How to use Google Drive as your virtual backpack (and why you should)

Google Drive on Computer

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Preparing for classes every semester can take a toll on your precious time and wallet. Since the pandemic, many classes have turned to hybrid or virtual formats, and even the over-priced textbooks have moved online. So why not do the same with your backpack? Ok, maybe not your physical backpack but its contents that can weigh you down while walking across campus? 

While smart notebooks are great, they often have page limits and add sneaky extra stylus or subscription costs. Instead, you can go completely paperless by using Google Drive, the free Google-powered storage service that comes with your Gmail. 

Having just graduated college, I’ll be the first to say that Google Drive has been a lifesaver. From the comfort of my laptop or phone, I was able to take notes for a majority of my classes, plan my week, and organize vital documents. Here’s how I did it and how you can, too.

1. Make folders for each class or club 

Instead of investing in the folders that inevitably break from the weight of the papers you print and shove in the flimsy pockets, make a permanent Drive folder. Here’s how.

Step 1: Select “+ New”

To add anything to your drive, select the “+ New” button at the top left corner. 

add new on Google Drive

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNET

Once you’ve toggled the + New button, you’ll see a dropdown menu with the options to create new folders, files, forms, Sheets, Slides, and Docs. This is the creation process you’ll follow for any new information you want to add to your Google Drive. For now, let’s focus on folders, as they are the backbone of the virtual backpack.  

options for new content on Google Drive

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNET

Step 2: Create a new folder

First, I recommend naming your folders after your respective courses.

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