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GoogleApps_Fab10_COne of the harder tasks a business manager or owner faces is keeping tabs on what employees are working on. This has become even more difficult to track, with so many systems going online and collaboration on an ever growing number of projects. Take for example Google Drive, which allows users to share files with one another. This makes it tough to actually manage or view when a file has been created. In an effort to make it easier to track changes, Google has introduced a new feature to Drive.

Drive’s new activity stream

In late January Google introduced their latest feature to Google Drive – the activity stream. This feature shows an overview of changes made to documents or files that you have access to.

The way many of us work in Drive is to have one folder that is shared among a number of users. This folder is usually copied onto each user’s My Drive where they have access to all the files within the folder. Now, when someone edits a file that is in a folder that is shared with you, you see an update in the activity stream.

How do I access the activity stream

You may have noticed that there is a new icon on Drive’s main screen. It’s the information button (‘i’ inside a circle) right beside the cog in the top-right of the screen. If you press this, you will see a new bar slide in from the right-hand side of the window.

This bar will reveal a tab labeled Activity, a list which showcases recent activity in files that either you own or have access to. What’s great about this is each entry shows:

  • The person who took action.
  • What that person did – be it edited a doc, created a new folder, added an item to an existing folder, etc.
  • When this change was made.

Below this information is an icon representing the type of data e.g., a word document or folder along with its name. Clicking on it will open the file or folder. If a document was created in a specific folder, you can also see the folder listed above the document, and if you click on it, the folder will open.

This small feature makes it much easier and quicker than before for managers or file owners, to see what has been changed or created. It’s also a great tool in helping you find a document or file that you recently edited but forgot where it was actually saved.

If you find that the activity stream is a bit too distracting, especially if you work in a busy office, press the X under the cog in the top-right, or press the information button you pressed to open the screen, to close the ribbon.

Looking to learn more about using Drive in the office? Contact us today to see how we can help.

Published on 26th December 2013 by Jeanne DeWitt.

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