Google Drive - Creating a folder and loading pdfs

The instructions below explain how to load copies of documents to Google Drive. Depending on the device you are using the layout of the screens you see may not be exactly the same as the examples shown below but they should be near enough to give the general idea. 

If you are loading up documents so that I can advise you before legal proceedings have started - or when they have only just started - you will need to search for, and load to Google Drive, copies of relevant documents you may find on your computer/tablet/phone, or in your paper files, or documents you may be able to obtain from elsewhere - such as from public records. It is a matter of searching and seeing what you can find.

If you are asking me to advise you for the first time when you are some way into the legal process - after what is usually called the disclosure of documents stage - then each side will have already been required, as part of the legal process, to identify the documents it proposes to rely on in the case and, to some extent (in the earlier pleadings), to identify and limit the legal arguments it can make at trial. If I am the first qualified lawyer you have asked advice from (or you have doubts about the legal advice you have previously received - or just want a second opinion) it might be that other documents/arguments still need to be considered - you might need permission from the court/tribunal to rely on further documents/arguments, and any such permission might come with a costs penalty, but this is something which you might want advice on and, if so, you will need to search for and load to Google Drive, copies of, relevant documents you may find on your computer/tablet/phone or in your paper files paper, or documents you may be able to obtain from elsewhere - such as from public records - in the same way you would if you were seeking advice before proceedings had started. If, on the other hand, you are confident about what has been done so far in the proceedings - that the pleadings are appropriate and the documents you have identified (by disclosure of documents) are all the documents needed, then the set of documents which you need to load (at least initially) when seeking advice is outlined here     

Note: Once litigation is underway you will need to use the Caselines DCS system rather than Google Drive. However there is a charge for using DCS (based on the number of pages of documents loaded) and there may be a delay of a few days whilst you register, whereas Google Drive is free and immediately available. It is usual to load documents to Google Drive first and then copy a subset to DCS (copying from Google Drive to DCS is easy) but it should be noted that documents loaded to Google Drive are generally stored on servers outside the United Kingdom and may not be subject to the same standards of data protection as apply within the United Kingdom. If you are concerned about this you can choose to load documents direct to Caselines DCS and not use Google Drive at all.

Contents

  1. 1 Create a Google Drive folder for your documents
    1. 1.1 Download the Google Drive app or access Google Drive on the web
    2. 1.2 Create a new folder in Google Drive
    3. 1.3 Give me access to the Google Drive folder
  2. 2 Load the documents to the Google Drive folder(s)
    1. 2.1 Loading emails to a Google Drive folder
      1. 2.1.1 Method 1: Forward to PDFEN 
      2. 2.1.2 Method 2: Create .EML copies of the emails en masse and then use PDFEN
    2. 2.2 Loading photos to a Google Drive folder
    3. 2.3 Loading Text Messages to a Google Drive folder
    4. 2.4 Scanning paper documents into a Google Drive folder
      1. 2.4.1 Method 1: Use your scanner together with an App on your phone or tablet 
      2. 2.4.2 Method 2: Use your scanner to scan to a memory card or USB stick
      3. 2.4.3 Method 3: Use your scanner connected to your computer
      4. 2.4.4 Whichever method of scanning you use it is important that all pages of a single document should should be scanned into a single PDF
      5. 2.4.5 Method 4: Use a scanning service
    5. 2.5 Loading PDFs to a Google Drive folder
      1. 2.5.1 Method 1: Initiate the load of the PDF from inside Google Drive
      2. 2.5.2 Method 2: Start by displaying the PDF and "Share" it to Google Drive
    6. 2.6 Loading other electronic files to a Google Drive folder 
    7. 2.7 Loading copies of web pages to a Google Drive folder
    8. 2.8 Loading Documents I send you to a Google Drive folder
  3. 3 Check the date and title of all documents in Google Drive and rename as necessary
    1. 3.1 Check that the documents do appear in chronological order
    2. 3.2 Land Registry Official Copies
    3. 3.3 Planning Permission documents
    4. 3.4 If the Disclosure of Documents stage has already taken place
    5. 3.5 Indexing Services
  4. 4 Disclaimer

Create a Google Drive folder for your documents

Download the Google Drive app or access Google Drive on the web

If you have not used Google Drive before, download the Google Drive app for Android or iPhone/iPad or if you are using a computer go to http://drive.google.com and follow the instructions to log on/create an account.  


