I have a laptop, main desktop, and external HDD with 220gb, 1tb, and .5tb, respectively. File organization has been tedious and difficult and I've always backed things up manually but I'm getting fairly sick of having to do so. The problem partially stems from my slight lack of good file organization as well as the clutter that comes in from random downloads everyday, everything from unconverted video downloads to application installers. The items I need to back up are located in quite a variety of folders; anything from My Documents (for games) to folders residing on the desktop, to folders under Program Files need to be backed up, synced, or even combined from time to time. Another challenge is the fact that different items and programs reside on the different systems; for example, I have fewer games installed on the laptop as it is very low spec and not used for gaming, while the desktop has everything and serves as a "command center". The external HDD needs only the "important" files as it is only half the capacity of the desktop's.
Truth is, I'm not even exactly sure what I need. A good start however, would be a program that recognizes a "master system" when setting up initial folders. An example of a folder setup I'd need would be having a folder within the desktop's Program Files folder synced to a similar folder on the laptop (it is a program installation files folder but also contains everything that pertains to that program, like a 3D modeler installation folder that also contains all models and textures), and also synced with a folder allocated for it on the external HDD.
I suppose what I really need is a ton of Dropboxes, but each Dropbox is a actually a typical folder that gets synced, but having them sync over the network instead of the internet when possible is preferable. (Each system can already access each other through Windows networking/drive sharing.) Having the choice to sync between both would be ideal. The program should be able to perform as many operations between merging folders as possible, and automation like Dropbox's is preferable I suppose. My computer usage habits are usually such that only one system is active at a time, and the external HDD is usually off (it is attached to the desktop currently) so the syncronizations should occur when two or more such systems (including the external HDD) happen to be active at a time, or they should occur in realtime like Dropbox's.
I'll continue Googling and see what I can find, but it takes a lot of time to find out what different programs do, so if someone can make recommendations for what I have and need, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks.