One of the latest great services to have emerged from the Google workshop is Google Drive, a cloud-based storage facility that enables you to upload your files to the web so they're available anywhere and any time. It gives you 5GB of storage space, which should take care of the majority of your day-to-day file storage, although it's not a long-term storage solution unless you upgrade to the 25GB or 100GB version, which costs around £2.50 and £5.00 a month.
The beauty of Google Drive is that Google Docs is integrated within it, so when you want to create a document, presentation or spreadsheet, you can do it within Google Drive. And what you might not realize is that Google Drive also comes in a desktop version, so you can easily upload files by dragging and dropping them to the folder on your desktop.
Step-by-Step: Explore The Features in Google Drive
To start using Google Drive from a browser window, simply go to drive.google.com and log in using your usual Google Mail or Google Docs credentials. In the main area you will see a list of your files; the left-hand and top menus enable you to do more with them.
The quickest way to start adding files from your hard drive to your Google Drive is to click on the 'Upload' button, which you'll find next to 'Create' in the left-hand menu. When the drop-down menu appears, select the files or folders you want, then click on 'Open' to add them.
If you plan to upload a lot of documents to Google Drive, there's a feature that enables you to automatically convert them to the Google Doc format, to allow for easy sharing later. To do this, click 'Settings (the cog icon) > Upload settings > Convert uploaded files to Google Doc format'.
Sort it out
To keep files in your Google Drive tidy, use folders to file things away. This is handy if you want to keep photos separate from documents, for example. Click on the 'new folder' icon above 'Meet your Drive', and choose a name. Now, any files in your Drive can be dragged to the folder.
When you want to do more with a file in your Drive, right-click it and a menu of options will appear. To look at a file, you can download it to your hard drive and check it out at a later date, or you can easily view it within Drive by selecting 'Open with > Google Drive Viewer'.
An easy way of keeping track of the files that you use most often is to star them, which then enables you to instantly browse through only starred items using the option in the left-hand menu. To star something, just right-click on your chosen file and select 'Add star' from the menu.
If you're going where there won't be an internet connection, Google Drive enables you to view (not edit) documents and spreadsheets offline, if you're using the Chrome browser. Click 'Settings > Set up docs offline > Allow offline docs'. Install the Docs Chrome app to activate it.
Once you're used to the way the browser version of Google Drive operates, you can try the desktop app as well. Click on 'Download Google Drive for PC or Mac', and select where you want your Google Drive folder to be saved. You can copy files to your Drive by dragging them to the desktop folder.
An app for that
Google Drive is available for mobile devices, too. There's an Google Drive app is available for both iOS and Android devices. The mobile version enables you to access files in the same way as the browser version, and includes the ability to upload files from your phone.
Now you've learned how to use Google Drive, you can keep all your files in the Cloud where they remain safe for as long as you like, and you always have access to them provided you have an internet connection. Want some more space? Just click on the 'Upload' icon then 'Buy more storage'.
Guest Post by Sara Shah, she is a blogger and tech enthusiast. She writes for many popular tech blogs such as bestiphone5apps.us and ipad3games.co.
Author : sara shah