How your cloud drives got so chaotic

The struggle of maintaining hard drives has been something we’ve all had to face when using computers regularly. When cloud storage arrived, the problem just escalated. Here’s why your cloud drives got so chaotic.
Two of the main benefits of using cloud drives also brings an important challenge to the table. It’s harder to keep it all organized. Why? It’s pretty straight forward really.

By Kristian Male

Published on March 28, 2018

Multiple devices demands more space

First of, since we also used multiple devices before the days of cloud computing and cloud drives, a file stored on one device could only be accessed by that one device. When cloud computing came along, you could access files on multiple devices. That’s great, right?

Of course it is! The only thing is that we also need to face the side effects. With more devices having access to the same drive, the natural effect would be that the drive has more files stored on it. So instead of having photos stored on your mobile phone and your documents stored on your desktop, it’s all in one place.

You work with others, on the same drive

Second, cloud storage enables people to collaborate better with each other. The possibility of sharing files and collaborating real-time makes cloud storage services the clear favorite for teams and other groups of people that need to work together. Companies set up team accounts on services like Google Drive and Dropbox Paper, streamlining the sharing process of files.

But just like the first point, this also makes the cloud drive crowded. Not only does it bring more devices and therefore a bigger need for more storage space in the cloud, it also brings different mindsets of how files should be kept organized.

We all bring different habits and thoughts on what organizing systems work. For some, it’s enough to name the file something that’s easy to recognize, you the search field can be used, while others have a very unique way of organizing files based on folders.

The different cloud drive services have different ways of handling their sharing functionality. Google Drive divide your own files into its own tab called My Drive and Shared with me, but they also let you move folders and files to My Drive. Dropbox marks folders and files with an icon or text saying it’s a shared file or folder. So it’s important for you to get yourself familiar with how your cloud drive provider work with shared files and folders.

So your cloud drive is chaotic. What can you do about it?

There’s plenty of things you can do to make sure your cloud drives stay organized. A great tip is to know exactly who you’re working with on the same drive. Try to understand what kind of habits they have and how they like to organize files. That way it’s much easier for you to move through their content when they share a something with you.

Another great tip is to set up a guideline for how your cloud drive should be organized. This is extremely useful if you have a team account on Google Drive or use Dropbox Paper. One way to do this is to keep a document with a guide in the main folder for your team. An example would be to have one guideline for your strategy folder stored right on the folder, and one for your marketing folder.

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