By default, Google creates new office files of any sort inside your main Google Drive folder. If you want to make a new doc or other file in a specific spot, you’ve got to visit that folder in the browser, then create a new document there. I prefer to drag and drop files later and not have the creative process disrupted by organizational needs. Click, go! Then make it tidy. Also, a spreadsheet or document makes it harder to scan the long list of folders in my main Google Drive.
Below is a guide that shows you how to use a URL to create a new Google Doc in your preferred folder. One caveat is that if you set Chrome to automatically open default pages, it will interfere with the Automator shortcut for Macs. Use the “Open a new tab page” setting upon startup in your Chrome preferences.
Anyway, this how-to features a simple organizational principle, the critical URL trick, and a cursory look at the Automator app on Macs. It builds upon a Stack Exchange post from jaycer. [Here’s another trick about embedding specific columns and rows of a Google spreadsheet into a site.]
1: Create a folder called “1-inbox” in your main Google Drive folder. I use the number to push the folder to the top of my list; an asterisk or underscore could work, too. Your new documents will start in “1-inbox.” (This an “email inbox” organizational concept that many info-tidiness freaks like myself enjoy. You eventually move documents from here into the appropriate places.)
2: Visit your “1-inbox” folder in your browser and gets its ID. It’s the long string at the end of the folder’s URL. It will look something like this (details obscured): https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B-LOTS-MORE-LETTERS-NUMBERS-OF-FOLDER-ID
3: Create a document, spreadsheet, form, slides presentation, or just about any type of Google office file in your 1-inbox folder by:
- Google Doc: https://docs.google.com/document/create?usp=drive_web&folder=0B-LOTS-MORE-LETTERS-NUMBERS-OF-FOLDER-ID
- Google Sheet: http://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/create?usp=drive_web&folder=0B-LOTS-MORE-LETTERS-NUMBERS-OF-FOLDER-ID
- Google Slides Presentation: http://docs.google.com/presentation/create?usp=drive_web&folder=0B-LOTS-MORE-LETTERS-NUMBERS-OF-FOLDER-ID
- Google Form: https://docs.google.com/forms/create?usp=drive_web&folder=0B-LOTS-MORE-LETTERS-NUMBERS-OF-FOLDER-ID
- You can see that the only part of the URL that is changing is the part that refers to what type of file you’re making — you swap “document” for “spreadsheets” if you want to make a nice big text document to write in.
4: To speed up this action, you could make bookmarks out of the links above. Or, if you have a Mac, you could use Automator to make an app that opens a specific URL. A brief journey through Automator:
- Open Automator. Choose File > New > Application
- In the Library of Actions, look for “Get Specified URLs”
- Double click on the action to add it to the process flow
- Set the URL of the “Get Specific URLs” action to whatever Google file type you want.
- In the Library of Actions, look for “Display Webpages”
- Double click on the action to add it to the process flow
- Save your app.
- Put the app in your Mac dock
- If you want to change the app’s icon, right click on it, choose “Get Info” to open a Finder window about it. Find an image online you want for the icon. Copy that image. Go back to the app’s Finder window. Click once on the icon to the left of app’s name. This will highlight it. Then paste the image you copied from the web. The icon should change. Zazing! You’ve got a one-click, tidy method in your dock to make a new Google doc.
Excellent tutorial and the automator app is very useful. wish I had come across this years ago
Wish I had come across this years ago! Thank you
This is awesome! I’ve looking such a URL for some time and finally found it here! Thanks!!
You’re welcome. Glad it helped.
Thanks for this! Up until now, I’ve been using this link to create a copy of an existing doc:
but it creates the new file in the root of my drive, not in the same folder as the original. I’ve been trying to marry it up with your methods above to get it auto generated in the right folder, but I’m not having any luck. Any advice would be appreciated! Cheers!
Hi James – I tried all kinds of odd and not-so-odd URL structures to make a copy of a document inside the same folder. I could not find one that worked. All of the copies ended up in my root drive, which is the problem you are having. Sorry I can’t help. Best of luck finding a solution.
Ah never mind, thanks for trying!
Thanks, Monica! I just used this successfully.
Nice! This is a great technique.
That is awesome…. Thank you so much!!!
You’re welcome :-)
For Windows and Chrome I do this:
short of it: Very simple, no copying of Folder IDS, just drag the Google Drive URL to your Windows folder to create a shortcut, edit in the browser within the context of that folder.
long of it:
1. In the browser go to the Google Drive folder you want to add/edit Google Docs, Sheets, or whatever type of Google file type.
2. Open the actual folder in Windows Google Drive.
3. Drag the URL to your Windows folder to make a shortcut URL.
4. Rename the shortcut to something like AAA-Google Drive so it stays alphabetically at the top of the filename list.
5. Click the shortcut URL (now or anytime in the future).
6. It opens to Google Drive in the browser at that folder.
7. Now open the file you want to edit or click + New in the browser page. Google Docs/Sheets/whatever will do its work relative to this folder and save to the Google Drive folder you are in.
8. Do this in for any Google Drive folder you want to work in.
Thanks, Darrell. This is a nice way to at least get a URL shortcut (to the Google Drive folder of your choice) into a local folder. Is there no Windows version of the Automator app on Macs? I really do like the one-click process. I did a quick Google search and found a Windows program called Actions that might do the trick: https://lifehacker.com/automate-just-about-anything-on-your-windows-pc-no-cod-5669762. Good luck!
This link didn’t work for me anymore, but I was able to figure out the new one for google docs. I assume you just swap out “document” with spreadsheet, presentation, etc:
As a note, I figured this out by screen recording while creating a new file in the folder that I wanted. You’ll see this URL flash in your bar first, then it’ll redirect you to the URL of the document itself. I paused the recording, wrote down the URL, and then customized it with the folder ID. In fact, in Chrome, it auto-completed the URL since I had opened it once already.
Thank, Rory. I think you’re saying that you had trouble creating a spreadsheet with the short link? And yep, it’s all about that word that goes in the URL instead of “document.” So for a spreadsheet, the link might be: …..docs.google.com/SPREADSHEETS-NOT-DOUCMENT/create?usp=drive_web&ouid=112…….
Thank you for this tip. It is very helpful to quickly take notes and be assured that they will be accessible at a later time.
Thanks, Piyush. Glad it was helpful.