Hazel + Dropbox.

September 23rd, 2010 by Richard Felix

One of the apps that helps me to get work done daily but which I never hear much about is a Mac preference pane called Hazel. Its broom icon is very fitting for its function. Basically, it can watch any folder on your computer for changes, and act on the changes that it sees based on rules that you set up for each folder. This is pretty simple, but also very powerful. I like little apps like this that perform one function but are so flexible that they can be used for all sorts of things.

We write our web apps in Ruby on Rails, and most of our source code is in version control, but there are a couple of files that we can’t put into our version control system, but which need to be shared. I’ve set Hazel up to watch the folder for a certain file to be modified. When it is, Hazel moves it into my Dropbox (referral link), which is shared with David, and he immediately has the latest version of the file. Now that it’s set up, all I have to do is edit the file as usual. Pretty nice.

Here are some other examples of how I use Hazel:

I use a laptop all day but have a desktop computer as well. Sometimes I download files that I want to end up on my desktop computer… I set Hazel to watch that folder and all I have to do is drag files that I want to be moved into it during the day. When I get home and my laptop connects to the network, the files are automatically moved.

We have a computer hooked up to our TV, and we like to watch videos downloaded from the internet on it for the big screen experience. I have Hazel on my desktop computer, set to move all videos I download that are of a certain size straight to the living room.

Hazel is awesome, and it along with Dropbox helps me to work and play everyday. Just set it and forget it.

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