer the language barrier Often times, business partners or clients will not speak the same language as you do. If your foreign counterpart shares a document written in classical Chinese, simply pull down the “Tools” menu and click on “Translate document” and choose a target language.

Google Drive will translate the entire document to your desired language. Both the copies of the document (original as well as translated) will be saved in your Google Drive account.

7. View Revision History

If you’ve been editing your document but are unsatisfied with your revision, Google Docs provides an option for you to look over the edits and revert back to the original.

Google Drive automatically creates a log of all the document revisions (regardless of how many users are collaborating on any given document). The owner of the document can quickly see an earlier copy from File > See revision history. Following is an example screenshot of the revision history of this article, written entirely in Google Drive:

To restore the document to an earlier version, hover the mouse cursor over a desired revision log and hit “Restore”. Google Drive automatically highlights the changes of an earlier revision so you will have no problems in comparing the changes.

Want to learn more?
Download our Essential Guide to Collaboration 

Editors Note: The original version of this post was published in March, 2012 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 
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