Virtual filing cabinets are easy to make with Google Sites! If I can do it, you can too. This handy tool allows you to store lesson plans and notes, attach documents, and link favorite websites. Everything you use for unit planning will be right at your fingertips.
Creating Virtual Filing Cabinets
Think of this as your digital file cabinet. It’s neater, cleaner, and paper-free. You can access it anywhere. Additionally, every file you attach generates a URL that can be shared with other teachers and/or your students.
Let’s get started.
To create a Google Site, click on the App icon, which looks like an array. Choose Sites. If this is your first site, the icon will probably not appear. Click on More then locate and click on the Sites icon.
Go ahead! Click the red CREATE button. In the new page, type your site name. It will appear as part of the URL below. If that URL is taken choose something else. (I usually just add a few numbers or my initials to lengthen the URL.)
Click “I am not a robot.” Then click CREATE SITE. It’s normal for site creation to take a few minutes. Just be patient.
When your home page opens, hit Save.
How to Add a Page
Now you can add some pages. Click on the icon with the plus sign. Give your new page a title. Choose something that you’d label a large drawer in your file cabinet. For my first “drawer,” I’ve chosen Math. I’ll add more later for Reading, Writing, Mechanics, Social Studies, Science, etc.
I keep these main pages at the top level. That way, they appear as main categories on my sidebar. Subpages for specific units will be added. I type them in the text box then link them.
To type in the text box, click on the edit (pencil) icon. Whenever you want to change or add to text on your page, click on the pencil. Then hit Save.
Subpages are created just like main pages. They are placed under the corresponding main page (like file folders). On the sidebar, they appear below the main pages.
I like to link my subpages directly to the main page. To do this, I highlight the name of the unit and click on the linking tool, which looks like a section of chain.
A pop-up menu appears. Sites page will already be highlighted. That’s the one we want for attaching pages within the site. When you click on the little plus sign next to the main category, the subcategories open below. Click on the name of the subpage you want to link.
Don’t click on the box that says “Open this link in a new window.” Since the page is in this site, we don’t open a new window. Now hit OK.
How to Add Files
As we discussed, the subpage acts like a file folder in virtual filing cabinets. You can link all of your files at the bottom of the page. Simply click on ADD FILES and open the file you want to attach.
Once the file is attached, download with the down arrow to the right of the file for printing.
If you’d like to share the file as a digital pdf, click on the file name. The file will open, and the URL will be displayed above. Just copy and paste to share the digital version of your document.
In addition to all of your documents, you can link other webpages to your unit plans. First, copy the URL of the webpage. Then highlight the text (or graphic) that you’d like to link. This time, choose “Web address.” Paste it in the bar. Choose to open it in another window and hit OK.
How to Link to Other Sites
To make your website private or share it, click on the blue Share button in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. Then choose a setting.
For free video tutorials, visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store:
This will get you started. Over the next few weeks, I’ll share more about going paperless. Be sure to stop by.
Store all of your content with Google Sites. No more copying! No more paper waste!
Enjoy your virtual filing cabinets!