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organize dropboxWhen thinking about services and apps that changed our lives in recent years, names like Facebook, Twitter or Gmail immediately come to mind. Unarguably, these services have had a great impact on our lives, but what about a more modest service like Dropbox?

Dropbox, and the many services that followed, changed the way we save and share files, and if you’re anything like me, your Dropbox is full of folders and sub-folders, each shared with a different person or used for a different purpose. How do you organize Dropbox? Sortbox is here to help.

Getting Started With Sortbox

Sortbox is a web app that magically sorts your Dropbox files according to rules you set. It won’t sort existing files into existing folders, but you can use it to automatically sort new files you save into their appropriate folders, much like e-mail filters or a Dropbox-only ifttt.

To start, you’d need to log in to Sortbox with your Dropbox account. Naturally, Sortbox requires access to your Dropbox folders in order to be able to move files into them.

organize dropbox

After logging into Dropbox and granting Sortbox access, you’re ready to start setting some rules.


Setting Up Rules

There are three kinds of rules you can set which offer endless different possibilities. You can set up as many rules as you want to organize your Dropbox account.

how to organize dropbox files

This is an overview of the rules page. Let’s take a closer look at the rules you can set.

As mentioned, there are three kinds of rules: Name contains, Extension equals and Name pattern.

how to organize dropbox files

With name contains, you can filter all files that contain a certain string; with extension equals, you can filter all files with a certain extension; and with name pattern you can filter according to both name and the extension, and even use wildcards.

Once you set up the rules, you can choose which folder these files will be moved to. Sortbox’s interface lets you browse your Dropbox folder right from the dropdown menu.

how to organize dropbox files

When it comes to extensions, you can apply the same rule to several different ones. If, for example, you want to filter all PowerPoint files, you can apply the same rule to ppt and pptx files by separating the extensions with a comma.

how to organize dropbox

In name pattern, you can use * and ? as wildcards. ? replaces a single letter/number/symbol/character, and * replaces any number of them. For example, work*.doc will filter any Word file beginning with “work”.

When you’re done setting up rules, click the “Save & Run Rules” button. Sortbox will run the rules every 15 minutes, and sort files accordingly.

how to organize dropbox

Sorting Files

So how do you use Sortbox in everyday life? If you look at your general Dropbox folder, you’ll find a new folder called “Sortbox”. Save to this folder every file you want Sortbox to sort for you. The rules will run every 15 minutes.

how to organize dropbox

Once the rules are applied, you’ll find all your files in their respective new folders.

In your Sortbox dashboard, you’ll also find your recent activity listed, so you can see exactly which file was moved into which folder and when.


If for some reason you wish to temporarily disable Sortbox, you can do so from the Settings. Here you will also find a summary of your Sortbox activity.

organize dropbox

Bottom Line

Sortbox is not doing anything we haven’t seen before, but what it does, it does with style. The service is extremely easy to set up and use, and can be a major time-saver for avid Dropbox users. So next time you need to save a file to My Dropbox/Files/Movies/Movies in HD/Movies A-D, don’t waste your time with browsing; simply save your files to Sortbox and watch the magic happen!

Do you know of similar services that help to organize Dropbox? What do you think of Sortbox? Share everything in the comments.

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  1. Meg Smith
    August 30, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    YEAHHHH SO EXCITED TO HAVE FOUND THIS! I've been dreading having to organize all of my photo's and scrapbooknig - now it won't take nearly as long. TY TYTY TY

  2. Sacha Obado
    June 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    well finally an easy way to sort my dropbox files.. definetly going to check it out.. thnx makeuseof for the great tips..

  3. Sachin Kanchan
    June 5, 2012 at 3:58 am

    i had a lot of spam in my old live mail, so much so that( and constantly increasing) i had to delete the account and create a new one...but i lost the opportunity to grab the windows live skydrive[25 GB storage] for a limited time