Data-storage has always been an issue for small and large businesses. Although it’s not always about saving files since we’ve got high-storage drives, there’s a risk of losing your content when it comes to retrieving the right information. With data not properly saved in unique folders, there’s always a chance that one could lose track of where the desired information was actually saved. As a result, an ample amount of time is wasted to retrieve one file out of the drive.
Hello, and welcome to the Lazy Entrepreneurs. This is Pieter, and my job is to make you be more lazy.
What we’ll look at in today’s post is how we can eliminate a very frequent, repetitive task that sort of infiltrates business and organizations without anyone actually noticing. A simple way to eliminate this mismanagement is by creating folders or folder trees.
Naming Conventions for Folders
Let’s say you are working on multiple projects. Every project that you would do has certain components and therefore needs certain folders to be created at the right time.
And it is far more efficient if those folders are named the same way every time because then your team and any new team members know exactly where to go and find things. Ideally, it’s in the same place effectively for each project every time.
Let’s start by having a look here.
This is the folder of our case studies. We do loads of case study videos, and every case study video has a unique folder, along with a set of sub-folders inside each. Since we need these every time. Now you could manually go and create them, but it is just a bit of a waste of time. Of course, you have better things to be doing with your day. So, what we have here is, we’ve just set up a very simple Zap in our Zapier account.
Using Zapier to Automatically Connect Applications
Before jumping to the details, make sure you have your Zapier account set up. Zapier offers you several hundred ways to organize and automate your work by connecting two or more apps. With the free plan, you’ll have limited access, but we recommend that you should try its pro version that’ll open up a world of possibilities on you.
GSuite App and Storage Benefits
For loads of data storage, you should choose a Business version of GSuite that offers unlimited online storage with Business Plan. Moreover, if there are less than five members using your account, you can get up to 1TB data storage per user. That, still, is a lot of data storage space.
As far as accessibility is concerned, GSuite offers Smart search option across the suite with Cloud Search. GSuite for Business offers Gmail, G Drive, Calendar, Hangouts and lets you arrange face-to-face conference calls involving up to 50 people.
Apart from the basic Google Docs that we normally use, you can use low-code app environment for creating custom apps as well. When it comes to security and control over saved information, GSuite is uncompromisable.
You’ll get customer support via online, phone or email throughout the day.
All in all, GSuite for business if a must-have, because it offers the best data-storage solutions with literally zero data-loss.
Creating Folders and Sub-Folders in Google Drive with Zapier
Now, let’s just go back and see how you can manage this process.
The process starts from a New Folder which is inside the case study folder. Whenever a new folder is created in that folder, Zapier picks it up from there and go on to create a folder tree according to the requirements.
The Benefits of This Method
It’s about consistency
We’ve got those five folders there and that’s what’s happening here. It’s creating one, two, three, four, five folders with the same naming convention every time. So no matter what case study you go to in this instance, you’ll have the same folder tree.
It’s about time-saving
Nobody’s had to spend any time creating these folder trees. If by chance, a person is involved in the process, there’s always a chance of missing out a thing or two. Furthermore, you not only save your team’s time, but you could also save them from stress if they weren’t able to find the right folders if they had not been named as formally as you intended.
It’s about following commands
You don’t have to train people in the naming conventions or hope they stick to the naming convention. The system takes care of it and you can get on with more important things.
In short, there’s not too much time consumption while retrieving the data. Fetching the right information by the right person at the right time becomes as easy as it can be. So, that’s just a simple little process for all those to be created.
Step-By-Step Guide on Automating Your Folder Structures and Creation
Now, we can go and look at the detail in that.
Step – 1: Set Up Trigger (New Folder)
So, here we start off with our trigger. Those who have read our previous articles must be aware that the trigger is available right up there at the left of your screen (as can be seen in the image below)
We have chosen Google Drive and we want to create a trigger named “New Folder. As you click on the Flash-like option. So you’ve got options:
- A new file in a folder,
- A new file anywhere,
- A new folder and there are some more or less common ones here,
- Update a file.
