My Hazel Rules

I’ve been listening to a recent episode of Mac Power Users dedicated to Hazel. I fucking LOVE Hazel and it’s one of those tools that I love to tinker with (but try and limit how much time I sink into it). I’m always looking for new ways to use it and I guess it’s time I give back by sharing some more of my favourite rules.

DRIVE MANAGEMENT

This rule I created early in 2015 to archive files off of my Macbook Pro drive is still working great, albeit with a few minor tweaks. Macbook drives are pretty low on storage these days, and I deal in a lot of large audio files, so I need Hazel to keep a close eye on them and offload them onto USB drives about a month after I create them.

PHOTO BACKUP

Photos and videos take up a lot of room too, so I use Hazel to take all of them that are a month old and archive them to Dropbox. That way I can pull them up on my phone or Mac whenever I need them, but they are out of the way.

BOOKS INTO EVERNOTE

For all of my history podcasts, I like to have text versions of my source books in Evernote so I can cut and paste as needed. So when I download a new Kindle book from Amazon, Hazel notices the new file (in the Kindle folder), and opens it in Calibre, when then converts the epub into a text file. Hazel then grabs the new text file (from the Calibre directory) and opens it in Evernote.

STICKIES

I use Stickies a lot to store bits of data I often need quickly – eg URLs for podcast feeds that people ask me for, Textexpander shortcuts, Macbook keyboard shortcuts, etc. But from time to time I want to do a clean install of OSX on my Mac and the Stickies database usually isn’t something I remember to backup, because it’s buried in the app directory. So I have Hazel take a daily backup of it for me and throw it into Dropbox.

Email me or leave a comment if you have cool Hazel rules to share.

Importing Scans Into Evernote With Keyboard Maestro and Hazel

I’ve got an old scanner (Canon MP250) and I wanted a way of automating the process of scanning documents and getting them into Evernote.
There’s probably a way of doing this all in Keyboard Maestro, but I couldn’t work it out quickly enough. It’s my first time using KM and I’m still a little confused by it. But I know my way around Hazel and I used this Applescript from Macworld as a cheat.
So, when I hit my hot key, KM opens up Image Capture, scans the document and puts it on my desktop where Hazel picks it up and imports it into my “!Inbox” notebook in Evernote where I can process it later, and then deletes the file from my desktop. KM then waits a minute and kills the Image Capture app.

Keyboard Maestro 

Keyboard Maestro Evernote

Hazel
hazel evernote
Hazel AppleScript
tell application “Evernote”
activate
create note from file theFile notebook {“!Inbox”} tags {“scan”}
end tell

An Even BETTER Way To Get Audio Into Evernote on your iPhone

I do most of my best thinking behind the steering wheel after meetings and I’m always looking for ways to capture those ideas before I forget them.

I wrote a post a couple of years ago about using Siri to transcribe voice-to-text into an email that it would send to Evernote. That’s worked well for me but it has some limitations – mostly that if you’re trying to write a long note and you pause to think, Siri will assume you are finished and cut you off mid-sentence.

So I have a new system that I find works even better.

Dropvox is an iPhone app that will a) record your voice and b) automatically save the recording to Dropbox. There are other apps that will do a similar thing, but I like Dropvox for two reasons.

1) It has a HUGE RED BUTTON making it easy to press while driving.
2) It has a setting that will start recording as soon as the app opens, which means you don’t even have to press the button!

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 5.41.37 pm
Of course you can record notes into Evernote directly but it takes a few clicks and the in-app record button is the size of ant’s balls. This is more like an elephant.

So while driving I can activate Siri and simply say “Open Dropvox” (making sure I over-emphasise the “VOX” so it doesn’t open DropBOX by mistake) and, when it opens, I start recording my note. When I hit the huge red elephant-sized STOP button, Dropvox will automatically upload the file to Dropbox.

Now – here’s the magic.

On my Macbook I have a Hazel rule setup to grab new notes in the Dropvox folder under my main Dropbox folder, and open them in Evernote! So when I get back to the office after my meeting and open my Macbook, I’ll magically get my audio note open in Evernote a minute later (once Dropbox has synched).

Voilà!

Living With A Small Drive

I finally bit the bullet yesterday and bought a new Macbook Pro (13″). My 2009 17″ had been on life support for the best part of 18 months and the cost of keeping it running was delivering diminishing returns.

The problem I have now is: how do I live with only 256 GB internal storage?

Here’s what I’ve set up so far but I’d be happy for suggestions on how to improve it.

1. Previously I had my DOCUMENTS folder sitting inside GOOGLE DRIVE. It was pretty large (>65GB). So I’ve set up HAZEL to automatically grab files that either a) haven’t been modified in the last six months or b) are larger than 50MB and haven’t been modified in the last week, and move them into a Dropbox folder which sits on a portable USB drive, maintaining the same folder structure. So I still have access to those files in the cloud, but they are off my local drive.

