Monday, March 12, 2012

Writerly Tools: Hazel

Huh, it's been a while since I've done one of these, hasn't it?

Today I'm going to talk about a delightful little program called Hazel, and unfortunately it's only for the Mac. Sorry PC users. *shrug* I've heard that Belvedere is the PC equivalent, so maybe try that out?

Anyway, moving on. Hazel is an automated organization program. As its creators at Noodlesoft have so elegantly said, Hazel is "your personal housekeeper."

The idea is that you set up a bunch of different parameters called "rules," and Hazel follows those rules to do the computer equivalent of housework for you. It takes a little work to set up all the rules, but it's ultimately worth it in the end.

I know, it sounds nice, but you're wondering how this is relevant to writers. Tell me, how many times have you forgotten to back up your manuscript? How many times have you ultimately suffered for that faux pas? With Hazel, NEVER AGAIN.

Interested yet? If so, good. Because now I'm going to give you five reasons why I think you might adore Hazel:
  1. Hazel is your backup ninja
    Like I said above, you never have to worry about backing up your manuscript again--just set up some rules for Hazel to follow, and everything will be taken care of. I prefer the double-whammy combination of Hazel and Dropbox.
  2. Hazel can do other things too
    Maybe you get Hazel for the automated backups, but the possibilities are endless. Hazel can keep your trash bin clean, organize your downloads, or even label files as certain conditions are met. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
  3. Hazel works in the background
    Once you get Hazel set up, you never have to worry about it again. Everything is automatic, seamless, and behind the scenes. But if you do want updates, it's easy-peasy to set up notifications with Growl.
  4. Hazel has depth
    At first glance, setting up rules in Hazel looks super intimidating. However, Hazel is only as complex as you want it to be--which allows your automated rules to be as simple or as complex as you need them to be.
  5. Hazel makes your computer happy
    Writers spend a lot of time on the computer. Writing, networking, wasting time on the internet--the important thing is that Hazel's organization rules make your computer happy by removing the clutter.