In this article I am going to discuss how I use Google Drive to organize multiple aspects of my life, including how I store and display my sports card collection. One of my favorite things about Google Drive is that everything is cloud based, which makes it possible to have my entire collection accessible on any device. Google Drive is affordable, easy to implement and a definite asset to any collector.
I have been using Google Drive since it became available. I store many different types of files and projects in Google Drive. I have 4,000+ videos from a sports video website I started, all of my music projects I have ever created, every family photo, and of course, my entire baseball card collection… And remember, it is all accessible from any device.
*Don’t be nervous by this article. I went in depth just in case you want to go a bit deeper with Google Drive and use it to digitally organize multiple aspects of your life. If you want to use this only for card collections, you really need to understand #3, the working folder concept.
Getting started with Google Drive
Here is a link to find all of the Google Drive Pricing. Everyone can sign up for FREE, and each user receives 15 GB of free storage. 15 GB will store roughly 5,000 pictures depending on the file size of the image. This might be enough storage for some users, but I recommend going to the first paid tier, this will provide enough storage for your collection to grow.
The first paid tier you can subscribe to is for 100 GB. This is $1.99 per month and less than $25 per year. With this storage level you will be able to store roughly 30,000 pictures depending on the file size of each image.
The second paid tier you can subscribe to is for 1 TB. (1 TB is equal to 1000 GB.) This is $9.99 per month and less than $120 per year. Using this storage level you will be able to store roughly 300,000 pictures depending on the file size of each image. This level should be suffice for the average sports card collector.
Now if you’re like that Crazy Canseco Collector, that has 1,234,567 Canseco cards, you might have to subscribe to a higher tier. In that case, there are several other options. 2 TB (19.99/Month), 10 TB ($99.99/Month), 20 TB ($199.99/Month), 30 TB ($299.99/Month).
Setting up Google Drive
You will need a Google account to access Google Drive. If you have a GMAIL account, you will be able to access Google Drive. Once you are logged into your Google account, you are going to want to download Google Drive Personal Backup and Sync.
You can do everything through Chrome, but you will want to have this installed on your local machine. Once you have Backup and Sync installed, make sure you are signed in and you should be ready to go.
At this point, when the preferences come up, you will have to choose which folders are going to sync between your local machine and Google Drive. Google Drive is going to want to sync up with your desktop, documents and pictures. I choose not to sync any of these folders. I only sync what I call the “Working Folder”.
The following section could seem a little confusing, but I am going to show you how I use Goggle Drive as a central hub for all my files. Trust me, it is considerably harder to type this out in a way for you to understand, than it is to actually set up Google Drive.
Let’s understand what syncing is and how it works…
When you have a folder set to sync, any data that resides in that folder will take up space in two locations. Location 1 is on your local machine. Location 2 is in your Google Drive account. This is why I only sync that “Working Folder”. Some of my files and folders will be permanently stored, not syncing and only using space in my Google Drive account. The other files and folders will constantly be syncing and using space on both my local machine and my Google Drive.
I decided to use Google Drive in this way because syncing every file was not got to be feasible for me. It was taking up too much space to have every file on my local machine. I have tons of files that I need to save indefinitely, but will probably never have to access again. These files do not need to sync, they just need a permanent storage space, and I would prefer these files to not utilize any space on my local machine. The best solution was for me to move my data to Google Drive.
In my Google Drive, I set up three main folders, KM (Personal Files), Projects (Active and Inactive Projects) and Working Folder (The Folder That Syncs). The working folder is where all the magic happens. I was able to explain my “Working Folder” concept to a Google Drive employee and he was pretty impressed with the concept.
So, let’s explain the three folders I mentioned earlier…
1. KM Folder – This is the folder I use for personal information, receipts, letters, documents and manuals. Basically anything that relates to my personal life. I consider this a permanent storage folder and it does not sync automatically. None of these files will use any storage on my local machine.
2. Projects Folder – This is the folder I use for any project I have worked on. For example I store my video, music, graphic design and web projects in this folder. This is considered a permanent storage folder and does not sync automatically. Once a project is completed or becomes inactive, I move it into this folder. I consider this a permanent storage folder and it does not sync automatically. None of these files will use any storage on my local machine.
