Google Drive - common mistakes


Contents

  1. 1 A document is not a PDF
  2. 2 A colour document has been scanned in as black and white
  3. 3 A document is partially illegible
  4. 4 A document is completely illegible
  5. 5 The top/bottom/side of a page in a document has been cropped
  6. 6 Document pages loaded separately
  7. 7 A PDF in Google Drive contains more than one document
  8. 8 A Document appears to contain what may be a very recent annotation
  9. 9 A Document appears to be a duplicate
  10. 10 A Document date is missing
  11. 11 The Document date is in the wrong format
  12. 12 The Document date/time for an email is missing/wrong
  13. 13 The name (title) of a document is meaningless
  14. 14 A document name does not identify the document type
  15. 15 A document name is incomplete and/or subjective
  16. 16 The name of a document is unhelpful/contentious
  17. 17 There is more than one level of sub-folder
  18. 18 A spreadsheet is in portrait and has been reduced in size so that it is unreadable 
  19. 19 Pages appear to be missing from a document
  20. 20 Attachments are missing from Emails
  21. 21 Disclaimer
  22. 22 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. 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.Any explanation about naming conventions or other matters in the context of tribunal or court procedure is only an overview and in order to be reasonably concise I have had to leave some details out - details which are likely to affect what the procedural law would say about your own situation. So please do not rely on the above but contact me for advice.This page was lasted updated in April 2017. Disclaimer

Once you have loaded documents into Google Drive check the list of common errors below to ensure that everything is loaded and named correctly.

A document is not a PDF

All documents (apart from audio/video files and photographs) loaded to Google Drive must be PDFs so you will need to make a PDF copy of the document and load that.    


A colour document has been scanned in as black and white

You need to select the appropriate option - colour rather than black and white - when scanning in the document before loading it to Google Drive. Since virtually all scanners can scan in colour there is generally no reason not to scan all documents in in colour. If you have already scanned in a document in black and white then this is, of course, fine if the original is black and white, or if the only colours on the original are of no significance (e.g. a letter where the letterhead happens to have a colour logo) but photographs must always be scanned in in colour and any map, plan or other document which uses colour coding must be scanned in in colour.  


A document is partially illegible

Have a look at the original document and compare with the copy on Google Drive. If the original document is easier to read than the copy on Google Drive, try changing the options on your scanner (e.g. light/dark and contrast) to see if you can make a better copy to load to Google Drive. If, however, the original document is partially illegible and the copy on Google Drive is the best that can be done, then you should make this clear like this:-

2016-01-14   Letter John Smith to Paul Jones (partially illegible)    


A document is completely illegible

Have a look at the original document and compare with the copy on Google Drive. If the original document is easier to read than the copy on Google Drive, try changing the options on your scanner (e.g. light/dark and contrast) to see if you can make a better copy to load to Google Drive. If, however, the original document is completely, or almost completely, illegible and the copy on Google Drive is the best that can be done, then you should make this clear like this:-

2016-01-14   Letter John Smith to Paul Jones (mostly illegible)    


The top/bottom/side of a page in a document has been cropped

This can happen as a result of a scanner document feeder misfeed or if you place a page on the glass of a flatbed scanner in the wrong position. If can also sometimes happen if you set your scanner software to automatically detect the page size and it auto-detects wrongly. If this is the cause, delete the document from Google Drive and try again scanning it in and loading it again.

However if the reason for the problem is that the original paper copy you have is already cropped then indicate this like this:

2016-01-14   Letter John Smith to Paul Jones (best possible copy - original is cropped)
    
 

Document pages loaded separately

The pages of a document are split between multiple documents on Google Drive. For example a document on Google Drive contains only the first page of a letter and the second page of the letter has been loaded to Google Drive as a separate document.

The most usual cause of this error is that you have scanned in one page of a letter, or other document, as one PDF, and then scanned in the second page as a new PDF. Another common cause is that you have scanned in the documents to JPG format, rather than PDF format (JPG is an image format used mainly for photos and every JPG file is a single page so if you select JPG format when scanning in a multi-page document your scanner software has no choice but to produce one jPG file per page). To correct this problem now you need to 
merge the PDFs to create a single PDF containing all pages of the document. One of the easiest ways to merge PDFs is to use www.sejda.com - chose the Merge PDF option (of the JPG to PDF option if your files are JPG). 

To prevent this problem happening in future, you need to load all pages of the document into your scanner document feeder and scan them in in one go as a single PDF.



A PDF in Google Drive contains more than one document

The most common cause of this error is that you have loaded more than one document into the automatic document feeder (ADF) of your scanner and have created a large PDF containing multiple documents which you have then loaded into Google Drive. To resolve this problem, you can split it into individual documents

Apart from emails (where the PDF should contain the email body and all attachments) and covering letters (where the the PDF should contain the covering letter and the enclosures) all PDFs in Google Drive documents should contain just one document.


