Use Google Drive to Organize Your Entire Creative Side Hustle
How often do you think to yourself, “I need a better system for this…” as you’re racking your brain trying to remember who still needs to pay or what you need to work on next, or while trying to find a file you need RIGHT NOW in the mess of folders on your computer or in the piles on your desk?
When you’re already splitting your time between your side hustle and all the other big responsibilities and aspects of your life, you need some kind of system that keeps things streamlined and easy to navigate. My team has found Google Drive to be the ultimate solution to this struggle.
Since I’m working with a team, I’ve found Google Drive and Trello to be the most effective methods of collaboration and sharing files between our computers. Google Drive has a phone app, which makes it easy to download things we’ve saved there to post to our phones on social media.
The important thing to remember with organizing your files is to have a flow. Most digital business files fall into one of two categories:
Client project files, to be used during the project and then no longer needed once completed.
Resources and documents to keep handy or save for your business.
If they don’t fall into these categories, then why are you keeping them? Loose the sentimentality.
Client project files are transient and should have an organized, temporary home, but then they should also have a final destination once the project is completed. Category #2 files should have a permanent hone that they never leave.
Here is how I organize my files:
Administrative (Branding, tax documents, forms, spreadsheets, budgeting, etc.)
Website (blog graphics, blog drafts, blog post ideas, website graphics etc.)
Photos (to use on social media, blog posts, website, stock photos, etc.)
Portfolio (past projects that I want to save, either because I know I will need to reference them in the future, or because it’s a project I’m proud of that I know I’ll want to showcase)
Projects (current projects, templates for invoicing and contracts, client homework templates, tutorials related to our services, resources for the team related to fulfilling services)
Shop (digital downloads, workbooks and e-books, course content, education)
Social Media (graphics and templates for sharing content on Instagram or Pinterest)
This might look a little different for you depending on your offerings and type of business, but as you can see, there are a minimal folders. I also have sub-folders within each folder, but it’s very clear when landing on the main Drive page where I need to go to look for different things.
Here is the most important thing I’ve done to organize my business on Google Drive, and I’d recommend it to anyone feeling overwhelmed with the amount of files in their current system:
When we’re finished with a client project, we go through the folder and delete non-essential documents from the folder. This means photos that weren’t used in designs, photos and graphics that we already uploaded to their site like their logo files and icons, duplicate files, client notes, etc. We get it down to the bare bones, just the contract and invoices, and any files we’ll need in the future. If we created custom graphics for them, we keep the original editable file, but not the saved for web .png files. That kind of thing.
In addition to this keeping everything easy to find, it cuts down on our Google Drive storage, which saves us money by not having to upgrade to the next subscription as frequently. Tips on minimizing clutter by saving it to drive.
Ultimately, I highly recommend putting SOME kind of system in play to organize your business documents and client projects, starting now! You don’t need to do a complete overhaul of all your existing system right now; you can save that for a rainy day project or simply work on it bit by bit as you’re using your files (although that might not end up being all that effective when you’re trying to remember where you can find everything!).
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