With the massive capacity of hard drives today and the shear amount of files it is possible to store on them, it’s important to try your best at keeping everything in some sort of organized structure. Looking on your drives for a file with a specific name is not too much of a problem and you can simply search for it. But when there are hundreds, or even thousands of files of all different types and sizes crammed into a few folders with no real recognized from of order, it can be a real nightmare finding what you want. A classic example of this is the Documents folder or default downloads folder used by your web browsers for everything you get off the web. If it hasn’t been looked at for a while and all the files moved to more appropriate locations, things could look real messy in there and sorting it is something you might decide to keep putting off for another day.
Once you have it nailed down and all files and folders are stored in a nice neat directory structure, it becomes quite easy to manage and maintain. The problem arises when this type of issue doesn’t get rectified because it only gets worse and more out of control with time. Luckily for me, I’ve always been quite obsessed with keeping things neat and tidy on the PC and I can navigate to just about any file within a few seconds without the need to search first. By contrast, a good friend has been the complete opposite through the years and never knows where anything is, which I find quite funny, but unsurprisingly he doesn’t!
If you’re not quite as organized with your files as you might wish to be, a little utility called DropIt could be a big help to manage files and folders and save literally hours of trying to manage it all yourself. The simple function of the program is it provides a floating icon on the desktop to which you drop files and folders. DropIt then sends these to different locations which you specify in the program. This may seem like a rather small thing, but just imagine dropping folders full of unorganized movies, music, documents, archives and executables onto the icon and then all those files being moved to the appropriate folders automatically without you having to lift another finger.
There are a huge amount of possibilities with this program as the function is not just limited to copying or moving. Decompressing archives or compressing files in to new archives is also supported as well as renaming or deleting certain files or types and also creating lists, music playlists or opening files with an associated program. If dragging and dropping is still too much like hard work for you, DropIt is also capable of monitoring specified folders at a predefined time interval and then anything matching a created rule is processed with no need for user interaction.
DropIt is completely free and open source software but obviously if you find it very useful the developer welcomes donations. It also has a version for just about everybody, an installable version for permanent use or a portable version if you prefer it, both with 32bit and 64bit specific versions. The download size is roughly around 2MB for each variant.
After running the program for the first time and selecting the language (18 are supported), there won’t appear to be much happening with just a blue icon on the desktop. Drag a folder or files onto the icon and the program will pop up asking you to associate each type of file with an action.
When the New Association window appears:
1. Give the association a name.
2. Enter the rules for the association. These can be simple *.doc or myfile.* entries or other similar wildcards. Multiple rules are also supported. Eg; *.doc;*.pdf;*.txt. Size and date filters can also be applied.
3. Select the action to apply. This can be copy, move, compress, extract, rename, delete, open with, create list, create playlist, create shortcut, copy to clipboard or ignore.
4. This is where the destination folder, archive name or open with program is specified. What is required in the box differs depending on the action.
The simple example in the screenshot above will move any PDF file you drag onto the desktop icon to the documents folder. The rules for each association can obviously be a lot more complex. The program is also smart enough to allow several different actions for the same file type or rule, you will be asked which action to perform from a list when needed.
DropIt works on the principle of Profiles which can be switched by right clicking the icon. For example; you can create a file manager profile which moves files to the chosen folders, and then switch to another profile which can archive any files you drop onto the icon. You can then switch to yet another profile to perhaps rename a folder of images or music. Different icons can also be chosen to easily identify the current active profile.
One of the useful functions in the options window is the ability to watch specified folders every xx amount of seconds and then perform the requested action on any files inside. Useful to do something like move files from the Downloads folder straight into the appropriate destination folders every 60 seconds or so.
Other useful options include; adding the profiles as a ‘Send to‘ in the context menu, archive compression level, method and password encryption, configuring the Create list layout style, and a number of various sorting options.
There really are a lot potential combinations and uses for DropIt to tailor things more to your liking. If you are looking for something like this or already use similar software I would still recommend you take a look at least of the portable version. It’s advisable to have a good read of the included PDF file for a better explanation of all the features and what it can do because I’ve really only scratched the surface here. It’s compatible with Windows XP, Vista and 7 32bit and 64bit.