Could your cluttered Google Drive be eating up a chunk of your productivity and mental capacity?
Aside from the hefty price tag, clutter costs time and energy. Especially when you struggle through tons of files and folders to find important data when you need it the most.
If you’re not familiar with the KonMari Method™, it basically encourages you to purge your home or office of anything that doesn’t bring *joy* or value into your life. Pretty ”neat”, huh? (pun intended)
While it seems basic in theory, Marie Kondo’s minimalist method is ‘’life-changing’’. I mean, her books and Netflix show; Tidying Up with Marie Kondo have been booming for a reason. Even Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan is hooked.
Obsessed with the KonMari Method™, we at GAT Labs decided to take this simple approach one step forward and apply it to digital workspace jumble, or in this case, Google Drive clutter.
Our goal: A minimalist Drive that inspires you to work better, safer and smarter.
Now let’s go all Marie Kondo!
5 Easy Steps to a Google Drive that sparks ‘joy’
Step One: Take the clutter out of your Drive
So you might be a collector, huh? — Surprisingly, not a bad thing. The KonMari Method™ encourages you to start by focusing on what you want to keep.
First, open this link, it will show you a list of all of your Drive files sorted by size with the largest items at the top.
Identify the files you intend to keep and bin the rest, all in one go. You can also run the Google Drive Cleaner to get rid of duplicate files.
You’d be surprised at the plethora of empty, duplicated or useless files you’ve been accumulating over time.
If you work at an organization where you others to still view the file, you can instead move it to a shared folder and give ownership to someone else. Remember, if your delete a file, anyone you’ve shared the file with will lose access to it.
*Learn how delete files in your Google Drive here.
Step Two: Organize folder-by-folder
Marie Kondo organizes by category instead of room, which is very relevant to your Google Drive as well.
Start by dividing your files into THREE categories based on ‘value’.
- One for ‘sentimental value’
- One for ‘important stuff’
- One for ‘sensitive files’
Then create and name your folders based on each.
- Make sure Sensitive files are handled well, with the correct ownership and access rights assigned to each —That’s particularly important when dealing with sensitive information like banking details, or handling data that falls under Data protection laws.
- Dedicate one separate folder for unsorted files that don’t belong in any of your master folders.
- Make sure the names you choose for your folders are straightforward to remember which files they’re for.
*Learn how to create folders in your Google Drive here.
STEP Three: Embrace the magic of sub-folders
Sub-folders are crucial to prevent your master folders from getting over-cluttered. You can create sub-folders based on team, project, topic, task, client, etc.
Remember, your sub-folders should always be related to your master folders.
Learn how to create sub-folders in your Google Drive here.
STEP Four: Label your folders
And now it’s time for Marie Kondo’s cool label marker.
Did you know that you have a fantastic set of labelling tools in your Google Drive, and there is no better time like the present to start exploring them!
a. Color-code your folders: A sea of bland grey folders isn’t exactly visually appealing. Amp up your organization game with color-coded folders. That will make it easier to find what you’re looking for with a simple glance. Here’s how.
b. Symbols or Emojis: Symbols are another great way to personalise your folders based on topic. To add symbols ☟:
- Visit https://coolsymbol.com/ and copy the symbol or emoji you like by clicking on it.
- Go to your Google Drive, right-click on an existing folder → choose Rename → paste your symbol or emoji along your chosen name.
c. Star your folders/ or files ⭐ : This is another great way for labelling important folders or files to quickly find them later on. To star files/ or folders:Simply right-click on the file/folder you wish to star → select Add to Starred.
STEP Five: Place New Files where they Belong, Always
Just like with any freshly organized house, it can get messy pretty easily if not maintained well, your Google Drive requires the same attention.
The key here is to constantly place things in their designated places, or in this case, always place new files in their designated folders right away.
Finally, remember to regularly bin unwanted files and more importantly empty your Google Drive bin to free up some storage space.
To empty your bin: Go to your Bin → right-click on the files you want to permanently delete → select the Delete forever option, and there you go, even more storage space.
Et voila, you know have a perfectly organised Google Drive.