Hazel is the next app to feature in my series of productivity posts, and it’s one of the most powerful productivity tools you can own on your Mac. It’s an extremely flexible automation tool, that has the potential to save you a great deal of time.
How does it do this? Well with Hazel, you can automate all the menial, daily tasks that when added up, take up so much of your time. It’s basically an advanced housekeeping app, where Hazel monitors folders that you designate, and takes action on them with simple ‘rules’ you create, similar to the Mac’s native Automator. Here are a few examples of what it can do.
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You can set specific criteria for when it should empty your trash folder. I have a capped limit of 10GB, and a time frame of one week. If your desktop is constantly cluttered, you can set all files older than say, one day, to move to a separate folder, freeing your desktop up for that day’s work. This is particularly handy if you take many screenshots. You can automatically import music into iTunes. You can organise your downloads folder, so Hazel moves all specific file types into appropriate folders, like all MP3’s into one folder, and PDF’s into another.
Another fantastic feature that’s included with the app is ‘App Sweep’. When enabled, this feature offers you a much more comprehensive application uninstall than come native with your Mac. After you move an application to the trash, Hazel sweeps your system looking for accompanying support files and trashes them too. You can easily pay several dollars in the App Store for apps that provide only this service, so having it included with Hazel is fantastic.
This has been just a quick introduction to the extremely powerful app, Hazel. If you haven’t heard of it, I suggest you check it out. I’ll follow up this post with a detailed tutorial on how to set up many of these features in the next few weeks. Let me know in the comments of any other great time-saving rules that you’ve come up with.
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