Shift+Z - Tag Files and Folders to Multiple Locations

While training this past weekend I shocked some veteran trainers with a little trick. While I didn't know the ins and outs of the trick, together we explored the feature (Thank you Santi, Stephanie, Anthony, and Cindy). So from our collaboration here's a neat trick to further help organize your data in Google Drive.

Ever needed to have a file or folder in two places at once? Perhaps you have your way of working and structure to your files but some one else needs to see those files in their own file structure. Welcome to Shift+Z for Google Drive.

We look at and think of files and folders in a tree structure. This has been the structure of computer files since early on. But it's not actually how Google stores your files and folders. Google files are stored in a massive database rather than a traditional hard drive structure with indexes to addresses on a physical memory of your items. This database structure allows a lot more flexibility of your data. It's also stored in a column referenced structure so your data can be accessed much faster among trillions of other files.

To take advantage of this structure files are marked with tags which indicate to us the visual structural layout. Because tags are metadata or data about our files much more information can be provided and our files don't really exist in true folder directories. You may be familiar with this with gmail. Adding Labels works in the same manner. Your message is visually located in multiple places at once.

Shift+Z allows you to tag your file to other places in your drive. You can have your file in a folder you normally work with it and tag it to also show up in a shared folder. The file is not a copy it's the same file just in multiple locations. To do this:

  1. Click the file or folder you want to tag to another location.
  2. Press Shift+Z on the keyboard. (Shift key and the Z key at the same time)
  3. A selector will open asking where you want to tag the file to. Navigate to the other location.
  4. Once you have the new location selected Click Add. Your file or folder is now in both places.

To see the locations the file exists in or to remove it from a location:
  1. Right click the file or folder. 
  2. Select "View Details". 
  3. The sidebar will show up on the right.
  4. You will see the locations the file is tagged to under Location:
  5. Clicking the X by a location will remove it from that location.

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