A Document appears to contain what may be a very recent annotation

There are several ways in which a document may come to have an annotation. If someone prints out a letter to send and then notices a small mistake, they might correct it on their computer and reprint, or, to save time, ink and paper, they might just correct it with a pen. The recipient of such a letter only has the annotated version. If, however, the annotation was made by the recipient, they may or may not have kept a "clean" copy. Apart from correcting typos there are various other reasons why people annotate documents: they may have made notes or comments as they read, or they may have telephoned the author with queries and written down the answers as annotations. 

If possible you should indicate briefly in the title of an annotated document when (approximately) it was annotated -e.g. 

2006-02-24   Letter Smith to Jones (annotated shortly after receipt)

or, if you do not know when it was annotated

2006-02-24   Letter Smith to Jones (annotated)

And if you have a clean copy you should load that to Google Drive as well

2006-02-24   Letter Smith to Jones

An annotation, as described above, made in the ordinary course of events when a document is received (or, at least, made at some point in the past before the current litigation was contemplated) is very different from you recently making a copy of a photo or other document and annotating it in order to point something out to me (and/or, in due course, to a court/tribunal). You can, of course, email that recently annotated copy to me, together with anything else you want to tell me, but obviously it is the original document, not the copy with your recent annotation, which needs to be loaded to Google Drive.


A Document appears to be a duplicate

Generally speaking the same document should not appear in the Google Drive folder more than once. This is for two reasons. First, it increases the time anyone looking at the documents has to spend reading and searching because there are more pages to look through. Secondly, it usually means that the reader spends some time puzzling over why there are apparently two identical copies of the same document. If the documents, though at first glance the same, do, in fact, contain a significant difference then it is helpful if this can be indicated in brackets in the title - e.g. if one copy has been annotated and one has not they can be named like this

2006-01-17 Letter Smith to Jones

2006-01-17 Letter Smith to Jones (annotated)

If, on the other hand, the copies really are identical and there is no reason for them both to be in the Google Drive folder, one should be removed.


A Document date is missing

Every PDF which you load must commence with the date in yyyy-mm-dd like this

2006-01-17 Letter Smith to Jones



The Document date is in the wrong format

Every PDF which you load must commence with the date in yyyy-mm-dd format otherwise the documents will not appear in chronological order. For example if you have three documents on Google Drive named like this

Letter Smith to Jones 07.03.2005
2006-01-17 Letter Smith to Jones
18-06-2006 Letter Jones to Smith
29 Jan 2007 Letter Smith to Jones


They will end up out of order like this:

18-06-2006 Letter Jones to Smith
2006-01-17 Letter Smith to Jones
29 Jan 2007 Letter Smith to Jones
Letter Smith to Jones 07.03.2005


This is because Google Drive cannot recognise dates in document names in the way a human being can and just treats them as a series of letters and numbers. You must create copies with names like this:

2005-03-07 Letter Smith to Jones
2006-01-17 Letter Smith to Jones
2006-06-18 Letter Jones to Smith
2007-01-29 Letter Smith to Jones


before loading them to Google Drive. If you have already loaded documents to Google Drive which are not in the above format, you can rename them within Google Drive.

It is important that the date uses dashes exactly like this:

2005-03-07 Letter Smith to Jones

If you use slashes like this:

2005/03/07 Letter Smith to Jones

you will not notice any problem whilst using Google Drive but when you come to transfer the documents to Caselines (as you will need to do at some stage if litigation ensues) the documents will not load correctly, so make sure that the date is in exactly this format:

2005-03-07 Letter Smith to Jones 

Every document name must commence with a date. If you do not know the exact date of the document you can use xx - e.g. 2010-07-xx or 2010-xx-xx if even the month is uncertain. If you are not even sure about the year of the document, you should enter the approximate year and indicate in the title of the document that the year is only approximate, like this:-


1990-xx-xx Photo circa early 1990s


The Document date/time for an email is missing/wrong

Emails should be named like this:

2016-02-24   Email at 13.22  John Smith to Paul Jones



The name (title) of a document is meaningless


For example the name is 201510132015123456.

Use this procedure to rename the document to give it a name in the correct format: - e.g.

2006-03-22 Letter John Smith to Phillip Jones

2006-03-22 Email at 18.22 Phillip Jones to John Smith

2006-05-29 Purchase Order Preston Haulage to Farnfield Motors

2007-11-22 Invoice Farnfield Motors to Preston Haulage



A document name does not identify the document type

A one of two word document type, such as Letter, Email, Photo,  Contract,Transfer, Conveyance, Register of Title, Title Plan etc.  must appear Immediately after the date as in the following examples. 


Examples of other documents:
        

         2006-05-29 Letter John Smith to Phillip Jones

2006-05-29 Email at 18.22 Phillip Jones to John Smith

2006-05-29 Memo John Smith to Phillip Jones

2006-05-29 Purchase Order Preston Haulage to Farnfield Motors

2006-05-29 Invoice Farnfield Motors to Preston Haulage

2006-05-29 Agreement John Smith and Peter Fisher

2006-05-29 Cheque Preston Haulage to Farnfield Motors

2006-05-29 Bank Statement John Low 01378256

2006-05-29 Photo Brookwood garden 01


See here for a more detailed description of the names to use for different types of document or use this question and answer dialogue to quickly check what file name to give to a document when in doubt. 


