How To Automate Files & Folders Management Using Belvedere [Windows]
Yet, doing these routines manually is exactly what many people do; it’s totally the opposite of the “computer is made to make our life easier” philosophy. Luckily, there are several applications that could help us automate those mundane tasks and give us more time to do our real job. One of those tools is Belvedere.
Distributing The Downloads
Belvedere is a files and folders manager created by the folks at Lifehacker. It’s inspired by a similar tool for Mac called Hazel. We’ve mentioned Belvedere several times before, but never got around to giving it a more thorough look. To give you a clearer picture of what Belvedere can do, let’s take a look at how I use the tool to manage my downloads.
As a download freak who has just found a better internet provider, I fetch (almost) everything that interests me off the net (even though most of it will just be deleted later). So it’s only logical that my download folder is cluttered with all kinds of files and folders. What I did to resolve the problem was set some rules to distribute those files to their respective folders.
I opened the application and clicked the “plus (+)” button under the “Folders” pane to add a folder to monitor. In this case, I added my download folder to the list.
Then while selecting the Downloads folder on the left pane, I clicked the “plus (+)” button on the “Rules” pane on the right to add a rule.
I was going to create a rule to move all downloaded PDF files out of the Downloads folder to a folder especially assigned for PDFs, so in the “Create a rule” window, under the “conditions to follow” I specified that the file extension should be PDF; and under “what actions should be done if the specified conditions are met” I told Belvedere to move the file to a folder called PDFs in drive D:\.
Then, to activate the rule, I checked the “Enabled” box at the top right corner of the window.
The available conditions that you could choose are: Name, Extension, Size, and Date.
While the available actions are: Move, Rename, Send to Recycle Bin, Delete, Copy and Open the file(s).
Other than the PDF rule, I also created several other rules for my download folder, such as to move music files to the iTunes Library, movie files to the Movie folder, comic files to folders according to their titles, etc. You can add as many folders as you want to watch and as many rules to follow as you need.
Belvedere is also capable of helping you to keep your Recycle Bin clean by routinely emptying it in a time duration that you specified.
Other Possible Usages
As far as I know, Belvedere is the best alternative among other similar applications on Windows. Using the combination of conditions and actions, anybody could easily create rules to manage his/her files and folders. There are many possible usages of Belvedere that you could come up with. Here are several ideas that I personally use:
- Automatically move movie files to a folder where they will be converted to iPod friendly format with the help of DropFolders . Then the results will be moved to another folder to be picked up by iTunes.
- Move a specifically tagged folder to another location. Since I always put all materials related to a project inside a folder under the “Currently Working On” folder, I could tag a finished project folder with “~Done” and that folder with everything inside will be moved to the “Finished Projects” folder.
- Create a backup copy of every work-related file inside my Dropbox folder. So every file that I put inside the Dropbox folder at my office will be copied to another folder on my home computer. Even if that file is deleted from the Dropbox folder, I will always have a backup copy at home.
Image credit: Lifehacker