So we go with New Folder as our trigger and we’re into our account.
And we can go and edit our options….
The first window will show your Google account details, which has to be right. Then click continue.
Now you have to set up the Google Drive folder as a trigger:
- From the first drop-down menu, choose My Google Drive
- From the second drop-down menu, choose the folder within which you want the entire folder-tree process to take place (in our case, we have chosen “case studies” folder).
So far, the situation is….
In “My Google Drive” whenever a new folder is created inside a particular folder named “Case Studies”, then the next step will be… What?
Since, you have no folders yet to complete your action (in fact, Zapier’s going to create a folder tree for you), so you have to choose a sample given by zapier. Zapier pulls in your chosen information when you first set it up and you can then see what the details are going to be.
Here, we have already got a sample in Folder A. Click on it and it will give you all the information, such as Username, owner name, ID, last modified user, and much more. You can avoid all the other options and choose New Zap Setup which actually is the title of the folder.
So we can move that.
So, continue with that. And that was our trigger, and we are now moving on to actions?
Step – 2: Set Up Actions (Create Folders)
In this stage, we have to create subfolders inside the new folder that was created in the “Case studies” folder. Since all the action steps are the same we are not going through them individually but we’ll go into the first one.
So, again, we are in Google Drive to create a subfolder. Once we click on the ‘Create Folder’ option, a menu appears with functionalities that we often do manually – Create a file from the text, Upload a File, and Create Folder.
(Here, it is recommended that you should read the information available below every given option. So, next time when you create any zap related to Google Drive, there should be no confusion)
So we have chosen our trigger – a new file or a new folder inside a specific folder. But then, a question arises…. When that happens, you need to do a few basic things, too.
In this instance, we need to be able to tell it, well I want you to create that folder tree but where should you create it?
Now, click on edit template. You will get a similar response as when we were setting up the trigger. So, what we’re doing, we’re saying again in Google Drive, this is where we want it. But this time, it’s a little bit different.
After selecting the Google Drive account (already chosen), you’ll be asked to set up the Google Drive Folder. Instead of picking a particular folder, we’re going to use a custom value. So, in the option titled Parent Folder, choose Custom Value (advanced) in the field.
Now, you have to choose the custom value for the parent folder. Click to display the drop-down menu that will give us information about the New Folder we chose as our trigger. You will have quite a few options, like Title, alternative link, ID, owner name, created date, etc.
So now, what we are going to do is, because our zap allows us to go and select the ID of the folder that was created we can go in and under the new folder to find the ID option. It’s that one there, so that’s already in place.
Always, the best option would be to choose the ID of the folder that was created and triggered the process in the first place. For Zapier, it will be easier to complete the action in your desired manner.
So, that’s how you can set up your Zap to create the subfolder inside the newly created folder.
Give the folder name as well. In our case, we the folder name in this instance is Original. Click Continue. And that’s almost done
Repeat the same process to create other four sub-folders, but make sure folder names are different every time. As you can see here, we’ve got those five. So that’s what we’ll have in all of these steps as we just have to give it a different name.
This Zapier process allows us to create one folder, and it’ll create five subsequent sub-folders automatically. All the subfolders maintain consistency in terms of the folder name. That simply means every time things are pretty organized.
There are More Possibilities
Finally, that’s just what all of these are doing there. So you can just tie those together to create multiple folders or multiple folder-trees if you want. Of course, you can create a sub-folder inside a sub-folder as well should you need to do that.
Now, with this folder thing automated, you may come up with other automation to save your files. It’s all about managing your folder structures and keeping things organized.
When your files have a particular name-style, your folders have unique titles, and their subfolders explain the purpose of each, it will be absolutely easy for your subordinates to check the tasks assigned to them. And also, by organizing these simple things, you’ll be able to organize other tasks of the company too.
So as always, I’ve been Pieter from The Lazy Entrepreneurs helping you to be more lazy.