Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
One of the things that I’ve been procrastinating about for a very long time is sorting through all of the pictures, videos, data files and wide assortment of other “stuff” that’s scattered throughout my computer like a cluttered basement that’s just waiting to be cleaned. The only thing is that I can never find the time to actually tidy up my computer. The files continue to build, and I’m sure one day if I don’t get things taken care of, my hard drive will die and I’ll lose it all.
There have been a few cool apps listed at MUO to help organize files, such as Nancy’s review of NiftyBox and SmartShuno, and Jeffry’s list of simple tips – all for organizing files on a Mac. I wanted to find a similar app that can help on a Windows PC. While you can do this by just opening up Windows Explorer and sorting out the files one at a time, there is an application called Stuff Organizer that can really help speed up the process of…well….organizing your stuff.
How Stuff Organizer Can Streamline Your Disk Cleanup
The way it does this is by helping you to organize files not based on where they are stored, but on what they are. It’s sort of like creating a file folder and labeling the folders “Applications”, “Games”, “Pictures”, “Videos” and so on.
In other words, it doesn’t really matter where the files are stored, Stuff Organizer creates a database that connects each file with the file’s location as well as any other information that you want to connect with that file to better organize it.
Within each category of file type, you can create sub-categories to even better sort out those files. In my case I want to separate photos that I want to use with my articles from the family photos that I’ve taken on our last family vacation. Right now, all of the pictures are stored throughout the “My Pictures” folder.
To get started, create your new category and then click on “Add stuff” to either add a directory or files.
Browse to the files that you want to add. With files, you can choose multiples. Keep in mind that if you click the “Unpack” box, any ZIP or RAR files that you include will automatically unpack. Stuff Organizer comes with the Unpack extension installed by default.
The software can be used in two ways – or both ways, depending on what you want to do. Whenever you select a file or group of files, you can either leave the target path blank, or you can include a target path. If you include a target path, it is sort of like using Stuff Organizer to move files out of one folder and then re-sort them into a new folder. This is probably what most people will want to do – use Stuff Organizer simply as a tool to go through their hard drive and sort out the mess of files in a way that makes more sense.
However, if you leave the target path blank, the software will simply mark that file under the category you’ve created, but its path will remain unchanged. If you do this, you aren’t physically organizing the files, you’re simply creating a sort of virtual database where the file locations are stored. Stuff Organizer becomes your one-stop “index” where you go to find files.
The reason for doing this may be that you are a programmer and you have applications that use log files or initialization files, and the path can’t change. If you struggle to find those log files, then Stuff Organizer can help – because all you have to do is open up the “Applications” folder to find the log file. With Stuff Organizer, you don’t have to remember where things like that are stored – the software remembers for you.
If you do leave “Unpack” selected when adding files, the processing window that pops up will take a little longer to go away – but you can see the progress as each file gets unzipped and sorted into the target directory.
In my case, this really came in handy, because there were a number of small apps that I kept losing because I couldn’t remember where they were stored. By adding them under the “Applications” category folder, they’re a single click away from now on.
For each file, you can also include search tags and a description. If you use the search tags well, as your Stuff Organizer database grows, you can simply do a fast search using the search field, and find your file in seconds.
The software comes with the functionality to unpack an assortment of archive files, including iso, tar, rar, zip and more.
It also comes with a bunch of already installed plugins, like the IMDb plugin that will automatically retrieve movie information for video files, and a PlayMusic plugin that will create a playlist file for all of your music and play them from within the program.
When your well-organized file cabinet gets extra huge, you’ll also want to make use of the database backup utility that’s available under the “Settings” dropdown menu. This will ensure that all the hard work you put into organizing everything never gets lost.
Just like in real life, organizing a huge mess is never easy, and it’s never something that you really want to start getting to work on either. At least with a program like Stuff Organizer, you will have a tool that will streamline the organization process and make it a whole lot easier.
So give Stuff Organizer a try and see just how simple and fast it is to get your digital house back in order. Share your thoughts about the software and whether it simplified the cleanup process for you in the comments section below.
Image Credits: ShutterStock