Hazel

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wpid-screenshot2013-09-01at8.16.27AM-2013-09-1-08-16.jpg No, I am not going to talk about the old TV show called “Hazel” although this app is a take off from that show. The Hazel I want you to see is installed as a preference pane in OS X. I have used it off and on for years. I just recently started back using it again. Here is why you might consider getting it.

As I said Hazel is a preference pane by Noodlesoft. But, don’t think of it as some type of one horse band kind of functionality, it really is quite versatile and very powerful. At this point, I am sure I do not use even close to it’s capabilities, but that is growing day by day as I think of new ways to use it in my workflow.

Basically, Hazel is a pref pane that performs various housekeeping functions on your Mac in the background. You can set a myriad of rules to keep your files and folders organized and cleaned up. Here is a shot of my Hazel window:

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In the left hand column where the number “1” is you add folders. Just click on the “+” symbol, navigate and select the folder you want to manage on your Mac HD. As an example I have selected the folder “Camera Uploads” from my Dropbox folder on my Mac. When I take a picture with my Android phone it automatically shares it to this folder in my Dropbox account and it magically appears on my Mac. However, I don’t want this folder to get too large and I do forget to manage what is in there so I set a rule in Hazel to empty the folder periodically.

To make a rule in Hazel you would select the folder in the left hand column and then click on the “+” symbol in the right hand column (number “2”). You would get a screen like this:

wpid-hazel2-2013-09-1-08-16.png

This is my rule for “Old Photos” in my Camera Uploads folder. The basic idea is this, if the date the photo was added to this folder was not in the last two weeks (in other words it is older than two weeks) move the photo to the trash. Please note, there are tons of options and combinations in the two drop downs where you see “Date Added” and “is not in the last”. You can design just about any type of procedure to manage your data using these two drop downs. I don’t have enough space to go into them here, if you get Hazel you can experiment with them to your hearts content.

Speaking of moving stuff to the trash, there is another tab in the Hazel window called Trash. There are a few settings you can tweak there if you wish to. This is how my Hazel Trash window is setup:

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I have it set to Delete the Trash files sitting in the Trash for more than one day. You can set that to one week, one month, etc. Or, just don’t use it at all and leave it unchecked. As you can see at the bottom of the window there is a feature called “App Sweep”. I do not use this feature, but I presume it is similar to Cleanapp which I already use for this function.

Hazel is a cool program. You can get it from the Noodlesoft website. It is a little pricey at $28, but it is worth it if you would like to automate some of your workflow to a kind of set it and forget it mode.

Doug

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