2. For redundancy purposes, I’ve got SYNC FOLDER PRO set up to automatically keep the portable drive in sync with an old 4TB drive I have on my desk. So when I’m traveling, I can take my 1TB drive with me – if it gets lost, stolen or fries, I have a backup. My photos and videos are all on the 1TB drive too, so they are always being backed up in case of disaster.

3. Of course I have TIME MACHINE backing up my internal drive.

4. And I’m keeping all of the documents that are less than six months old in GOOGLE DRIVE.

 

Any suggestions on better ways of living with a small hard drive?

About Cameron Reilly

Cameron Sept 2007

I recently started a new consulting business – Motherlode. We help businesses with marketing strategy – digital and traditional.

For the previous couple of years I was the marketing manager at Perdomo Cigars Australia.

I’m also the author of “The Three Illusions”, a book about living without fear, anger, anxiety or regret. It’s an attempt to develop a philosophy for life based on the laws of physics.

I’m  also the Owner and CEO of The Podcast Network, the world’s first podcasting business, which basically ran out of money when the GFC hit in 2008 and is currently just treading water while I focus on some other projects.

I’m the host of “The No Illusions Podcast” (which used to be called “G’Day World” and was the very first Australian podcast), as well as several other podcasts on TPN, including:

I’m also the founder of a number of things that don’t really exist anymore:

Twittories – a stupid idea to try to get 140 people to each write 140 characters of a short story using Twitter.

MODM – a monthly drinks night for people involved in digital media which started in Melbourne in March 2007 and is going national in 2008.

The Church Of LOTU – a religion for atheists and critical thinkers. Don’t laugh until you read it.

Geeks Who Care – a volunteer group that tries to apply the skills, knowledge and contacts of geeks around Australia to doing “good works” in their local communities.

I’ve been an internet/e-business consultant since 1995, and done hard time with companies such as Microsoft and OzEmail and spent 2010 as the head of Digital Strategy at an advertising agency.

I was included in the list of “40 Biggest Players in Australia’s Digital Age” by B&T Magazine, featured on the front cover of Australia’s Bulletin magazine and profiled in Australian Anthill magazine. My company, The Podcast Network, was selected by EContent Magazine as one of their Top 100 “Companies that matter most in the digital content industry“.

You can view some of these press articles at this link: TPN PRESS.

You can find me at:
Mobile: +61 400455334
Email: cameron@thepodcastnetwork.com
Skype ID: cameronreilly

My Twitter profile.
My Facebook profile
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My LinkedIn profile.
In Second Life, my avatar’s name is “Cameron Switchblade” but I haven’t been there for years.
Buy me stuff from my Amazon Wishlist.
If you want to schedule a meeting or call with me, check my calendar:

Read my profile in Wikipedia.
Read The Podcast Network’s profile in Wikipedia.
View my library in Shelfari.

More About Me Than you Ever Wanted To Know:
Full Name: Cameron James Reilly
Date of birth: 10 October 1970
Height: 6′ 2″
Weight: 100kg
Ethnicity: Aussie of Irish/Scottish/Polish decent
Hair: Silver
Eyes: Hazel
Eyesight: 20/20
Born: Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia
Sexual orientation: Hetero
Religion: Atheist
Family: Husband of Chrissy, with two sons, Hunter & Taylor, identical twin boys.
Drinking: Yes please.
Drugs: Caffeine
Smoking: Only cigars.
Started blogging: 2002
Family: George (deceased) & Jan (parents), Becky (sister), Anita (sister)
Occupation: Owner, Motherlode.com.au
Previous occupations: Perdomo Cigars Australia, The Podcast Network, Microsoft, Ozemail
Software platform: OSX
Machines: Macbook Pro
Goal: Immortality and making a difference for the betterment of the human race.

What I Like:

Hobbies: chess, Napoleon, advaita, transhumanism, immortality, oil painting, writing music
Favorite foods: Condensed milk.
All-time favorite TV series: Seinfeld, Sopranos, The Wire, The Shield, Deadwood.
Current favorite TV series: Boss, The Daily Show.
Favorite movies: The Godfather Parts 1 & 2, Citizen Kane, Amelie, Lawrence of Arabia, Fight Club
All-time favorite music: Van Halen, Lou Reed, Van Morrison, Alice Cooper, Vince Jones, Tom Waits, Miles Davis

Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me:

  • Once upon a time I repossessed cars for a living.
  • Between leaving high school in 1987 and starting at Microsoft in 1998, I had something like 20 jobs.
  • I never attended university.
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