Home Mac When you need a little help Hire Hazel

When you need a little help Hire Hazel

by Kerry Dawson

All of us need a little help at times. I certainly do where it comes to the housework and other things so I hired a PA. The same goes for your Mac. Manually keeping files in the spots where they should be can be laborious. Periodically, you might encounter a situation where your desktop is full of clutter. This cannot only be a daunting exercise to clean up but it is a necessary exercise. When the desktop is loaded with clutter it draws extensively on your system resources. There’s a pragmatic reason to keep the desktop clean and that’s to maintain performance and deliver system efficiency.

Enter Hazel

Noodlesoft Hazel 2

There’s the niftiest program that will help you get all in order and that’s Hazel. This is actually one of those programs you can’t help but love and can’t do without once you’ve used it. Hazel will do what you ask of it. It will move files to folders, copy files, delete files in your downloads and trash and well you name it and Hazel will probably be able to do that housecleaning chore.

Noodlesoft Hazel

Found at Noodlesoft you’ll immediately see they refer to Hazel as your Personal Housekeeper and I think that’s a perfect way to think of Hazel. It will definitely clean house but you have to tell Hazel what to do but only once. Thereafter, Hazel will follow your instructions until you change something. Hazel is the perfect, obedient housekeeper.

Hazel is a rules based PreferencePane Application

Hazel Rules Based Enging

Hazel is installed as a preference pane item. Access to the preference pane is either through System Preferences or the Hazel icon in the menu bar. As such, it is a fully unobtrusive application.

System Preferences

Hazel is a rules based application and one that is based on logic. As an example, you can say any item older than today in the folder trash is to be deleted. Or, any item that is an image file (img, png, jpg, jpeg etc) sitting on the desktop should be moved to the folder images.

Such a rules based application is highly flexible. Loaded with rules, it can act on any folder as you tell it. If it’s something you always do, then you just implement the instructions and leave it alone.

Hazel will provide notifications of everything it is doing. If you download, as an example, that image file to your downloads folder and then throw it on your desktop to take action on the file, once you’ve decided what action you want to take upon returning to the file Hazel will have done its housework. The file will be gone but stored away nicely in the folder you want it stored in. When you have a lot of rules, it’s easy to start to forget what some are. The notifications keep you abreast of anything that is happening to the system including what Hazel is doing and in these notifications it will tell you what has happened to a file.

Keeping your computer in Order and out of Trouble

Hazel rules to keep your files organized

Hazel is an excellent program that will not only keep your computer in order but it will keep it out of trouble. By cleaning up the desktop, an arduous function if you have to continually do it manually, Hazel will help to ensure that your system is not using excessive resources to manage the desktop. This is important as these resources are valuable. Certainly in today’s Mac this is not such an issue as they are so powerful but as you go back in time it’s more of an issue. Regardless, even if it’s not so much of an issue in today’s current computers it’s still useful to always follow good computer practice.

Hazel’s PreferencePane rules based engine works throughout your system. Loaded with logical rules, you can pretty well do anything automatically in your file system. Once you’ve assigned a rule you can just sit back and let Hazel do it’s thing unless and until you instruct Hazel to do otherwise. Should something not work the way you expect, it is more than likely the way you’re writing your rule. Hazel is very precise and although something might look clear at first glance anything that adds a variable you didn’t anticipate will cause the operation to fail. I’ve found that when a rule isn’t responding the way I want it’s just I have’t written the rule exactly right.

Hazel by your Side

The team is always by your side penguins of madagascar 25233712 2560 1836

I warmed to Hazel a touch slowly. However, now Hazel is doing things for me all the time. Around the writing of this article, Hazel is manipulating or moving files that I need moved to a more logical place. Although this process for my images is not automated Hazel has in fact automated a large part of the process.

Hazel is one of those programs that you might say is a nice to have program but not a need to have program. I, on the other hand, feel Hazel is a need to have program even if you’re using it just to keep your desktop orderly. I find this program so useful I really am going to say this is a need to have program. You can get quite inventive with it as you get to know Hazel. I honestly feel you’ll be glad you have Hazel at your side.

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