 

Create a new folder in Google Drive

When you get to the My Drive panel, tap the New button. What the New button looks like depends on what kind of device you are using. It may be a circle or a rectangle, it may or may not have the word New on it, but it should have a plus sign on it. 



After tapping the New button select Folder from the menu.




Enter the name of the folder as shown below. If you are using the folder to store documentary evidence for your case (rather than, say, pleadings) an appropriate name might be Smith v Jones - My Documentary Evidence. Select Create. 



Give me access to the Google Drive folder

Select the folder as shown below, then select to bring up the share/people panel. If you cannot see thesymbol, you may have to select the three dots symbol first and then select Folder Actions to get the symbol to appear, so that you can select it.





When you select the symbol, the panel below will appear


 
Type in my email address as shown above and tap the Send button or tap the  symbol.


Load the documents to the Google Drive folder(s)

Tap the Google Drive app on your device or go to http://drive.google.com and follow the instructions to log on. Then load documents to the Google Drive folder(s) you have created. The procedures for loading different kinds of documents are explained below. 

Loading emails to a Google Drive folder

Make PDF copies of the emails and load the PDF copies to your Google Drive folder. There are two ways of making PDF copies of emails. 

Method 1: Forward to PDFEN 

If there are just a few emails you can do this for each email:-

1. Forward the email to mail@pdfen.com  

2. After a couple of minutes the PDFEN service will send you an email with a link. Click on the link and a PDF (containing the email message and any attachments) will (depending on your device) either be downloaded or opened. You can then load the PDF to your Google Drive folder.

Method 2: Create .EML copies of the emails en masse and then use PDFEN

If the emails are in the cloud - in Gmail or Yahoo for example - you can do this (using a computer or Android tablet):- 

1. Make temporary .EML copies in Google Drive, download those EML files to your computer (or Android tablet) and then delete the temporary EML files from Google Drive. 

2. Create PDF copies of the EML files using the PDFEN Convert option and after a couple of minutes the PDFEN service will send you an email with a link. 

3. Click on the link and PDFs (one for each email) will (depending on your device) either be downloaded or else listed so that you can click to open them. You can then load the PDFs to your Google Drive folder.

Note: if you have a Windows computer you can, if you wish, use PSTViewer instead of PDFEN. The advantage of PSTViewer, if you have a large number of emails, is that you can create a template and get PSTViewer to automatically give the PDFs the appropriate names (e.g. 2018-08-20 Email at 09.30 Smith to Jones) - that saves you having to rename a large number of PDFs later on.   


Loading photos to a Google Drive folder

For digital photos (e.g. JPEG files) on your phone or other device, display the photo on your device and if there is a Google Drive symbol like this:

you can tap it to load the photo to Google Drive.


If you can't see a Google Drive symbol but there is a share symbol like this:





try tapping the share symbol and you should then be given the option of loading to Google Drive. Alternatively you can try going into Google Drive and uploading from there as explained on the WikiHow website


If you have photos on card or paper - e.g. photos taken some time ago with a non-digital camera - you can scan them in as PDFs and load them - see Scanning paper documents into a Google Drive folder below.
 

Loading Text Messages to a Google Drive folder

Display the text message on your phone and take a screenshot. How to take a screenshot on a phone depends on what phone model it is but on iPhones it is usually pressing the home button and power button at the same time. On Android phones it is often pressing the volume down button and power button at the same time. The screenshot takes a photo of what your phone's screen is displaying at the time.   

Usually when you display a text message on your phone it will display the message as part of a conversation - i.e. it will show you all messages to and from you to a particular phone number, in chronological order - and if there are more than three or four messages to/from that number, you have to scroll to see them all. Each screenshot, of course, shows just the text messages you are displaying at the time you take the screenshot. You should try to take screenshots in such a way that only messages sent/received on the same day appear in each screenshot. For example, if you sent /received two messages on Tuesday and one on Wednesday and all three messages are displayed on your phone, use your finger and thumb to expand the display so that only the two messages sent/received on Tuesday still appear and take one screenshot, then scroll down and expand so that only the Wednesday message appears and take another screenshot. If you have so many messages sent/received on a particular day that they cannot all be displayed on your phone at the same time, it is fine to take a screenshot of the first few messages of the day, then scroll down and take another screenshot for the next few messages of the day etc. as long as each screenshot does not contain messages for more than one day.       

