take over your life. With graduate school applications, the top thing to be organized about is information. My absolute favorite way to store and organize information is to use Google Drive.
Why Google Drive is awesome for graduate school applications1. You can work online or offline. 2. When working online, your work is constantly being “backed up” to the cloud. I lost all of my HBS essays a few weeks before the deadline. This won’t happen if you use Google Drive—unless of course you give someone access to your folder and they delete everything. But we’ll talk more about that later in this post. 3. If you’re working with an editor, there is no need to email a bunch of drafts back and forth to one another. Google Drive saves all the revisions of your materials, so if something gets changed that you like and you want to revert to an earlier version, you can do so with the click of a button. 4. Google Drive is free! If for whatever reason you don’t have Microsoft Office, you can do whatever you need to do in Google Drive for $0. So here’s how to easily stay organized using Google Drive during your graduate school application process.
Step 1: Create a Google Drive folder called: Your Full Name – Graduate School Applications 2015-2016This is your master folder into which all your other sub-folders will go. The reason you should make a master folder is to separate your graduate school related information from all the other documents people may share with you via Google Drive / Google Docs. The reason I recommend including the application year is in the unfortunate possibility that you have to reapply, you can separate your prior year’s materials and information from the information pertaining to your reapplication. The reason I think you should use the full word “Graduate” rather than, say, “Grad School,” is that if you search your Drive for the phrase “grad school” (without using quotation marks), your folder will still come up in your search term. If you forget the name of your folder and you search for “graduate school” but you’ve named your folder “grad school,” it may not come up. You should include your full name in the title of the folder in the case that somehow it gets mixed up in someone else’s files and/or someone else gains access to it, and it’s clear to both you and them to whom the folder belongs.
Step 2: Create folders for each type of degree / application
- Inside of your master folder, create a sub-folder for each type of degree you are applying to. A significant number of my clients are joint degree applicants, so you may want to have a “Business School Applications” folder and a “Policy School Applications” and/or “Law School Applications” folder.
- You should also create a folder inside of your master folder called “Fellowship Applications.” Even if you don’t know of any fellowships you want to apply for just yet, it will send good vibes out into the universe to create a folder that’s ready to receive all your fellowship applications.