A document name is incomplete and/or subjective

You may have typed a document name which, while meaningful to you now at this stage, and quite possibly understandable to me, would not be sufficiently meaningful for later use.

Bear in mind that you may be providing copies of documents if you correspond with other parties (and if there is litigation 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 meaningful to others and not just a description which is meaningful to you.

The stages of court/tribunal proceedings may feel like events in the distant future but if you use suitable document names from the beginning, you will find that it will save much time, and avoid much potential confusion, later on. One of the reasons why, historically, litigation has been so expensive is that, before the widespread availability of computers, solicitors were needed to process paper copies of documents as the litigation proceeded, collating different sets of documents, adding bundle page numbers, typing up different lists of documents at different stages, etc. Providing you use, from the start, document names which will be meaningful throughout the litigation process, you will be able to carry out many of document handling stages of litigation very quickly. 

The guiding principle is to use a description which will be meaningful to everyone. For example do not use 

2006-05-29 Letter sent out

2006-05-29 Letter from John to Me

2006-05-29 Letter sent to John

2006-05-29 Letter received from Paul Jones

2006-05-29 Letter me to surveyor


but rather:

2006-05-29 Letter Jane Jones to John Smith

2006-05-29 Letter John Smith to Jane Jones

2006-05-29 Letter Jane Jones to John Smith

2006-05-29 Letter Paul Jones to Jane Jones

2006-05-29 Letter Jane Jones to Hewitt and Co


See here for a more detailed description of the names to use for different types of document or use this question and answer dialogue to quickly check what file name to give to a document when in doubt. 



The name of a document is unhelpful/contentious

The title of a document should identify the document concisely, referring to key and uncontentious things such as the general type of document and the author and addressee (or land name or title number if a land document). It should not be a precis of what the document says (because it should not be necessary for someone to read through a document just to check that it is the document you are referring to) and should not be contentious (i.e. it should be a neutral identification of the document which the other side could agree with) so  2006-05-29   Letter John Smith to Jane Jones should be used rather than 2006-05-29   Letter querying unreasonable delay.


There is more than one level of sub-folder

You can create sub-folders if this is a useful way of organising documents. For example you might create one sub-folder named Photographs and another sub-folder named Other Documents. Please do not create more than one level of sub-folder. For example don't create a sub-folder called Title Deeds with two sub-sub-folders inside it called 89 Sea Road and 91 Sea Road. Instead create two sub-folders called Title Deeds for 89 Sea Road, and Title Deeds for 91 Sea Road. 


A spreadsheet is in portrait and has been reduced in size so that it is unreadable 

Providing a spreadsheet is at least loaded as "landscape" it is possible to print it on larger paper by selecting an enlarge option when printing, but if the spreadsheet is loaded as "portrait" the characters may be too small to read even when printed on the largest paper size available. To resolve this problem, create a landscape PDF copy as shown here.


Pages appear to be missing from a document

If a document you have loaded into Google Drive has some pages are missing then you should put (pages missing) in the document title like this:-

2014-11-26   Letter John Smith to Paul Jones (pages missing) 

This is to alert me (and anyone else who may be concerned in any future litigation) that their omission is not due to, for example, any paper mis-feed when you scanned in the documents: on the contrary you found the pages missing when you came to scan them in. On the other hand if you have deliberately not loaded all pages of a document into Google Drive (for example because you think only the first page of a document is relevant and there are many pages all of which are dog-eared and would have to be fed one by one into your scanner) it is important to make this clear like this:-

2014-11-26   Report Dr Jones (only first few pages loaded)

so as to alert me (and anyone else who may be concerned in any future litigation) that there are other pages which could seen if necessary. Generally speaking is is much easier for everyone if you load all pages of a document into Google Drive from the start but the most important thing is to make clear, in the document title, that not all pages have been loaded where that is the case and to indicate whether the reason you have not loaded the missing pages is because of practicality or because you do not have them. 



Attachments are missing from Emails

The body (i.e. the message part) of an email has been loaded to Google Drive. It appears that the email had attachments but the attachments have not been loaded into Google Drive.

To ensure that attachments are included, create PDFs from the emails using the procedure explained here. 

Since it is easy to load attachments into Google Drive with the email message, there is generally no reason not to do so but if for some reason you do not intend to do so at this stage (for example because you think the attachments themselves are not relevant) it is important to make this clear like this

2015-05-07   Email at 10.36 John Smith to Paula Jones (attachments not loaded)
 

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. 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.

Any explanation about naming conventions or other matters in the context of tribunal or court procedure is only an overview and in order to be reasonably concise I have had to leave some details out - details which are likely to affect what the procedural law would say about your own situation. So please do not rely on the above but contact me for advice.

This page was lasted updated in April 2017. Disclaimer