Once you have taken the screenshots, display each text message photo on your device and if there is a Google Drive symbol like this:

you can tap it to load the text message photo to Google Drive.

If you can't see a Google Drive symbol but there is a share symbol like this:






try tapping the share symbol and you should then be given the option of loading to Google Drive. Alternatively you can try going into Google Drive and uploading from there as explained on the WikiHow website.

 

Scanning paper documents into a Google Drive folder

To scan in paper documents to Google Drive you can either use a scanning service or else do it yourself with your own scanner. Some scanners can be set up to scan directly to Google Drive but setting a scanner up to do this can be complicated and most people find it easier to use one of the methods below.  


Method 1: Use your scanner together with an App on your phone or tablet 

Most scanner manufacturers provide an App which you can download to your phone or tablet e.g. Brother iPrint&Scan or HP's All-in-One Printer Remote App. The app allows you to scan a document and then load it as a PDF to your Google Drive folder using the share button. When saving the PDF in Google Drive you should get the opportunity to give it a name such as 2016-11-18 Letter Smith to Jones but you do not have to type in a name at this stage - if you prefer you can leave it to default to a system generated name and then check and rename all the PDFs in Google drive after you have loaded them all up (as explained later on on this page).    











Method 2: Use your scanner to scan to a memory card or USB stick

Many scanners have a slot for a memory card or USB stick and allow you to scan direct to the memory card/USB stick. You then insert the memory card/USB stick in to your phone/tablet/computer and load the PDFs on it to your Google Drive folder as explained under Loading PDFs to a Google Drive folder below


Method 3: Use your scanner connected to your computer

You can plug the scanner into your computer, scan documents to PDFs and then load the PDFs to your Google Drive folder as explained under Loading PDFs to a Google Drive folder below.
 

Whichever method of scanning you use it is important that all pages of a single document should should be scanned into a single PDF

Whichever method you use, if a document consists of more than one page, make sure that all pages are scanned into a single PDF. Don't produce a separate PDF for each page as it makes it very difficult if you have to keep closing one PDF and opening another to read through the document. 

If you put all the pages of a document in the document feeder on your scanner they should, by default, be scanned into a single multi-page PDF. If you are not using the document feeder but are instead putting each page of a document, in turn, on the glass (e.g. because the pages are fragile) the scanning dialogue you use should prompt you after scanning each page to say whether there are more pages of the document to be scanned (or whether the page you have just scanned is the last page of the document) so that it knows to include the next page in the same PDF as the preceding pages.  

If you have a very old scanner which does not have a document feeder and does not prompt you when scanning from the glass, so that you have no choice but to produce separate PDFs for each page of a multiple-page document, then you can merge those multiple PDFs into a single PDF containing all the pages of the document before loading that single multi-page PDF to Google Drive. One of the easiest ways to merge PDFs is to use the PDFEN Merge option and after a couple of minutes the PDFEN service will send you an email with a link. Click on the link and a single PDF containing all the pages will (depending on your device) either be downloaded or opened. You can then load that PDF to your Google Drive folder.

However a better long term solution (if you have a very old scanner which does not have a document feeder and does not prompt you when scanning from the glass) is to buy a new scanner. The cost of good quality scanners is coming down all the time and you can buy a combined scanner and printer, which can scan and print double-sided, A4 and A3, for less than £150. When buying a scanner make sure that the scanner has a double-sided automatic document feed (ADF) as you may find that many of the documents you need to scan in are printed on both sides. 
Scanner/printer shown above is a Brother MFCJ6530DW 
   

Method 4: Use a scanning service

There are companies which provide a specialist service of taking boxes of documents and scanning them in as PDFs and providing the PDFs to you on a USB stick. Examples are Tradescanners and Legastat. If you use one of these services makes sure that they understand what your requirements are, paying particular attention to the following points.

1. Many customers want their documents to be shredded after scanning but you do not - so make sure that the company knows that the original documents are not to be shredded but are to be carefully preserved and returned to you after scanning for you to keep safely.

