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Hazel: A simple (or complex) tool for folder automation: Beautiful!

Hazel for Mac

I recall listening to a show on mac based productivity, and I'm certain that this show is what originally inspired me to consider using mac products and software. In comes Hazel.

Hazel is perhaps the best app on my mac. Hazel is best described as automated Organization for Your Mac.


Taken from Noodlesoft's Website:
 

“Hazel watches whatever folders you tell it to, automatically organizing your files according to the rules you create. Have Hazel move files around based on name, date, type, what site it came from and much more. Hazel can automatically sort your movies or file your bills, Keep your files off the desktop and put them where they belong....Hazel can open, archive, tag and even upload. You can have Hazel rename your files or sort them into subfolders based on name, date or whatever combination of attributes you choose. Coupled with Hazel’s powerful pattern matching feature, you can create workflows to process your files, your way.”
— Noodlesoft, LLC


I know of several professors who use Hazel to organize grant writing files and/or prepared grant development files for grants (I shouldn't have to mention how tedious it can be to prepend and organize grant or manuscript development files).
Several ways I use hazel include:

  • Renaming photos based on file type and restructure file. Some of my photos are for my blog, most are family, and some are for teaching.
  • Organize my podcast audio files to be alongside the text file.
  • Organize all downloads from the web (email attachments, lesson plan outlines, manuscripts, etc.)
  • I even have a rule that tells hazel to look for any document that contains the word "abstract" or "references", and automatically send them to my reference manager. Wonderful!


I hate giving graduate assistants busy work. Heck, they're learning too! GAs shouldn't spend their time on stuff like that! And that's another benefit to automating menial tasks such as the ones listed above.

I recommend you check out Hazel. The software is available for Mac only (sorry PC users) for around $25. It's well worth it.