Organize Your Computer Files In A Flash With DropIt [Windows]

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organize filesIf you tend to download wallpaper images, videos or program setup files (like our MakeUseOf Pack and previous roundup) 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 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 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 and unlike DropIt, can monitor folders for you), as well as multimedia organizer FreshView, while for Mac, you can use Apple’s Automator, rely on simply grouping and tagging or find some great third-party software, such as NiftyBox and SmartShuno.

Do you prefer to organize files yourself on Windows or use a specific application? Feel free to share with us your favorite programs!

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