2. You want each document to be scanned into a single PDF - not multiple documents per PDF - with the PDF being given a meaningful name such as 2016-11-18 Letter Smith to Jones.pdf  You need to tell them the name format you require. 


Rather than use a specialist scanning company you could go to an ordinary high street print shop and ask them to scan in the documents for you. If you do this, however, you may find that they are not willing to automatically give the PDFs meaningful names based just on your explanation of the name format you require, but that they want you to put a post-it sticker on each document with the exact name that you require for that document (e.g. 2016-11-18 Letter Smith to Jones.pdf). 

Once you have documents in PDF form you can load them to your Google Drive folder as explained under Loading PDFs to a Google Drive folder below. 

Note: it is best if the scanning service provide the PDFs to you (e.g. on a USB stick) and you then load them to your Google Drive folder, rather than giving the scanning service access to your Google Drive folder so that the scanning service can load them direct. However if you do allow them access and they load PDFs direct, make sure that all the PDFs end up being "owned" by you.   


Loading PDFs to a Google Drive folder

If you have files on computer, tablet, phone etc. which are already in PDF form you can load them direct to Google Drive. There are two methods of doing this as shown below.
 

Method 1: Initiate the load of the PDF from inside Google Drive

Tap on your Google Drive folder to open it, and a panel similar to that shown below will appear



Tap the New button. What the New button looks like depends on what kind of device you are using. It may be a circle or a rectangle, it may or may not have the word New on it, but it should have a plus sign on it. Select the File Upload option. You can then select the PDFs you want to load to your Google Drive folder.




The WikiHow website give some more detailed instructions for different types of device. 


Method 2: Start by displaying the PDF and "Share" it to Google Drive

When you are displaying a PDF if there is a Google Drive symbol like this:

you can tap it to load the document to Google Drive.


If you can't see a Google Drive symbol but there is a share symbol like this:





try tapping the share symbol and you may then be given the option of loading to Google Drive.


Loading other electronic files to a Google Drive folder 

Files on computer, tablet, phone etc. and on cloud storage are called electronic files. If they are already in PDF form or are digital photos you can load them direct to Google Drive (see above) but if they are neither digital photos nor PDFs then you need to make PDF copies and load those PDF copies. You can use PDFEN Convert option to create PDF copies of the files and after a couple of minutes the PDFEN service will send you an email with a link. Click on the link and PDFs (one for each document) will (depending on your device) either be downloaded or else listed so that you can click to open them. You can then load the PDFs to your Google Drive folder.

PDFEN uses default values when creating PDF copies and you may find that some copies are not in the most appropriate format - e.g. a PDF copy of a spreadsheet may lack gridlines. Check each PDF created by PDFEN carefully and if the PDF created is not satisfactory use the print facility to "print to a PDF" instead. 


Loading copies of web pages to a Google Drive folder

Display the web page on your tablet (or phone) and take a screenshot. How to take a screenshot depends on what device you are using but on iPads it is usually pressing the home button and power button at the same time. On Android devices it is often pressing the volume down button and power button at the same time. Once you have taken the screenshot, display the screenshot photo on your device and if there is a Google Drive symbol like this:

you can tap it to load the webpage photo to Google Drive.

If you can't see a Google Drive symbol but there is a share symbol like this:






try tapping the share symbol and you should then be given the option of loading to Google Drive. Alternatively you can try going into Google Drive and uploading from there as explained on the WikiHow website.

Alternatively (or if you are using a computer rather than a tablet) you can, instead of taking a screenshot, make a PDF copy of the contents of a web page and load the PDF to your Google Drive folder either directly (if you get that option) or by first downloading the PDF to your device and then using the procedure in Loading PDFs to a Google Drive folder above.


Loading Documents I send you to a Google Drive folder

Barristers do not investigate or collect evidence. The reason for this is that, if matters get to the stage of litigation, the way in which evidence was collected might need to be proved and a barrister cannot act as a witness in the same case as they act as advocate. For example what a website contained on a particular day might be disputed so if a PDF copy of a webpage needs to be taken, you need to take the copy so that you can, if necessary at trial, formally "produce" the copy and give evidence of what it is and that the date which appears on the bottom of every page with the URL is indeed the date on which you made the copy. Exceptionally, I might obtain a few documents direct from a statutory public register such as H M Land Registry or Companies House - in this case there is little risk that the way the document was obtained from the Land Registry or Companies House might become the subject of a dispute, because anyone can obtain a copy of the same document from the same public statutory register. 