3. Working Folder – This is it, this is where all the magic happens!!! This is the working folder. This is the only folder that I have constantly syncing. Anything in this folder is taking up space in my Google Drive and also on my local machine. I do not consider this a permanent storage folder and everything in the folder is constantly syncing, using space on my local machine and in my Google Drive account.
Inside the working folder, I have 2 main folders…
A. Current Projects – These are the projects I am currently working with. I need these files to be on my local drive, but I also want them to be backed up as well.
This is where my Cards From The Attic project folder is located. Every file in this folder is constantly being synced. This is where my active collection folders reside. Once a project is completed, I move it into the stuff for transfer folder. Everything in the stuff for transfer folder sits there until it is moved into one of the other folders used for permanent storage.
B. Stuff for Transfer – Think of this folder as a transition/holding hub for files and folders before they are moved into permanent storage. Every file or folder comes through here and then is organized and move into their respective folders in permanent storage.
Here is a little bonus for you guys. One folder I have in the stuff for transfer folder is a “Photo Backup For Transfer” folder. I use this folder to backup all of the pictures from any of my devices, so they can be organized and transferred to their respective folders at a later time. This is great to use so your device storage never gets low and you never lose any pictures. I recommend backing up your devices about once a week, and this method provides a simple and efficient way to handle it.
Sidenote: I use a specific app that sends my photos to the computer via WiFi. The app is called Photo Transfer App. So, every Sunday for example, you would open this app, select all of your photos and send them to the “Photo Backup For Transfer” folder, at that point they are synced and backed up. Then you would just sort them into their respective folders at a later date. You can send photos directly to Google Drive from iPhone Photos, but it only allows for 10 images at time. The Photo Transfer App allows you to transfer as many photos as you need at one time.
What the hell does all that have to do with cards…
Okay, let’s get to how we can use Google Drive to store and display our sports card collections. Here is how I break down my Cards From The Attic project folder.
Everything from the business side of things to the pictures of my active collections reside in this folder. Everything in this folder is accessible anytime, on any device. So, at any time I can access sales totals, checklists, and pictures.
Since we have come this far, I will break down all the folders, although, you might just need the active collections and cards to organize folders.
1. Active Collections – This is the main folder where my personal collections reside. In this folder I have each collection broken down individually. Player Collections, Cubs Collections, Rookie Collections, Trade Folder.
2. Business Information – This is pretty basic. Any business related information is found here. EBay Invoices, PayPal Statements Etc…
3. Cards To Organize – Active collections should be the most important folder, because that’s where the actual cards are, but don’t be fooled, this is the most important folder. This is the cousin of the “Working Folder” if you will. This is the transition/holding hub for the actual cards.
I have my scanner set to scan directly into this Cards to Organize folder immediately after scan. Once the image appears in this folder, it is automatically being synced and backed up to my Google Drive. At this point, I rename every card and use the Windows 10 crop feature to crop any cards if they need it. I have different scan settings for different types of cards and holders. I wrote an article describing how I scan cards into the collection if you want to check that out.
4. Miscellaneous Folder – This is pretty basic. The way I organize, everything has to have a spot. This is the spot if something doesn’t have a spot yet…
So, let me sum it up for you…
I typed out a bajillion words for something that is super easy to implement. I want people to understand the syncing and organizational flow to everything. Once the system is implemented, it is very efficient. Here is the breakdown for getting a new card into the collection. Receive card, log card using Google Sheets, scan card, name and crop card, transfer card to its respective folder in active collections. Real simple.
I also want people to see how they can use Google Drive not only for their collections, but other things as well…Receipts can be stored digitally, videos, pictures and other family memories can be stored and easily shared among family members. Finally, the most important, all of your data is always backed up. Even if your computer or phone breaks, you will never lose your data…
So what do you think…Did this article help you at all? Did it scare you away from Google Drive forever? Come FOLLOW me on TWITTER and tell me how you keep your cards organized…