Oct 012014
 

I use Google Drive. A LOT. And I’ve been enormously frustrated by its refusal to provide any useful tagging/labeling mechanism. Google did more than anyone else to promote the use of tags/labels, of non-hierarchical organization of files and information, in Gmail, and then, here, in Drive, where it actually would be more useful, they don’t provide it. I don’t get it.

For my purposes, I want to organize information along three axes – first, by the type of information it is; second, by the topic it concerns; and third, by the portion of my life in which it occurs. First of all, none of these is mutually exclusive – information might concern, say, three topics, and occur in, say, two corners of my life (say, work and this blog, or two different sub-sections of “work,” or this blog and some other blog I write). And second, sometimes I want to look at all the information that pertains to a particular topic, say, parenting; and other times, I might want to look at all the information that concerns, say, this blog; and another time, I might want to look at all my ideas for, say, “blog posts.”

Anyway, I was about to abandon Drive for Evernote (which I love, and which has infinite, and effortless, tags) but which lacks the enviable integration that Google Drive boasts with so much else), when I learned that, unheralded, un-promoted, there exists the possibility of adding a document to multiple folders. In other words, I can jury-rig what I wanted. I can have three different dimensions and add documents to multiple folders. (For those who want to know how to do it, you simply select the file/document, and press “Shift-Z,” which brings up an “add to folder” dialog box.)

Don’t get me wrong. This is sub-optimal. Google introduced and promoted labels and tags. They’d be much simpler.

But I get it.

The product is free. I’m not the customer. I have to keep reminding myself that.

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