Back in the day, when I was a child, I used to manage all my project's libraries by hand, copying and moving everything I needed for a project into its respective folder.

I was happy with this for some time, but then I had to scale, handle several projects with a mixed set of dependencies. My original idea was to use a grown up tool like Maven, but its XML-hell led me out of it.

The alternative I chose is Apache Ivy, a dependency management tool that only does dependency management, and it's highly configurable (if you do it right).

In this way you can keep several projects linking a common libraries repository that is entirely handled by Ivy, you just configure it.

I recently updated some of my projects to this, the configuration files are quite simple and do all the work, including the Ivy-ant task installation if not available.

Ivy configurations for my Paginator-project