Today I did a little bit of cleaning up on my Mac. I’ve used Hazel for a long time now to take action on folders and it works perfectly. For whatever reason, I had not been using Hazel to OCR my PDF documents. I came across an article written by Katie Floyd of the Mac Power Users and made quick work of my files. Thanks Katie!
Once the files are OCR’d and sitting in a folder I let Hazel do some grunt work in filing the documents for me. I used the Hazel rules that David Sparks shared.
I thought I’d share my current workflow for those who are interested.
I use a Scansnap ix500. That scanner is wireless capable. There is an iPhone app for it and I can drop a receipt onto the scanner and then hit a scan button on my phone. The PDF shows up in the app.
Once I have it here I use a workflow to save it to a specific Dropbox folder.
Once its there the Hazel rules take over.
- I drop a receipt into a folder called Hazel Receipts.
- Hazel has a rule that says if there’s a file in there that does not have the color label set to green then use PDFPen to OCR and set the label to green.
- Next I have several rules that look at the contents of the PDF. For example, items that contain the words “RALPHS rewards” are renamed to date-groceries-xx.pdf and are then moved to the folder Receipts 2017\Month\. Finally the label is removed and an Omnifocus task is created that reminds me to enter the transaction into YNAB.
I will say that it’s a bit fiddly but once it’s going its pretty much hands off. I can’t say enough about Hazel, Workflow , and the cool tips from folks like the Mac Power Users and Mac Drifter for getting these types of nerd knobs setup.