My Dropbox folders are not very organized, given the fact that I use Dropbox as my primary cloud storage service and have a good amount of free space to play with. Be it backups, music, videos, documents, photos or my website – Dropbox has all the files which I might need to access from any computer on this world. I use Dropbox for sharing screenshots, saving email attachments and organizing all these files into meaningful folders can be really daunting.
The problem becomes more severe when you are considering a large number of nested folders e.g you have back ups from one system and you were too lazy to organize all those files into the main Dropbox folder.
If you’re anything like me and need a simple way to filter and sort files in Dropbox based on custom rules, give Sortbox a try.
Sortbox is like Gmail filters for your Dropbox account and allows you to set up simple rules to organize files into different folders, without you having to move around files manually. It works like this – you sign up for a free Sortbox account by connecting it with your Dropbox account. Once you are through, Sortbox will create a magic folder inside your Dropbox account which will act as a temporary basket for receiving the files which you want to sort.
Any file which you upload to this magic folder will pass through the filtering rules you have saved. Currently, you can set up Dropbox filters for file type extensions, name matches and name patterns. Refer to this page to learn more about setting up filters in Dropbox.
Once your sorting rules are in place, all you have to do is send the specific file to the Sortbox folder and forget about it. Sortbox will apply the filter and if any file matches with the rule of a custom filter, Sortbox will move that file to that specific folder.
For example, let us assume that you have 5 main folders in your Dropbox account, namely Photos, Documents, Videos, backup and Important. Now you want to send all photos in your Dropbox account to the “Photos” Folder and all the Word and Excel documents to the “Documents” folder. How do you do that? And more importantly, how do you make sure that in future, all the photos will be uploaded directly into the Photos folder? (and not lie around randomly in the root folder or any other folder of your Dropbox account.)
Sortbox makes automatic file organization a breeze, just upload all the photos, documents and videos to the “Sortbox” folder and it’s done. The next time Sortbox runs all the filters in your magic folder, it will move all the specific files to their pre-defined destination directories.
Another great idea is to add the location of the magic Sortbox folder to your right-click context menu (here is how to do it). That way, you can simply use the “Send to” feature to upload any file to your Sortbox folder and let Sortbox handle the file organization in background.
Thanks to Ashish for the hat tip (specially the send to shortcut in right-click context menu).
Related tip: If you are using Google Drive, Dropbox or Windows Live skydive and want to transfer files from one cloud storage service to another, do read our earlier tutorial – how to transfer files between two cloud storage services.