BBox: organize your files, folders, and URLs within a virtual environment

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BBox is a free program that can organize files and folders within a virtual environment, allowing you to group with your files and folders into categories and work with them without moving the actual files and folders from their locations on your hard drive.

BBox can manage files and folders as well as URLs and notes, and supports drag and drop from Windows explorer.

If you’re asking why you might ask want to add this on top of Windows explorer, the answer is that it provides an extra layer of organization that is independent of the location of files and folders on your hard drive.

So, say your folders are organized by function (such as marketing, finance, design as examples); with BBox you could create categories (called “catalogs”) organized by, say, project or client, whereby you could place all the files pertaining to project “A” in the same place, without actually moving the files themselves around.

Its can also be a good way to organize a cluttered desktop, as by default when you move an item to BBox the program automatically hides the file in Windows explorer, so that your desktop appears “clean” despite the fact that the files are actually still on the desktop. Note that this hiding behavior is optional, and can be switched off in the settings (which is what I would choose).

BBox offers the following:

  • Manages file, folder, URLs, and notes in virtual categories (catalogs)
  • Drag and drop from Windows explorer.
  • Maintains Windows’ explorer right click context menu functions in the Bbox interface.
  • Notes: can add a note as an element next to your files. Can also add a note to any file of folder (but strangely, those notes aren’t searchable)
  • Finder: finds files, etc. in all catalogs based on a part of the filename
  • URL capture: choose this then point the cursor to the address box of any browser to capture a URL. A rather unusual implementation.
  • Import URLs: by exporting them to an HTML file from the browser then reimporting with BBox.
  • Declutter the desktop: achieves this by automatically hiding files or folders in Windows explorer when they are added to BBox. Can achieve the objective of decluttering, but can also be confusing.

Wish list (or how this program can be even better)

  • Fix some bugs: at times, will fail to add a file of files (strangely, wouldn’t add MP3 files for example). Other bugs: is at times inexplicably unresposive. (Implemented)
  • Strangely, a user cannot easily move a file from one catalog to another within the BBox interface itself. Would be nice to be able to drag and drop to a different catalog, or drag+CTRL to copy, for example. (Implemented)
  • Windows explorer extension: for adding files or folders to catalogs, would be a great addition. It would also solve the point above.

The verdict: this is a very promising program that can potentially be very useful. It is still early in it’s development though and I hope that it gets pushed further.

I can see its potential in being an excellent and valuable organizational tool, but please try it out and let me know what you think in the comments.

Version Tested: 1.1.2.0

Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 (32bit and 64bit).

Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 4.9 megs).