Stop filing, start searching!

When proving Google-related services and helping companies make a smooth transition from Microsoft mail systems to Gmail we’re often asked how to file objects in folders.  An object might be an email or a document, for the purposes of this post it’s just a ‘thing’.

The first thing to note about Google systems is that they use labels, not folders.  Labels work a lot better than folders because an object can exist with two labels, whereas with a folder system objects can only exist in one location.  Labels also work really well when sharing assets in Google Drive because they can be used to ‘bulk-set’ permissions, and also because in the shared environment users can assign their own labels to documents without upsetting their colleagues systems.

When asked how to file assets in Google systems our usual response is ‘don’t bother’.  Unless you’re using labels to manage access permissions in Google Drive then there’s really very little point in spending a lot of time lovingly filing away all your emails and documents in an ever increasingly complex series of labels and sub-labels.

Think about what makes the object you’re searching for unique, then search for it using that term.  You may be surprised how good the results are; Google are pretty good at this search stuff!

So be brave, save yourself some time and stop spending hours filing your online assets!