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Save Time in Google Drive: Must-Know Google Drive Tips

There are so many great Google Drive Features, it's hard to fit everything into one blog post! So, in the name of time-efficiency, let's explore some must-know Google Drive time-saving tips.

1. Convert images to text.

This is actually one of my favorite features. Let's you really want that Italian cookie recipe your friend just posted to Instagram. So, you ask your friend for the recipe and she sends you a picture of the recipe from her cookbook. But, you want the physical recipe, not just a picture of the recipe.

No need to panic, you can indeed convert that image to editable text. Upload the image to Google Drive. Right-click on the image and select open with > Google Docs. This opens a brand new Google Docs tab and you’ll have the image file at the top of the doc, but scroll down below that, and all the text from the image will be right in your Doc in an editable format. How cool is that?

This time-saving trick will work with any photo that has text because Google is using optical character recognition or OCR technology.

2. Create a new file from any tab when browsing the web.

This one is a real time-saver if there ever was one. From any tab, head to your browser bar and type in, and a brand new doc is instantly opened for you. By the way, this works with sheets and slides and forms too. So, for sheets, you’d type into the browser bar, or for a new slide deck, or for a new Google Form.

3. Color-code your Google Drive folders.

This one is more of an organizational time-saver, but important none-the-less. Select the folder you want to change, and right-click on that folder, and then select change color. From here, just select the color you want, and voila! The folder color is changed, giving you a quick visual cue.

4. Use the Explore tool.

Now I don’t mean just explore within your Drive. I mean search within Drive, Images, and the Web - all from your file in Drive. That's right, you don't even have to leave your Doc to search the web!

When you’re working in a file, click the star symbol in the bottom right corner of the file. This is the explore feature. A tab on the right-hand side of your file will open up. At the top of the tab, enter in the search term for something you’re trying to find. You'll be given web results, image results, and Drive results. Under web, for example, you’ll have all kinds of web search results, and cooler yet, if you hover over them, you actually have the option to cite that web result as a footnote - all without leaving drive. Now, click on images, and from here you can simply drag and drop an image right into your file. But that's not all. Click on Drive in your Explore tab and any files you’ve created that contain that search term will be brought up there. It’s as easy as that.

5. Find and insert links without leaving the file you’re working in.

Ya, you can do that too! You may already know how to highlight or right-click on a word or phrase to hyperlink it, but there are some cool features that will allow you to do so without leaving the doc to go find the link you want to put in.

Highlight what you want to link and right-click it, and select link. Sometimes, an exact website can come up for you, but if not, don't worry. There’s a way to get to any site right from here too. In the link box, type in the name of the website or company you're thinking of and pick from the list smart suggestions.

6. Use voice typing to dictate your message directly to drive.

If you’re a slow typer, you’ll want to take advantage of this voice to text feature. From your file, place your cursor where you want to start. Now, head up to tools and select voice typing. On the left, you can adjust the language if necessary, and then when you’re ready to dictate, click the microphone and start speaking.

7. Translate a Google Doc.

From any Doc in Drive, head back to your tools. This time, select Translate Document. This is very helpful if you’re working with teams across the world.

Remember, if you love Drive as much as I do, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for even more Google Drive content. Or, click on this Everything Google playlist!

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