So far we’ve looked at how to automatically organise the Desktop folder by moving old and unpinned files to a separate Notes folder. The next stage is to automatically organise the Notes folder.
I generate two types of content:
- General information/notes.
- Project specific information/notes.
The former suits a filing system based on Year + Month. The latter suits a filing system based on project specific buckets.
Once again, Hazel to the rescue – I really need to get a referer link .
First step is to tell Hazel to monitor the Notes folder:
After that we create our rules for that folder:
As per my description in the Notes section, there are two different types of rules here:
The ones I’ve marked as green are the project specific ones. As Hazel runs the rules from top to bottom, these get matched first. The one I’ve marked as orange is for the general notes.
Solution – Project Specific Rules
For the project specific rules, I (currently) rely on a string match against the file/folder name. There is probably a more elegant mechanism, but, for now, this keeps things simple.
The configuration for the project specific rules are pretty simple:
Here we are looking for a piece of text in the name, and if found, we move that to the project specific folder.
Solution – Date Sorting Rule
For the general rule, we use the information from the file/folders creation date to file it into Year/Month sub-folders, so in Finder it ultimately looks like this:
The logic for the sorting is pretty simple:
We ignore anything that starts with ’20’ – this a bit of a hack to prevent the year folders from being analysed. .
Then we create a ‘Sort into subfolder’ action. You can use any format you like, but I prefer the <Year> / <MonthNumber>. <MonthName> format, for example ‘2012 / 09. September’. This gives you correct alphabetical sorting, but maintains readability.
To create that format you need to define the pattern like this:
The Year date created part is built like this:
The arrow divider is a folder separator – so the month is a sub-folder of the year.
The Month date created part is built like this:
And the example in Hazel should look like this:
With this rule set, and the Desktop rule set we’ve now got three different ways of filing our files:
- Leave on the Desktop to be automatically organised.
- Move directly to the Notes folder to immediately initate automated organisation.
- Manually move directly to the target folder.
Ideally I want to get used to creating MultiMarkdown tags, and using these to help with automated filing. But for now, the above approach is working well.
In the next post, we’ll tie our filing system to a task management system.
Hope you found this useful, I’m definitely interested in your feedback.