Educational Tools,  Teaching & Learning

How to Use Google Drive More Efficiently with Drive Priority

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If you’re anything like me, you use Google Drive pretty extensively to keep your work organized. Drive is so easy and convenient to use – it doesn’t matter where I am or what device I use. I can always access my files. The tricky part about using a system that extensively is it eventually can take more time to find the file you need. With Drive, the search feature does work well to help you find what you need. But Google has introduced two features that make using Drive even easier: Quick Access and Priority. 

Quick Access

A screenshot of a Google Drive home page showing four documents under a Quick Access header
Quick Access displays your recently or commonly used files at the top of your Google Drive home page.

Google Drive now shows a banner of files at the top of your home page under a “Quick Access” label. These files are ones you’ve accessed recently or tend to access at a similar time of day. Over the summer, I was working on transitioning online courses from Moodle to Canvas. I’d come into work and open the same three files every morning. It didn’t take long for Google to realize my habits and show me those documents in the Quick Access banner. I no longer had to search for them – they were the first thing I’d see when I logged into Drive!


Quick Access made finding files easier, but discovering Drive Priority made it even better. When you log into Google Drive, you’ll see a “priority” label in the left menu. This page has the Quick Access banner at the top, but my favorite feature is below that. 

Google Drive now has what they call “Workspaces.” Workspaces are a way to organize files for easy access without using a folder. It doesn’t take the place of a folder, though. When you add a file to a Workspace, you’re creating an easy-access link. The file still remains in its original folder. 

I love using this feature for projects that have files in multiple folders throughout Drive. For example, every semester I work on setting up all of the online courses. Since we’re still in the process of migrating from Moodle to Canvas, I need files that are in my “Canvas Transition” project folder as well as files from my “Resets 2020SP” project folder. Workspaces allows me to gather all the relevant files into one space for easy access.

A screenshot of a Google Drive Priority page showing four documents under the Priority header. Below these documents are three workspaces, each containing multiple files.
Google Drive now enables you to create Workspaces to organize files in a new way

And Google has made it so you can access Priority quickly  – you can set Priority to be your Google Drive homepage and eliminate that one extra click to get to your files there. Simply click the gear icon in Drive, choose “settings” from the menu, and check the box for “Make Priority my default home page.” 

For more information about Quick Access and Priority, check out Google’s notes about accessing files quickly with Priority.

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