Virtual Folders


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What is a Virtual Folder?

A Virtual Folder is a way to organize your content into categories. It is a logical (but not a physical) folder that can include any type of content from anywhere. A virtual folder typically has one or more rules associated with it that determine its contents. For example, you can create a Virtual Folder called “Financial Info” and then associate the following rules with it:

  • From your Google Gmail and Yahoo email accounts, include emails from folders that contain the text “finan” (so this include “Finance” as well as “Financial” folders)
  • From the same email accounts, include all contacts harvested from the financial folders (Blob will automatically harvest names and email addresses from your emails).
  • From your C:\ drive, include everything in the folder C:\Fin
  • From all Data Sources, include documents that have the text “financ” (so this includes documents that contain “finance” as well as “financial” in the file name).

You now have a Virtual Folder that includes emails, contacts, documents and other files from many different places in it. You can create a backup task to back all this up to your backup drive.

An example Virtual Folder than contains all your financial info

An example Virtual Folder than contains all your financial info

A given file, email, appointment etc. can exist in multiple virtual folders (e.g. if it belongs to multiple categories) and a given Virtual Folder can contains different types of content from different storage locations.

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How do I create a Virtual Folder?

Click on the “Create Virtual Folder” icon from the main Blob menu at the top.

Create a Virtual Folder

Click on the folder icon to create a Virtual Folder

You will be prompted for a Virtual Folder name, description etc.
New Virtual Folder Screen

Enter name, description etc. for the new Virtual Folder.

Enter the basic virtual folder information and click on the “Next” button. You will be prompted to enter the rules that determine this Virtual Folder’s content.
Add rules to a Virtual Folder.

Create rules to add content to your Virtual Folder.

Select the rules and click on “OK” to add the rules. Then click on the “Finish” button to create the Virtual Folder.

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How do I add content to a Virtual Folder?

There are many ways to add content to a Virtual Folder.

  • You can create rules that determine what content belongs to the Virtual Folder when you create it (see “How do I create a Virtual Folder?”).
  • You can drag-and-drop selected files, emails etc. into the Virtual Folder.
  • You can drag-and-drop an entire tab from a Data Source (e.g. the Photos tab for the local hard drive C:\) or from the Search Results window into the Virtual Folder.
  • You can drag-and-drop a folder or sub-folder from a Data Source into the Virtual Folder (e.g. the Folder “Inbox” from your Google Gmail account).
  • You can drag-and-drop an entire Data Source into the Virtual Folder.

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What content can a Virtual Folder contain?

A Virtual Folder can contain any type of content (files, emails, contacts, appointments, social media posts & comments) from anywhere.

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Is any content copied into a Virtual Folder when you create or update it?

No. A Virtual Folder only contains links to content that exists at your Data Sources, or rule specifications that determine the Virtual Folder contents.

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How much space does a Virtual Folder consume?

Virtual Folders consume very little space – typically just a few kilobytes each. This is because they do not contain any actual data, just links to the actual data or rule specifications that determine what content belongs to the Virtual Folder. If you individually drag-and-drop a very large number of individual files, emails etc. into a Virtual Folder, each such item will be stored as a link within it and the Virtual Folder size may get slightly bigger (e.g. tens or hundreds of kilobytes).

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What happens when I delete specific content from a Virtual Folder?

When you use the “Delete” menu option to delete something, the content is deleted from the original Data Source where it resides.
 
There is a specific case that applies only to content that you have drag-dropped into a Virtual Folder (see “How do I add content to a Virtual Folder?”). For such content, Blob will not display the “Delete” menu option but instead display a “Remove From Virtual Folder” menu option when you right-click on the content item. As the text implies, when you click on the “Remove From Virtual Folder” menu option, the content is only removed from the Virtual Folder – the original content is NOT deleted from the Data Source where it resides. For example, you may have created a “Pending Work” Virtual Folder to track your tasks and drag-and-dropped an email into it as a reminder that you have to finish something. Once you’ve completed that work, you may want to remove the email from the Virtual Folder but not delete it from its original Data Source. To allow this, the “Delete” menu choice for a manually drag-dropped item in a Virtual Folder is changed to “Remove From Virtual Folder”.

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What happens when I remove a Virtual Folder from Blob?

When you remove a Virtual Folder from Blob, only the Virtual Folder specification is removed. Content that was listed in the Virtual Folder is NOT deleted from its original actual Data Source. You may have created backup tasks to copy content from the Virtual Folder being removed, and such tasks may have already run previously and copied content. Such content in NOT deleted when you remove a Virtual Folder from Blob.
 
You can “remove” a Virtual Folder from Blob by selecting it in the left panel of Blob and right-clicking on it to see its menu. You can then click on the “Remove” menu choice to remove it.

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