Google Drive is awesome. For some things, at least. It’s free, it’s simple, everyone knows it, and oh yeah, it’s free.
And it was also probably great for your design team, back when it had 2 people and 300 images. Sure, the folder structure was a bit arbitrary, but you knew, more or less, where everything was and how to find it.
That is, until you didn’t. You added six more designers to your team and 20,000 more images to your database, with everyone adding new content while trying to keep some level of organization going.
As helpful as Google Drive may have been in the beginning, here are some areas in which we wish it could offer more.
As jaw-droppingly shocking as it is, there’s no image search in Google Drive. Yet sometimes, you can’t quite remember what you wrote, much less what you named that one image you know you saved somewhere. And when you’re working with visual assets, you’re likely searching for something nonspecific to meet a need (like “elderly man playing a piano”), which requires advanced filters.
If you want to store links for inspiration and references (like projects in Behance, Dribble, competitor sites, external guidelines, or online design files) in Google Drive, you have to create a list in a document or a whole stinkin’ spreadsheet. Then any time you want to find that link, it requires an entire investigation to recall what you named it and where you saved it.
Asset approval process
Google Drive keeps things simple. Or simplistic, rather. It’s literally document storage and only document storage with little to no organizational help. When you need approval on an asset you need to create a million tiny workarounds — marking approved files with updated names or duplicating into new folders — with dozens of ways for things to fall through the cracks. It’s 2022, AI is supposedly sentient and there’s still no project management software built into your document drive.
As jaw-droppingly shocking as it is, there’s no image search in Google Drive.
More often than not, an asset will serve multiple purposes. In Google Drive, that means storing duplicate versions of the asset across various folders — which is inconvenient to begin with, but absolutely nightmarish when that asset needs updating. While there actually is a shortcuts feature in Google Drive, few users know about it and even fewer use it. They’ve also technically been working on a labels feature, but features like this always feel less like a part of the product and more like clunky add-ons. Not to mention, you’ll want to hire a whole ‘nother person to manually tag thousands of images.
And once you hire that person, you end up with a gatekeeper problem. Because there’s no way to index information, everyone on the team sends stuff to that one unfortunate soul who knows their way around, and thus, bears the burden of organizing absolutely everything. Thus, bottlenecks and miscommunications are born, leaving everyone frustrated, annoyed, and inefficient. Not to mention, if your gatekeeper leaves the company, everyone’s left in the dark.
At Tagbox, we were sick of coming up with awkward workarounds to accomplish something pretty frickin’ basic. So we built a cloud storage solution designed specifically for designers — with smart image search, auto-tagging that adjusts itself to your team’s preferences, together with easy ways to share assets with your suppliers and external partners.
And while we’re still fans of Google Drive for some uses, we think (and we’re a little biased here) that you should definitely take Tagbox out for a test drive — get started for free at tagbox.io.
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