If I obtain a document from a public statutory register in this way I may send it to you so that you can include it in the documents you load to your Google Drive folder so that you have all documents together. Although you will have given me access to your Google Drive folder I will not load PDFs direct to your Google Drive folder because Google Drive records the person who loaded a file as the "owner" of the file. At the end of a case I tap on the Remove button in Google Drive to remove my access to your Google Drive folder but if any of the documents in your Google Drive folder had actually been load by me (and were therefore recorded as "owned" by me) tapping Remove would actually delete them (not just remove my access to them). To avoid this problem I will send the documents to you so that you can load them so that you are recorded as the "owner".

Because I do not know what size limits your email system may have, I may not send the PDFs to you as email attachments but instead send you a Filemail link. When you receive my email, you can click on the link and the PDF thumbnails will be displayed. You can then click on each PDF in turn to download it to your device, then load the PDF from your device to your Google Drive folder as explained under Loading PDFs to a Google Drive folder above


Check the date and title of all documents in Google Drive and rename as necessary

Once you have loaded the PDFs to Google Drive you need to rename any which do not already have a date prefix in yyyy-mm-dd format (or which do not have a useful description). To rename a file, tap on it so that it is displayed and you can see the date in the document, like this:

  
 

Then select the more actions button (three vertical dots) and select Rename as shown below

 

Then type in a date of the document at the beginning of the document name in yyyy-mm-dd format (and if necessary amend the description) as shown below

 
Select OK to rename the file.

Then left swipe (or click the Next button on the right hand side of the screen if not using a touchscreen) to go to the next document and rename that if necessary, and carry on until all documents are correctly named. 




 
Once every document in your Google Drive folder has a date prefix in yyyy-mm-dd format they should appear in chronological order. as shown below 



Check that the documents do appear in chronological order

If any document appears out of order then that is probably because the date has not been entered in the correct format. The example below illustrates this. You can see that the document dated 25th March 2005 has a zero missing making it appear in the wrong place. Also the two documents at the bottom are out of sequence because the dates have mistakenly been entered in dd-mm-yyyy format rather than the correct yyyy-mm-dd format.



If any document has a date which is not in yyyy-mm-dd format, rename it. 

If you do not know the exact date of a document, say what you know about the date at the end of the name like this

1992-04-01 Photo of Brookwood garden - spring 1992 exact date unknown 
1994-07-01 Photo of Brookwood garden - 1994 exact month unknown 
1990-01-01 Photo of Brookwood garden - early 1990s exact year unknown

You need to put a full date at the start of the name (so that the photos appear in order) but the full date at the start of the file would be a date approximately mid way within the range of possible dates for when the photo could have been taken, and the words at the end of the name should make clear ("exact date unknown") that it is, to that extent, an arbitrary date.


Check that the filename for each document is correct and meaningful and rename as necessary. The objective is that the description should be concise but should be sufficient to enable anyone to identify the document. So in the case of a letter, a concise description would indicate that the document is a letter and give the name of the sender and addressee:

2015-08-22   Letter John Smith to Paula Jones   


When typing in the document name bear in mind that later on you may be providing copies of documents as part of litigation, and the same description will eventually be used when documents are listed in a court/tribunal hearing bundle which contains both your documents and the other side’s documents, so use an objective description which will be, and will remain, meaningful to others and not just a description which is relative to you and to today's date. For example do not use 


2006-05-29 Letter sent out

2006-05-29 Letter from me to John Smith

2006-05-29 Letter sent to John 


but rather:

2006-05-29 Letter Jane Jones to John Smith


Do not use 

2017-03-22 Photo of my garden

but rather:

2017-03-22 Photo of No 22 garden


In the case of a photo the exact date of which is unknown, do not use relative terms such as taken two years ago because by the time your case gets to court/tribunal it might not be clear which year you mean. Use an objective description such as

2015   Photo of Brookwood - summer 2015 


Here are some other examples:


