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Dropbox is introducing folders that will automatically arrange your files

Dropbox is launching a feature that will allow you to automate folders so that new files are automatically renamed, sorted into subfolders, and so on. The tool is titled, somewhat appropriately, Automated Folders, and Dropbox claims it can help you (and any coworkers with whom you share files) stay organized by using standardized names and tags.

The automation you add to folders can be adjusted with different rules, so you can instruct the system to rename any files you add to the folder in a certain pattern or to sort them into subfolders based on the date the item was uploaded to Dropbox. Although the restrictions are now predetermined, Dropbox says it is striving to make the system more configurable.

Dropbox has also implemented a new tagging system, which allows you to add terms to files and folders (manually or automatically) that you may subsequently search for.
Along with the automated activities, Dropbox is also integrating Naming Conventions and Multi-file Organize actions. Naming Conventions allows you to batch rename files in a folder according to a pattern you specify — for example, you might rename images to include the date the shot was taken in the file name. The Multi-file Organizer function allows you to have Dropbox arrange files into subfolders depending on how frequently people modify them, the date they were produced, and other factors.


Dropbox claims you’ll be able to preview changes before they’re done, so you don’t wind up with files in places you can’t find.

It also claims to have a dashboard to assist you to manage automatic folders, which might be useful if you can’t recall everything that happens on your system. File automation, as well as Naming Conventions and Multi-file organization, is available today for Dropbox Teams users and will be accessible “soon” for customers on solo or family plans, according to the firm.

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This type of automation had previously been achievable with tools such as Hazel or bespoke scripts; it’s great to see Dropbox incorporating it into their service. It may not be as strong as some other choices, such as Apple’s Shortcuts, but it may provide consumers with a simple approach to begin thinking about automation. Even more crucially, these capabilities may help reduce the amount of tedious file and folder shuffling you have to do to manage your Dropbox (assuming you have a system in place and don’t just search for everything).

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