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organize filesIf you tend to download wallpaper Best Sites to Download Very High Resolution Wallpapers Best Sites to Download Very High Resolution Wallpapers Read More images Best Sites To Download Good High-Res Wallpapers (Part Two) Best Sites To Download Good High-Res Wallpapers (Part Two) Read More , videos 18 Free Ways To Download Any Video Off The Internet 18 Free Ways To Download Any Video Off The Internet Read More or program setup files (like our MakeUseOf Pack MakeUseOf Pack 2010: 20+ Essential Windows Apps in One Pack MakeUseOf Pack 2010: 20+ Essential Windows Apps in One Pack Read More and previous roundup Roundup: 15 Must-Have Free Software Programs for Your PC Roundup: 15 Must-Have Free Software Programs for Your PC Read More ) and dump them in one place on a regular basis, keeping your desktop or downloads folder tidy may soon prove necessary as you lose track of what files should be where.

In my case, My Dropbox 4 Unique and Cool Ways To Use Dropbox 4 Unique and Cool Ways To Use Dropbox Read More was the folder where I dump all kinds of files in. Since I didn’t think it was necessary for Dropbox to work in the background uploading temporary files, I eventually put my files (like my 200 random screenshots) only to the desktop where I could easily see new files and delete the ones I no longer needed. I don’t know about you but I don’t wish to keep any program working so hard in the background, because usually that means it’s consuming precious resources and will eventually contribute to my already-overheating 5 Things You Can Do To Silence A Noisy Laptop Fan 5 Things You Can Do To Silence A Noisy Laptop Fan Read More laptop (fan) going absolutely nuts.


As I had files scattered over these two places and saw a similar concern over at MakeUseOf Answers (where you can ask, learn and earn), I found DropIt, which comes in to ease the files-everywhere chaos. An open-source tool, DropIt consists of a drop target to help you manage and sort whatever files and folders you drag and drop on it.

Since it’s portable, you can just run the executable (which comes in a 716KB zip file) and try it without installing it. The two biggest features that make this a pretty good utility are rules and profiles.

Rules

DropIt enables you to sort, file, move or copy your files according to rules or associations that you set. You can create associations by file extension or type, or name by right-clicking on the drop target and clicking on Manage.

organize files

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To sort files of a specific type, choose the folder you want to move all the files to and set a rule, such as, “.png” (without the quotes) to apply it to only PNG images, and hit Apply.

To sort files with a specific string in the name, you can use:

makeuseof.* –> to support files named “makeuseof”
makeuseof*.* –> to apply to files that begin with the word “makeuseof”
*makeuseof* –> to support all files that have the string “makeuseof”

You can also dump folders onto DropIt and set rules for folders using:

makeuseof** –> for folders that start with “makeuseof”
**makeuseof –> for folders that end in “makeuseof”
**makeuseof** –> for folders containing “makeuseof”

You can also exclude files by appending “$”:

makeuseof*.png$ –> skips the “makeuseof.png” file

You can set up a pattern with multiple strings using a semicolon:

*.wma;*.mp3 –> applies to both WMA and MP3 files

Select any rules from the Pattern List to modify the association pattern, select a different destination folder, or delete associations altogether.

allows you to organize files folders

Profiles

If you want files of the same type to go to different destination folders (for example, you have both music files and audiobooks with the MP3 file extension that belong in different places), you can set up multiple profiles by right-clicking on the drop target, going to Profiles > Customize.

allows you to organize files folders

Click on New, enter the name of your profile, and select an image to represent the drop target. In the screenshot, I have just created my “non-iTunes” profile (to set it for my .mp3 audiobooks) and need to select an image.

allows you to organize files folders

Now you can right-click on the target again, go to Profiles and choose the profile you just created to set up new file associations. For this non-iTunes profile, I can then apply an only-mp3 rule to files that need to be moved to my Audiobooks folder.

allows you to organize files folders

Additional options include the ability to display more than one instance (useful when you have different profiles), set actions for duplicate files, and set move or copy actions at all drops (you can also make it ask you every time).

organize files

Other similar software include Digital Janitor and Belvedere (discussed with other great tips here 4 Proven Tips To Keep Your Windows Folders Organized 4 Proven Tips To Keep Your Windows Folders Organized Read More and unlike DropIt, can monitor folders for you), as well as multimedia organizer FreshView FreshView - Awesome App To Organize & Browse Your Multimedia Files [Windows] FreshView - Awesome App To Organize & Browse Your Multimedia Files [Windows] Read More , while for Mac, you can use Apple’s Automator 2 Useful Tips For Organizing Electronic Files [Mac Only] 2 Useful Tips For Organizing Electronic Files [Mac Only] Read More , rely on simply grouping and tagging Simple Ways To Organize Your Files In Mac Simple Ways To Organize Your Files In Mac Read More or find some great third-party software, such as NiftyBox and SmartShuno 2 Ingenious Apps To Help Organize Files and Folders On Your Mac 2 Ingenious Apps To Help Organize Files and Folders On Your Mac Read More .

Do you prefer to organize files yourself on Windows The 4 Proven Simple Tips to Organize Your Files on Windows The 4 Proven Simple Tips to Organize Your Files on Windows Read More or use a specific application? Feel free to share with us your favorite programs!

  1. Nemo Documents
    October 14, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Thanks :)

    Nemo Documents just monitors the file system and doesn't touch your files at all actually. We made it very lightweight on purpose this way, so that it doesn't interfere and use up precious the resources of your computer.

  2. Jessica Cam W.
    October 1, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    I don't have experience with Mac so I'll have to direct you to the articles of MakeUseOf's Mac writers:

    *Try Apple’s Automator,
    *Grouping and tagging,
    *Or some great freeware, NiftyBox and SmartShuno.

  3. Clschneeweiss
    September 30, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Now what do I do if I use Macs? I'm a motion graphic student with 2.5TB of files/ render assets/ homework/ my weird 4chan stuff that I'm horrified of trying to sort.

  4. Nemo Documents
    September 30, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Interesting article. You might be interesting in looking into Nemo Documents. It provides a different way of auto-organizing based on time: http://www.nemo-docs.com.

  5. Nemo Documents
    September 30, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Interesting article. You might be interesting in looking into Nemo Documents. It provides a different way of auto-organizing based on time: http://www.nemo-docs.com.

    • Jessica Cam W.
      October 1, 2010 at 11:55 am

      That's actually very interesting! Does it somehow save the documents after each change in order to display the files?

      • Nemo Documents
        October 14, 2010 at 12:06 pm

        Thanks :)

        Nemo Documents just monitors the file system and doesn't touch your files at all actually. We made it very lightweight on purpose this way, so that it doesn't interfere and use up precious the resources of your computer.

  6. file extension software
    September 30, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Wow this is cool. I love your blog post because there's so much information you shared to us. But I would like to share also that you can use FileCure because it takes the frustration out of dealing with mystery documents and confusing file extensions! This unique software will thoroughly analyze your files and make sure you have the necessary software information to handle all your file types. FileCure is compatible with Windows® 7 64-bit and 32-bit operating system, Windows Vista® 64-bit and 32-bit, and Windows® XP 32-bit operating system.

    http://www.filecure.com

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