macOS

Tackle system chaos with Folder Tidy

Folder Tidy, macOS utility for keeping folders clean

If you collect files and folders without sorting or taking time to organize them, you’ll quickly find your files become an unwieldy mess. Especially dumping files on your Desktop can quickly create an abundant chaos. Often that means we have to set apart some valuable time to perform tasks that are tedious and unproductive.

A folder structure that makes sense can be hard to set up. So, we keep dumping all kinds and types of files wherever we can get rid of them until it all becomes one big chaos.

Folder Tidy is a small app that allows you to create order from chaos. It moves a disorganized bunch of files in one folder to a folder structure that you define in the app. That structure can be based on file name, kind, type, date added, modified, created, and so on. The app contains many general-purpose presets so you can start immediately. At the end of the tidying process you’ll end up with a set of folders and subfolders based on the criteria of the presets which you can individually turn on or off in the app’s Preferences panel.

You can also create your own custom rules so that you can tidy folders with files based on date, extension, etc in folders you define. The whole process takes no more than a minute or so. Even better, if you’re not happy with the tidying results, there’s an Undo button that allows you to return to the original state of affairs.

I tried it with several test setups and ran into an Apple Spotlight bug. The developer’s explanation to stay with Spotlight upon which Folder Tidy relies, is that it’s the only way to guarantee fast results. And he’s right. If you happen to own a copy of Path Finder, you’ll know Cocoatech implements two search methods: Spotlight and their “old-style” search where you enter criteria and Path Finder searches the folders you define. More often than not, that search is excruciatingly slow, although it occasionally does indeed turn up more accurate results.

Everything else that I threw at Folder Tidy worked fine. I could even create order in my Logic Pro X files – which are actually bundles – based on its extension.

Conclusion

It does require a bit of planning if you’re interested in creating your own customised rules because, in some cases, you may need to break down your tidying process in small chunks which need separate rules – cleaning out files from several subfolders into the parent folder comes to mind – but Folder Tidy can handle the job just fine and its customisation capabilities are flexible and powerful enough to handle any sort of mess.

It’s a small app and it does only one thing, but it does it well and is, in my opinion, a must-have. You can buy it direct from the website at €9.