This past week I took a look at Google Drive. I have been very reluctant to use the “cloud” for my genealogy. I live in an area were internet service can be lost for long periods of time . But my day job has been dealing with clients that have lost their homes this past year in the devastating California wild land fires. It has made me rethink my backup systems for my genealogy. There are lots of different sources out there. I have a Dropbox and ICloud accounts but have not taken the time to utilize either for my genealogy files. I keep seeing all these online webinars for using Google Drive and decided to check it out.

Google Drive is available free to Gmail users. Instead of taking one of those webinar courses I daily get notices for, I decided to google “Google Drive” and found quite a few on YouTube.

I was impressed with:

  • 15GB free storage with each Google account.
  • synchronizing files across multiple devices.
  • manage file sharing
  • document files to .pdfs
  • .pdfs to .doc files
  • Create new documents
  • create new spreadsheets
  • Create slides
  • change text images to text documents.

Using my Google account

  1. I clicked on the “google apps” button in the upper right hand corner.
  2. Clicked on the google drive icon.
  3. From there I followed the steps to create a free google drive account.
  4. Once the account was created, I created a file for genealogy.
  5. On the left hand side is an “Add New”  button. Clicking on this allowed me to import my folder &/or files from the hard drive to Google Drive.
  6. Once uploaded…. Here is what I especially liked. You will notice that the folder has files that are colored. Using the color coding I can quickly find the surnames in my paternal line (blue) or my maternal line (red).
Click on image to enlarge for a clearer image.
  1. To add color to the file image right click on the file icon
  2. Click on change color. You have lots of choices. Click on one.
  3. You have now color coded that file.

You could use a different system  but I want to try this for a while. I now have all my genealogy files available to me on my Ipad, and my smart phone by downloading the Google Drive app.

Now you can work on your files from Google Drive. If you are like me and do not like or are unable to work online you will need to schedule when you will manually update your files on Google Drive.


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