Sorting and Moving Documents with Hazel

In the Mac Power Users paperless episode(3), I commented that I do a lot of my document sorting automatically using a great little Mac application called, Hazel (reviewed here). So here is how I did it:

In the Hazel preference pane, pick the folders button and locate the source of your scanned images. Hitting the “+” button allows you to create a new folder to examine and, more importantly, a new rule. I’m making one to file my auto insurance statement.

Hazel1a.jpg

This rule picks anything I’ve named CN Auto Statement. First, it renames the file inserting the date before the name. You simply drag the date created field into the name. Don’t forget to add a space or hyphen between the date and name.

Hazel 2.png

Next, create a rule to move the file to your selected location.

Hazel 3.png

Finally sort it into a subfolder based on the year. Use the date created field and delete all elements except for the year.

hazel 4a.png
Hazel 5.png

Here is the final rule.

hazel 6a.jpg

I made rules for all of my regular documents. So long as I remember to name them correctly, the rest is done automatically. Thanks Hazel.

24 Comments Sorting and Moving Documents with Hazel

  1. Finis@TechnoEsq.com

    This is perhaps the best type I have ever gotten from you. As a paperless personal injury attorney, we have a huge volume of incoming correspondence, medical records and other documents coming in daily and any method to automate the sorting of these documents is a huge plus for efficiency. I immediately purchased and installed the program after reading your post and have added a number of my client’s names to my rules to move their files from the “To File” directory into their folder on the server. It works exactly as expected and our office can’t be more pleased.

    Thanks for the post Dave!

    Reply
  2. Finis@TechnoEsq.com

    This is perhaps the best type I have ever gotten from you. As a paperless personal injury attorney, we have a huge volume of incoming correspondence, medical records and other documents coming in daily and any method to automate the sorting of these documents is a huge plus for efficiency. I immediately purchased and installed the program after reading your post and have added a number of my client’s names to my rules to move their files from the “To File” directory into their folder on the server. It works exactly as expected and our office can’t be more pleased.

    Thanks for the post Dave!

    Reply
  3. Finis@TechnoEsq.com

    This is perhaps the best type I have ever gotten from you. As a paperless personal injury attorney, we have a huge volume of incoming correspondence, medical records and other documents coming in daily and any method to automate the sorting of these documents is a huge plus for efficiency. I immediately purchased and installed the program after reading your post and have added a number of my client’s names to my rules to move their files from the “To File” directory into their folder on the server. It works exactly as expected and our office can’t be more pleased.

    Thanks for the post Dave!

    Reply
  4. Finis@TechnoEsq.com

    This is perhaps the best type I have ever gotten from you. As a paperless personal injury attorney, we have a huge volume of incoming correspondence, medical records and other documents coming in daily and any method to automate the sorting of these documents is a huge plus for efficiency. I immediately purchased and installed the program after reading your post and have added a number of my client’s names to my rules to move their files from the “To File” directory into their folder on the server. It works exactly as expected and our office can’t be more pleased.

    Thanks for the post Dave!

    Reply
  5. Finis@TechnoEsq.com

    This is perhaps the best type I have ever gotten from you. As a paperless personal injury attorney, we have a huge volume of incoming correspondence, medical records and other documents coming in daily and any method to automate the sorting of these documents is a huge plus for efficiency. I immediately purchased and installed the program after reading your post and have added a number of my client’s names to my rules to move their files from the “To File” directory into their folder on the server. It works exactly as expected and our office can’t be more pleased.

    Thanks for the post Dave!

    Reply
  6. lamike@mac.com

    Set Hazel up with the Scansnap bundled software (not the OCR stuff; I use Readiris on the small number of docs I OCR), dumping scans into DropBox as you suggested. This is the way to conquer paper! Thank you so much and keep up the good work.

    Reply
  7. lamike@mac.com

    Set Hazel up with the Scansnap bundled software (not the OCR stuff; I use Readiris on the small number of docs I OCR), dumping scans into DropBox as you suggested. This is the way to conquer paper! Thank you so much and keep up the good work.

    Reply
  8. lamike@mac.com

    Set Hazel up with the Scansnap bundled software (not the OCR stuff; I use Readiris on the small number of docs I OCR), dumping scans into DropBox as you suggested. This is the way to conquer paper! Thank you so much and keep up the good work.

    Reply
  9. lamike@mac.com

    Set Hazel up with the Scansnap bundled software (not the OCR stuff; I use Readiris on the small number of docs I OCR), dumping scans into DropBox as you suggested. This is the way to conquer paper! Thank you so much and keep up the good work.

    Reply
  10. lamike@mac.com

    Set Hazel up with the Scansnap bundled software (not the OCR stuff; I use Readiris on the small number of docs I OCR), dumping scans into DropBox as you suggested. This is the way to conquer paper! Thank you so much and keep up the good work.

