DropIt. A free flexible tool to automate processing & organizing files and folders.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

In my constant search for ways to automate trivial processes and make life easier I came across DropIt. A free flexible tool to automate processing & organizing files and folders

On the above site it shows this flow. Basically you make a rule with actions on a file type/filter and it will do those actions.

Basic manual process

There didn’t seem to be many examples on YouTube but for basic file move see video below, this is my common problem of having residual files in my Download directory. So a way to tidy/organize it. But this is on the basic level.

This associates an action such as MOVE with a file type, so when you drag some files (of a specific typre, say *.jpg) onto the DropIt icon it will then do that MOVE action and relocate those files in the target directory. In this process it is a manual action of slecting specific files and draging them onto the desktop icon (from a File Explorer window). So you can do a regulart cleanout at your own convenience.

If there is no association with a file type it asks you if you want to make one.

This is a good way to start as you have control on seeing what goes where.

Filters & Monitoring

A more advanced and sophisticated process is by using filters and monitoring, which the video below demonstrates:

This is pretty powerful.

aMacsd seems to have a few DropIt videos that are interesting, the rename one looked good but it seems to mess up the file extension in the video, but it does demonstrate some of the things the programme will do. See link below for playlist on the topic.

https://www.youtube.com/user/aMacxd/search?query=Windows-DropIt

Example- Moving & deleting image files from folders- Part 1. Stuffup

I was using Febooti Automation Workshop when there was a free version, but now it is only available for a trial preriod i’m going to try and replicate the process of 1/ moving files from my SCREENSHOTS folder to SCREENSHOTS+DAY folder and also delete the files in the SCREENSHOTS+DAY folder. So hopefully I’ll always have the previous days images/data in that folder, but the main screen capture folder is reasnably empty.

I’m following the setup from the video below, but using 24x60x60 = 86400 seconds as the time period (as it seems to monitor in seconds only)

I made a bit of a mess of this process so I need to show the steps for the different parts.

Problems- scary

This is a powerful file management programme.

  1. It is best to be as specific as possible, as there is the potential to loose a lot of files. So instead of associating an action with say *.jpg use C:\Downloads\___ScreenshotsOlder\*.jpg so its only doing something with that vspecific directory. Also check that its not also doing something on the sub-directories too (there are w
  2. Best to test on some dummy directories first to make sure that it is doing what you want.

I made a bit of a SNAFU with a couple of directories, where I was storing files in Sub-directories and I thought it would only erase files form the Main directory, when in fact it also deleted all the files from the sub directories as well, and the setting I had for erasing was for FULL ERASE rather than send to RECYCLE BIN. So I won’t be getting those files back anytime soon!

Some features of the programme you need to know

Help

There is a PDF help file that is downloaded with the programme so that is easy to access. Also there is a wiki page for reference too, here.

There seem to be three main areas that you need to manage, you’ll see them if you right click on the DropIt icon:

  1. Profiles
  2. Associatons
  3. Options

Profiles

The first step in making a profile is to go to CUSTOMISE and ADD a NEW PROFILE

Basically , this is just a name for it and you can choose a different ICON to represent it. So the profile itself is only an Image & a name, and you can be as specific or general as you want, but it should describe what you intend to do with it.

Association

This is the crux, associated with the Priofile name is something you wish to associate with that Profile name, this can be specific or General

An example of SPECIFIC is , from a specific directory, take all the image files in that folder and move them to another specific folder.

From C:\Downloads\___Screenshots\*.jpg

MOVE those file types to

Downloads\___ScreenshotsOlder

BUT it will also move all the files in the sub-directories too.

To stop that from happening we would need to add another process saying

From C:\Downloads\___Screenshots\**

IGNORE all folders within Downloads\___Screenshots, ie all sub folders

** is thewildcard representing ALL FOLDERS for DropIt.

We could make it a bit more general and say take all files, of all types:

*.*

and this would grab ALL FILES on your computer and try and move/delete or do some other action to them. That would be really scary. So its best to be careful to associate file types specifically with a location UNLESS YOU WILL BE DOING SOMETHING MANUALLY

This is where you drag files from say, your desktop onto DropIt icon and it moves the different file types to different, pre-determined locations, eg Image files to a PHOTO directory, PDF files to a PDF directory etc, and for files that have no specific location to IGNORE them.

OPTIONS

The options pop up has 3 tabs, the first and 3rd are for how you want DropIt to start up, act and look. A couple of useful oes are

1/ always on top, not really, you want this as a background process,

2/ play sound when process completed, not a bad idea to begin with so that you know how often the process is happening and you can check if its doing it correctly.

3/ ignore unassociated files, this could be useful and negate the ignore in the association process above

4/ For deletion, especially on test, its worth a check before you loose files

An important item in the 3rd Tab, “Various” is the Integrate in SendTo menu. This allows you, in File manager, to Right Click on File and click one of the processes to say Move selected file type to a specific directory

For automation the main player is the Monitoring tab.

The issue with this is it only has one setting for all of your proposed items, so the’ll all happen at the same time. It would be good to have several choices for this, and for testing, 60 sec’s is Ok but you realy need it running daily or on an event (it can do that instead of at a specific time interval)

And only the folders/Associated profiles will activate, so that is why the Profiles arte important for SPECIFIC files in specific folders

Example- Part 2

So, bearing in mind the items above, I’m going to try and re-build the automated sequence of moving images as per Part 1 above.

I’ll also make a couple of General processes so I can Drag/Drop files to DropIt to move them to where I want them. This is useful for PDF’s that 1/I create, 2/ download from the web and also for Revit files as I seem to get them going all over the place, I get some from the web, some I create and some end up in odd directories, it would be useful, especially for Family models, that I can easily put them into one location for handy searching.

The video below shows some of the uses of the programme. I’m pleased with the results so far.

End comments

This is a simple, powerful and dangerous programme. So test it carefully on DUMMY folders first.

One issue is that you can select a monitoring interval or even based interval, but only one. There is mention of running multiple instances, but I’m not sure if they can have different option settings.

I do want to explore the filter option to see if I can be more discerning with some of the file management processes.

A couple of ideas come to mind to check some places I put files and get them to put thenm in holding locations, at the moment I’m thinking about Revit Family File locations. But I have to think about always storing/saving them in one location for better management for a consistant workflow.