Color Code and Organize Your Google Drive

Color Code and Organize Your Google Drive
It seems like I rely more and more on my Google Drive each year of my teaching. I upload my favorite resources to folders, create docs for my students to use in Google Classroom, store maps for Social Studies, upload photos of our Science experiments...there is just so much you can do with the drive. And I really love how easy it is to organize your files.

But, truth be told, I was never a big fan of the layout and colors. 

A sea of gray folders is never really helpful when you are a busy teacher trying to find docs on the fly. And, while you can colorize the folders, there is only so much control over the order they can be displayed.

Or is there?

I've had my folders colorized for a few years, but I learned something new. It actually turns out you can number your folders to keep them in the order you would like them to appear (this is a little tip I learned from my sister over at Fashion Craze Learning Days). After doing a little research, I learned you can also include some fun numbers, to make those folders really stand out:

And it gets better.

You can even include some basic symbols to organize those folders even further:

Would you like to try? It's very easy to do...simply follow the steps below:

1. First you will need to open a tab for this fantastic site: Copy Paste Character. There is a drop down menu at the top. We'll be using the numbers first, so select Numerals from the list.

2. Open another tab to access your Google Drive. You can either make adjustments to the folders you already have, or start from scratch. If you are creating a new folder, right-click and choose New Folder and name it:

3. Your new folder will show as the default gray color. There are two ways to change the color. You can right-click for a popup menu, or double click the folder and choose from the drop down menu. Select Change Color:

4. Once you have chosen the colors for your folders, choose the order in which you would like them to be displayed. This is where the numbers will come into play. Since the default sorts are alphabetical (ascending and descending) or last modified or opened, the numbers give you a bit more control over your display.

Navigate to the Copy Paste Character site and choose the number style you would like (I went with the larger numbers in black):
Clicking on the number should automatically copy it to your clipboard. Head back to your Google folder. Right-click or use the drop down menu to choose Rename:


Go to the beginning of your folder name and paste the number:

Continue until you have numbered all of your folders. Please note: this will only work for numbers up to 9...once you choose 10 and above it will start to display out of order, 1, then 10, then 2, etc. I like to use subfolders, so I kept my major subjects to nine folders:

You can display these as thumbnails (shown above) or as a list:

5. Now to add subfolders and symbols! For my subfolders, I kept the same color as the subject and chose some basic icons to go with units/topics. We have three major writing units (Opinion, Narrative, and Informational) and I started setting up folders for other resources:


In my Math folder, I created subfolders for our Math Rotation materials, as well as numbered folders for our math units (I used the smaller black numbers for these units, so they would stand out from the large numbers used in the subject area folders):

To do this, click on a subject area folder you have created. Right-click or choose the red New button to set up a new folder. Follow the same steps as we did for the numbers, but this time choosing symbols to match your folders from the Copy Paste Character website:



And that's it! There is a nice selection of symbols from the website to choose from...though you may have to get creative with some of your folder symbols (I so desperately wanted a book symbol, but could not find one!). There is a chance other symbol sites may work as well, but many times the symbols do not show up in different browsers. I did a lot of testing and found these symbols to work best for my folders.

I hope this is of some help to those of you looking to color code and organize your Google Drive!

Would you like to try some more colorful organization for your Google Drive? Keeping a grade book in Google Sheets has made record keeping MUCH easier for me this school year. With color-coded tabs and icons, I can quickly find the exact grading page I need. And the best part? These templates automatically average grades as they are entered...it's been such a time-saver! Please click the image below to learn more:

13 comments

  1. So cool!

    This is really revolutionary, and I really appreciate it! :v)

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  2. You could always number them 001, 002, 003, and so on if you wanted more than 9, but this is great!

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Okay, I'll be sincere. I don't believe that just colors can help me a lot with organizing all my folders. Only all the discounts by edubirdie.com can't be organized just in this way. but I liked the idea. And I think that somehow, a bit, it can help. And it looks really cute.I think it's because you choose nice, not too bright color scheme.

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  5. When I right click, I don't get the option to change color. Can I find that option somewhere else?? :(

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    1. I don't on my chromebook. Only on my windows and macbook can I use the right click. Multiple people have told me that is possible to make the change on the mouse but I have not figured it out.

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  7. My numbers aren't as big as yours... I can't figure that part out. I selected the biggest ones...

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  8. I can't get my numbers to paste, when I try to rename my folders.

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  9. Thanks for all of these great ideas!

    I ran into a snag with one of my subjects because I needed to number chapters 1-12. Unfortunately, the symbol for 11 wanted to alphabetize right after the 1 rather than the 10. Alas!

    Have you found a way to change the colors of all the subfolders at the same time, or did you have to do this one by one? That's probably my biggest deterrent to color coding at this point.

    I've also found, in addition to Copy Paste Character, you can use Emojipedia (https://emojipedia.org/) to search for symbols. Once you find the symbol you like, there's a little box at the top for "Copy," and you can paste this symbol into your folder name. You don't have to do quite so much scrolling, but emojis certainly aren't as clean-looking as the black and white symbols!

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  10. Thank you! I am pretty organized, and I use the the numbering system and the 001... for large multiple files, but you seriously upped the game for cuteness.

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