    Reply
  11. inquizitive

    How does one utilize this program in conjunction with ScanSnap and put sensitive material into encrypted folders ie: credit card numbers, soc sec number, etc?

    Reply
  12. Leif

    Hello,

    I am very interested but would like to have this work even faster/automatically.

    My Scans come in using Image Capture as Scan.pdf. To use these rules a new name is needed such as Amex Statement ETC. Is there anyway to rename it faster or from ocr? I am using PDFpenpro OCR it as soon as it is scanned.

    Any thoughts?

    Reply
  13. dsmccormick@gmail.com

    I come to you rather late, as I just discovered MacSparky and MacPowerUsers in the last month. Thanks for the great material.

    As to this particular post, I would like a slight variant on this script: I have named files with YYYY-MM-DD-filename.ext naming convention, but the file-created dates may be many months after the actual bill file date. Is there a way to parse out the YYYY and MM from the file name and do the sort into subfolders based on those patterns? I would love to be able to do that instead.

    Thank you for the great material.

    David

    Reply
  14. dsmccormick@gmail.com

    I come to you rather late, as I just discovered MacSparky and MacPowerUsers in the last month. Thanks for the great material.

    As to this particular post, I would like a slight variant on this script: I have named files with YYYY-MM-DD-filename.ext naming convention, but the file-created dates may be many months after the actual bill file date. Is there a way to parse out the YYYY and MM from the file name and do the sort into subfolders based on those patterns? I would love to be able to do that instead.

    Thank you for the great material.

    David

    Reply
  15. dsmccormick@gmail.com

    I come to you rather late, as I just discovered MacSparky and MacPowerUsers in the last month. Thanks for the great material.

    As to this particular post, I would like a slight variant on this script: I have named files with YYYY-MM-DD-filename.ext naming convention, but the file-created dates may be many months after the actual bill file date. Is there a way to parse out the YYYY and MM from the file name and do the sort into subfolders based on those patterns? I would love to be able to do that instead.

    Thank you for the great material.

    David

    Reply
  16. dsmccormick@gmail.com

    I come to you rather late, as I just discovered MacSparky and MacPowerUsers in the last month. Thanks for the great material.

    As to this particular post, I would like a slight variant on this script: I have named files with YYYY-MM-DD-filename.ext naming convention, but the file-created dates may be many months after the actual bill file date. Is there a way to parse out the YYYY and MM from the file name and do the sort into subfolders based on those patterns? I would love to be able to do that instead.

    Thank you for the great material.

    David

    Reply
  17. dsmccormick@gmail.com

    I come to you rather late, as I just discovered MacSparky and MacPowerUsers in the last month. Thanks for the great material.

    As to this particular post, I would like a slight variant on this script: I have named files with YYYY-MM-DD-filename.ext naming convention, but the file-created dates may be many months after the actual bill file date. Is there a way to parse out the YYYY and MM from the file name and do the sort into subfolders based on those patterns? I would love to be able to do that instead.

    Thank you for the great material.

    David

    Reply
  18. dsmccormick@gmail.com

    5 more minutes of Googling lead me to find the ability to use Name Matches pattern which extracts the YYYY, MM, or anything else I want. Brilliant interface to regular expressions. Hazel is a huge win. Sorry for bothering you, but it might make a nice little coda to what you posted. I can send a screenshot if you like. David

    Reply
  19. dsmccormick@gmail.com

    5 more minutes of Googling lead me to find the ability to use Name Matches pattern which extracts the YYYY, MM, or anything else I want. Brilliant interface to regular expressions. Hazel is a huge win. Sorry for bothering you, but it might make a nice little coda to what you posted. I can send a screenshot if you like. David

    Reply
  20. dsmccormick@gmail.com

    5 more minutes of Googling lead me to find the ability to use Name Matches pattern which extracts the YYYY, MM, or anything else I want. Brilliant interface to regular expressions. Hazel is a huge win. Sorry for bothering you, but it might make a nice little coda to what you posted. I can send a screenshot if you like. David

    Reply
  21. dsmccormick@gmail.com

    5 more minutes of Googling lead me to find the ability to use Name Matches pattern which extracts the YYYY, MM, or anything else I want. Brilliant interface to regular expressions. Hazel is a huge win. Sorry for bothering you, but it might make a nice little coda to what you posted. I can send a screenshot if you like. David

    Reply
  22. dsmccormick@gmail.com

    5 more minutes of Googling lead me to find the ability to use Name Matches pattern which extracts the YYYY, MM, or anything else I want. Brilliant interface to regular expressions. Hazel is a huge win. Sorry for bothering you, but it might make a nice little coda to what you posted. I can send a screenshot if you like. David

    Reply
  23. hobb3

    Hi, David. I would be interested to know how to sort files based on a year in a file name. Any pointers how to set up this rule in Hazel?

    Reply

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