Folder Tidy: Fast and Easy Organization of Your Messy Folders

I have almost completely given up on organizing the files and folders on my hard drive. There are just so many files that accumulate before I have a chance to clean up and organize them. Certain folders, like my Desktop and Downloads folders, are always filled up with stuff that I don’t even remember putting there.

That’s where Folder Tidy comes in handy. As you can probably guess by its name, it is an app that can help you organize your existing files neatly into folders. How does it do it? Let’s take a look!

Getting Started

Folder Tidy

Folder Tidy

Folder Tidy isn’t a very complex app, but what it does is truly genius. Basically, you just point it to a disorganized folder, then point it to a new folder where you want to store your organized files. It´ll then take over and will do all the cleaning work for you. It will arrange the existing files into corresponding new folders by file type, saving you all that time that you would have spent separating each file from the rest.

It can even get much more specific, if you want it to. That’s what’s great about it: it is ready to clean up anything the first time you launch it, but it is also very customizable and can become a powerful tool without getting too complicated.

The Process

Process

Process

Folder Tidy’s cleanup process is quite simple. As soon as you open it, the app will guide you through a couple steps to get you started cleaning. The first one is pointing the app to the messy folder that you’d like to organize. The default ones are the desktop and the downloads folder, but you can point the app to any folder in your disk.

The second step is choosing the target folder, where the organized files will be sent to. Inside that folder, all your files will be organized into subfolders, organized and named by file type. But we’ll get to how the rules for organizing work next.

Organization

Target Folder

Target Folder

Although Folder Tidy might look a tad too simple at first sight, under the Preferences for the app you can find a few options that can help you tweak the app so that the organization works however you want it to.

Rules

Rules

Rules

The most important part for customizing how the app works are the Rules. These define where the files end up after the cleanup. By default, the app comes with a set of basic pre-existing rules, which cover pretty much any common file types and extensions. The default ones include Apps, Music, Pictures, Videos, and about a dozen more common preset file types.

You can activate and deactivate any set of rules for each cleanup that you do, and you can also make up your own rules. These basically work through a bunch of logic statements, where you can specify any set of conditions under one single rule. The conditions you can use include kind of file, last opened and modified date, date of creation, name, and file size.

Given the level of customization that the app provides, you can get quite creative with it and use it for doing certain organization tasks that would otherwise waste a lot of your time if done manually.

Ignore

Ignore

Ignore

If there are any elements within the folder that you’re getting cleaned up that you’d like to keep intact, you can point the app to it through the Ignore preference. This feature works with both files and folders, and you can add as many of them as you’d like. Once the cleanup process starts, the files that you’ve specified here will not be organized, and instead will be, as the feature puts it, ignored.

Reversing

Undo

Undo

Once the cleanup process ends, you’ll be shown a window with a few options and a notification that the process was successful. Here you can go to the new organized folder, quit the app, or undo the whole process, returning all the files to the old folder as if nothing had happened. This can be very useful if you setup your rules wrong, selected the wrong folder, or just wanted to try it out and see how it’d work.

Conclusion

Folder Tidy is definitely not the only option around for cleaning up and organizing your desktop or any specific folder. However, it might very well be the most convenient, fast, and easily accessible app for what it does. If you are willing to drop the five bucks for it, I’m certain Folder Tidy will prove quite useful for you, especially if you are an advanced user that would like to get very specific sorting from the app.

Let’s face it, even the most organized of us need a little help from time to time. Even if Folder Tidy’s price seems a bit too high for you, the amount of time that it will save you by sorting your messy folders will more than make up for it.


Summary

Folder Tidy can helo you organize your messy folders by sorting them by any set of conditions and organizing them into neatly arranged subfolders.

9
  • Titus Groan

    Sorting by file type doesn’t seem particularly useful I have to say. I could do that manually and very simply just by using ‘sort by’ view in Finder. But when do we categorise a bunch of files by type? Never. We try to categorise them on their contact – what they are actually about. I can’t see that this simplistic and needless ‘view option sorter’ can do anything as useful as that.

    If you really are in a mess with your files then why don’t you invest in DevonThink and use its artificial intelligence algorithm to sort through your files, look at their content and group them automatically. Or you could get into tagging your files and search via tag. Heck, you don’t even need to move your files – just get DevonThink to index them instead.

    I like this site – it’s often a very good source of new apps but this is a very simplistic review of an app of rather dubious value. If you need want to review apps which help organise information – then do it properly! :-)

    • Titus Groan

      Sorry, I meant: “We try to categorise them on their content” not contact.

  • Jose

    Nice but I use HAZEL. I guess Hazel is more complete but more difficult to set up properly.

    Regards

  • abas

    Thanks for reviewing I got my hands on it when it was free and forgot to try it :D

    BTW you got a little spelling mistake in the summary I wonder if you used the spell check or not “Folder Tidy can helo you organize”

  • http://guymanningham.com Guy Manningham

    Most novice Mac users fail to realize that each individual folder and file that’s visible on the desktop acts as an open window and bogs down your operating system.

  • jeff

    Hazel is my vote. Considering you can set rules based on just about anything you can think of. Color labels with filetype can set off some powerful actions.

theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow