Perhaps a bit off topic for a KM forum but I still think that Hazel fits the 'automation' bill quite well. One thing that I am curious though is whether anyone here is using it or perhaps tried using it? Is it worth it?
This forum has a lot of smart individuals and I would love to hear your opinion on it. I am also really curious how you guys manage your files?
And don't really have any file automation in place. I organise all my media with Pixave, all my writing with Ulysses and personal photos in Photos. The rest are just various pdf's and files and code that I am starting to write.
I am learning quite a lot about linux and unix and am fascinated by the idea that everything in unix is essentially a file, even a process is a file you can inspect. Would love to hear how you guys organise your files. Thank you for sharing.
Of course, Hazel is absolutely great. It’s the grandmaster of folder watching. (This corresponds to KM’s “Folder Trigger” or macOS’ “Folder Actions”.) It has very fine-grained trigger options and file actions.
It also has a special and very neat “Trash watching functionality”. I’ve set it to delete files older than 3 months from the Trash, and since then I’ve never emptied the Trash manually.
I use Hazel for a range of things, most significantly for
transferring photos from one of the phones in the household.It’s a WinPhone and so photos are automatically fed to OneDrive, from where Hazel distributes them to a NAS and the OSX Photos app.
Hazel can also be used to watch your downloads folder, and file things correctly if you spend some time on the rules. Which leads to:
I also scan everything to one folder, watched by Hazel, and again quite a lot can be filed by Hazel.
An in-house requirement of one of my clients is that only certain file-types should be retained before archiving closed assignments. Hazel does that; there’s no way I’m going through folder trees seeking out .docx and other files…
I’d suggest going to the Hazel forums. There are some sophisticated rule sets which mean it’s even possible to automatically rename and file (say) scanned bank statements based on bank name and date.
I cannot recommend both KM and Hazel enough! Both make my life so much more productive on the Mac. Hazel is a folder watcher. It just sits there and watches a folder. If something changes in the folder you can define rules to make it do something. For example, point it at your Downloads folder and then make it move/tag/rename a pdf file to another folder. It can look in a file, find a string (“gas company”) and then move/tag/rename it to the proper folder. I have it watch my Client folder and if and if a file is changed/added in any of the subfolders, then Hazel will automatically copy it to my Synology (in the proper folder). It can organize your photos. I have a Hazel watched folder that if a file is added, it will open Evernote, copy the file to a certain notebook, then moves the file to an “archive for a couple days” folder. Then after a couple of days, Hazel assumes I don’t need the file and deletes it. It’s very helpful.
I am not sure if the script will be useful for you because it cleans up the metadata based on my file naming convention. Look; I tell Bookends to rename my PDF files on a certain format:
Author Year Title
What does this script does is then, embed these elements into the metadata of the PDF (a straightforward way would be to have Bookends directly embed the metadata into the file; but, bookends cannot do so yet)
The embedding of the metadata is done by standard shell script in combination with exiftool; another potent metadata manipulation tool widely used for archiving photographs (media files). It also works well with PDF files.
Here is Hazel rule (a lot idiosyncratic rule; You have to simplify them to fit your needs)
I push everything possible to my A-Z Finder folders that reside in iCloud.
Hazel watches the Desktop for emails I drag onto it (which is every email I get and which action KM does for me with a click) to auto-file ones I've identified usually using Hazel's "Content" + "content match" conditions which reads emails well.
I have a current month folder that Hazel moves many emails to for most monthly expenses I get notified via email.
Hazel also watches dozens of FileThis (FileThis automatically downloads your digital statements) folders to move their contents to the correct A-Z file.
Hazel moves anything that downloads to my Downloads folder to the desktop which the Desktop rules then handles. This eliminates the Downloads folder as yet another place for things to get lost in or needs to be addressed.
Most call me obsessive about the level of detail I bring to somethings yet given how little I actually have control over in this big wide world, I'm taking as much control as I can muster over this little tiny domain I have within my 27" monitor and physical desktop
As @nikivi to @MitchellModel in the long and great "MACRO: [KMFAM] Favorite Actions and Macros" posting by @DanThomas said in part "...optimising my personal workflow is kind of like a hobby." and one I greatly enjoy at the moment.
Anyway, I use Hazel to move AND tag as unread ("unread" being a MacOS tag I made) emails from a political mailing list that I keep meaning to read but likely am just fooling myself about and will probably just delete on mass when I get straight about it The neat part is that these email come in various formats, yet, Hazel allows as many and varied conditions to cover anything they send.
This is very simple:
Here is how I tag all the pdf files that contain the terms such as "causative", "causee" or "causation" with the tag "caus":
The problem with this approach is that it tags a lot of documents that are not directly relevant to "causation". There would be a lot of false positives.
A useful development would be to search the terms only within the "keywords" section of the document. I didn't find any script of that kind. Another approach that quite fairly minimized the false positives was to restrict the search to the first 2-3 pages of the document. The page counting requires some additional scripts.