All-in-One Health & Fitness Dashboard

The MacSparky Hazel Video Field Guide

Mac Power Users co-host David Sparks has released his latest MacSparky publication:
The Hazel Video Field Guide. Hazel is one of my favorite automation tools, and was recently updated to version 4. I bought it before I even downloaded the new version. That’s how great of a tool it is.

As David says: “The thing I love about Hazel is the way it can turn mere mortals into automation gods. Anybody can do this. You don’t need a lick of programming knowledge.” He’s right. Hazel is easier than Folder Actions, and a lot more powerful too. If you can write rules, you can automate your Mac with Hazel.

But what if you’ve never used Hazel and want to jump right in and learn the best of what it has to offer? That’s where David comes in. In almost 2.5 hours of video, David will walk you through Hazel, showing you everything from the basics to more advanced features using AppleScript. I’ve been using Hazel for years and would call myself a power user, but I learned some new tricks from David in this guide.

David’s guide shows you more than 30 different uses for Hazel, ranging from moving files to renaming them based on the contents of the file, and more. There are 35 chapters (a full list is below). For $20, you are getting the equivalent of having David sit down with you and show you how to do what he does. Need to re-watch a segment? OK. Not ready for some of the more advanced tips yet? Get started with the easy ones, and come back to it later. I don’t know what hourly rate David bills at, but you can believe that it’s way more than $10/hour!

The Hazel Video Field Guide assumes you have never used Hazel before, so it’s perfect for beginners, but by the end it will show you how to do advanced techniques including home automation via Hazel. One of the workflows, for instance, shows the viewer how to automatically lock their Mac when they leave their home or office using a combination of IFTTT, a simple AppleScript, and Hazel. Even if you don’t use those tips specifically, it’s a great way to learn what Hazel can do.

Not ready to commit? Check out his sample video to get a taste of what’s in store. To learn more, go to

Here is a full list of the chapters in the video guide:

  • Why Hazel
  • Getting Started
  • Our First Hazel Rule
  • Triggers and Actions
  • Name-Based Filing
  • Content-Based Naming
  • Getting Dates from Documents
  • Hazel and Tags
  • Hazel and the iPhone
  • Organizing Your Download Folder
  • Organizing Your Desktop
  • Send Music to iTunes
  • Send Images to Photos
  • Organizing Photos in Folders
  • Archiving Media
  • Sending Documents to iPad
  • The File Kill Switch
  • Using URLs in Hazel
  • Auto-create Subfolders
  • Sending Email
  • Making Hazel Talk
  • Creating OmniFocus Tasks with Hazel
  • “Overdue”
  • Conditional Rules
  • Spotlight Integration
  • Smart Folders
  • The Action Folder
  • Lock Your Mac Remotely, Part 1
  • Play Music When You Arrive Home
  • Lock Your Mac Remotely, Part 2
  • Manage Your Trash
  • Hazel App Sweep
  • Hazel Rule Syncing
  • Hazel Settings
  • More Resources

Unlock MacStories Extras

Club MacStories offers exclusive access to extra MacStories content, delivered every week; it’s also a way to support us directly.

Club MacStories will help you discover the best apps for your devices and get the most out of your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It’ll also give you access to advanced iOS shortcuts, tips and tricks, and lots more.

Starting at $5/month, with an annual option available.

Join the Club.

A Club MacStories membership includes:

  • MacStories Weekly newsletter, delivered every week on Friday with app collections, tips, iOS workflows, and more;
  • MacStories Unplugged podcast, published monthly with discussions on what we’re working on and more;
  • Monthly Log newsletter, delivered once every month with behind-the-scenes stories, app notes, personal journals, and more;
  • Access to occasional giveaways, discounts, and free downloads.