How Metadrive extends Google Drive functionalities

In Metadrive, Google Drive folders and Shared Drives are the organizational units. This means all configuration is created at this level (custom properties, templates, workflows, …),  can customize each one of your folders / Shared Drives independently.

However, Google Drive metadata (still in beta), only lets you create properties at the domain level, making them available for all your folders / Shared Drives.

Properties configuration

Metadrive properties have multiple settings:

  • Name and description of the property
  • Type of the values it accepts
  • An optional default value
  • The option to make it mandatory that the property is filled in when creating new documents

The list of available property types in Metadrive is:

  • Text: useful when you need to write a free text for each document
  • Number: the best choice for numeric values
  • Choice: select a value from a predefined list in the property settings. Also accepts multiple-value selection
  • Lookup: select a value from a list defined in a Google Sheet. Useful and easy to update when you need the same list of values for different folders
  • Date: pick-up date from the calendar
  • Date and time: more precise date selector
  • Person: choose anyone from your Google Contacts
  • Boolean: select between “true” and “false”
  • Emoji: use different groups of icons to represent your metadata

In Google Drive metadata, you can only configure the name and type of the property; and the list of available types (number, date, person, text, or selection) is shorter than in Metadrive.

Document search

Searching in Metadrive is quick and easy: just write the term you need to look for. When you perform a search in Metadrive, it looks for documents that match your query within the folder structure you are working with, returning only relevant documents for you. Therefore, it hugely reduces the amount of time you spend searching for information and increments the amount of time you are working. The results of the search will be displayed showing the documents and their metadata, giving a quick overview of the current state of each one.

Besides, you can combine a search in Metadrive with filtering, grouping, and sorting of your documents based on some metadata; either system metadata (such as document name or description) or custom metadata (properties you created in Metadrive).

However, search in Google Drive is different. If you input a term in the search bar, it will return documents from all your Drive that match that term. You need to configure the advanced search to look for documents in a specific folder. Moreover, you cannot apply additional filtering, grouping, and sorting options, and the results do not include document metadata, so you need to explore each document individually.

Metadrive Views

A view allows you to configure which documents you view and which information about them is displayed. This means it lets you configure a search term, some filtering, grouping, and sorting options, and select which metadata you want to display.

Metadrive has some predefined views available in each folder:

  • “All items” view, where you see all the documents of the folder with all their custom metadata, alongside their name and the last user who modified each one
  • “Not viewed files” view, containing documents you (the current user) have not opened yet
  • “Updated files for me” view, with all the documents that have been updated since the last time you opened them
  • “Shared Drive Bin” view, only available in Shared Drives, shows the documents in the bin of the Shared Drive you are working on
  • “My bin” view, only available in Drive folders, shows the documents in your bin

Moreover, in Metadrive you can create custom views. In them, you can enter a search term, apply some filters over your document’s metadata, and group them and sort them based on some criteria. Then, views will be available for all the users who can access that folder / Shared Drive. Additionally, you can set a view as default so that when a user opens the folder / Shared Drive in Metadrive, this view is automatically loaded and its configuration is applied (and you skip the process of configuring everything each time you need it).

Besides, filters over Person and Date properties can be defined as dynamic, so they use the current context (user working on Metadrive and current day) as values for filtering documents.

On the other side, Google Drive does not currently have a View functionality.


In any Document Management System, workflows are an important feature that helps companies to organize people, tools, and processes to streamline collaborative work and increase control over its execution.

What we do in Metadrive is the normalization of each workflow, establishing the steps to follow, who has control in each of them and the tasks to be carried out. In addition to controlling each of these steps, some related tasks are also automated, such as sending alerts, informing those responsible, or moving from one step to another when the tasks of the previous ones have been completed.

Besides, we are working on adding pre-step and post-step actions, so you will be able to configure some automatic actions to be performed when a document changes from one step to another.

As the opposite, Google Drive does not have a workflow management system.


Metadrive Datasheet is a view that allows you to modify your documents in bulk. When you are working on a folder / Shared Drive in Metadrive and you open the Datasheet view, you will see all the documents you were seeing previously with all their metadata in an Excel-like sheet. There, you can update their name and custom metadata in bulk.

Datasheet allows you to use some Excel-like functionalities such as drag and drop, or copying and pasting values from a Google Sheet or Excel file.

Also, you can export all the information as a backup to a CSV file that will be downloaded to your device.

Google Drive does not have any feature similar to this.


In Metadrive you configure document templates at the folder level, so they are only available in folders where you want to. You choose any file from your Drive, and users who open that folder /Shared Drive in Metadrive will be able to create copies of the template (as long as they have access).

Google Drive templates are domain level, so every user can create copies of the documents anywhere.

Metadrive Activity

Metadrive Activity is a functionality that allows you to record user activity in specific folders. Once it is enabled at the domain-level, users can choose to record the operations performed in their folders using Metadrive, so they can keep track of what is being done in each one of them.

This functionality is a larger control of user’s activity than Google Drive’s file activity since Metadrive activity also tracks changes in folder configuration (properties, views, workflows, templates) apart from file changes (creation, deletion, renaming, metadata editing, sharing).


Metadrive provides some in-app features which are not available in Google Drive.

Photo Editing

Metadrive provides an in-app photo editor that allows you to perform typical photo-editing operations over your Drive stored images (such as making cuts, adding drawings, shapes, or texts, or rotating the picture).

3D files preview

Metadrive integrates a 3D file preview for your GLB and GLTF models, so you can see them when you open the edit document view alongside their metadata.

Copy folder structure

When you are working in a folder / Shared Drive in Metadrive, you can see subfolders and files that are stored in the folder / Shared Drive you opened. In the subfolders, you can select them and choose the option “Copy folder structure”. This will open a Drive Picker so you can choose the location you want the copy to be stored, and copy the subfolder with their whole structure to that location.