2016-05-29 Letter John Smith to Phillip Jones

2016-05-29 Memo John Smith to Phillip Jones

2016-05-29 Purchase Order 00012345 

2016-05-29 Invoice 00001452

2016-05-29 Agreement 

2016-05-29 Cheque 0005562

2016-05-29 Bank Statement John Low 01378256

2016-06-15 Photo of Brookwood Garden 01

2016-06-20 Email at 18.22 Phillip Jones to John Smith



Land Registry Official Copies

When the Land Registry provides an Official Copy of a document, it will either have a title page saying that the official copy follows this page or the document will be stamped on the first page with an Official Copy or Office Copy stamp, and on the first page should be a Title Number which will usually be in the form AB123456. Land Registry official copies like this can be named in the usual way commencing with the date of the document but the Title Number should be added after the date:

2010-05-11 AB123456 Transfer

2017-08-03 AB123456 Transfer

2017-10-27 AB123456 Transfer

2017-06-22 AB123456 Register of Title  

2017-06-22 AB123456 Title Plan


However if there are documents for a number of different properties which need to be loaded it is better to name them with the Title Number at the start of the name and the date of the document at the end of the name (even though this means they will not be in strict date order) so that all documents for a particular Title Number appear together as a group:  

AB123456 Register of Title 2017-06-22

AB123456 Title Plan 2017-06-22

AB123456 Transfer 2010-05-11 

AB123456 Transfer 2017-08-03 

AB123456 Transfer 2017-10-27  



Planning Permission documents

Planning permission documents should be named starting with the planning application reference number and ending with the date:

2016-12345 Application Form 2016-05-16

2016-12345 Grant of Planning Permission 2017-03-20

2016-12345 Plan 106 Rev B 2016-05-16

2016-12345 Plan 112 Rev A 2016-05-16

The planning application number, which is allocated by the planning authority when an application is received, will consist of the year and a number allocated serially for applications received that year - e.g. 2016-12345. Sometimes, for administrative convenience, other letters and numbers are added by the planning authority so that the application reference is quite lengthy but for the purposes of naming the file it is only the year and serial number which is used. The full year number should always be used - i.e. even if the planning authority uses a shortened year number such as 16/123456, you should use the full year number 2016-123456 when naming the file.

Plans drawn up by architects to accompany the planning application will often only have a month and year on them (together with a drawing reference number) not a full date, but in most (not all) cases it is not really the date on which the architect drew the plan which is significant but the date on which the application form, which accompanied the plans, was signed and sent to the planning authority, so you can use the application form date as the date of the accompanying plans.    


If the Disclosure of Documents stage has already taken place

In most legal proceedings there is a disclosure of documents stage at which each party is obliged to send to the other party a list - usually a numbered list - of the documents it proposes to rely on at trial and often also (depending on the court's/tribunal's order) other relevant documents the party has as well. It is useful to be able to identify which party has disclosed each document and if, when you are loading documents to Google Drive, the Disclosure of Documents stage has already taken place, then when naming the documents you should include the disclosure list number in the document name after the date like this:

2018-08-15   C12 Letter Smith to Jones  

The letter C indicates that the document was disclosed by the Claimant and C12 indicates that it is document number 12 on the Claimant's Disclosure List. D is used for Defendant, A for Applicant, R for Respondent etc.
The rules of most courts and tribunals require documents to be listed individually on a disclosure list so if it is a numbered disclosure list each document will have its own number. If, exceptionally, a party is allowed to list documents on its disclosure list as groups - e.g. "12.   Ten photos of Brookwood garden" then an alphabetic suffix should be used for each document in that group entry - e.g. C12a, C12b, C12c, etc. See here for a longer explanation. 


Indexing Services

If you have a large number of PDF (and JPEG) copies to rename, Legastat provide a document indexing (renaming) service. 

Disclaimer

The information on this page about specific computer techniques is provided for information purposes only. Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate and up to date at the time it was written but no responsibility for its accuracy, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by me. Any sample screen layouts are based on the version of software current when the screen shot was taken and may be different now. You should satisfy yourself, before using any of the techniques, software or services described, that the techniques are appropriate for your purposes and that the software or service is reliable.

This page was lasted updated in September 2018. Disclaimer