I’m a big fan of automation. I’m constantly looking for ways to improve my workflow and save time during the day. I often find myself doing little tasks over and over. If I can spend 30 minutes automating a task that would normally take me about 15 minutes each day, then I’d be saving hours each week. Check out how you can use Hazel to automate your workday:
What is Hazel?
Hazel watches whatever folders you tell it to, automatically organizing your files according to the rules you create.
Essentially, Hazel is a one stop solution to take full control of your computer and help you stay organized. This is a powerful piece of software when used correctly. To get started, go ahead and download Hazel. At the time of this writing, Hazel currently runs $28, but is worth every penny.
Note: I’ve included alternatives to Hazel if you do not have a Mac. I have not tested these rules on the other platforms. Take the general principles that I will outline in this post and apply them to the software that you use.
If you work in any media role at a church, you have a lot to keep up with on a daily basis. Think about all those things you have to do every single week.
- Renaming sermons and uploading to your server
- Resizing banner photos for uploading to the website
- Keeping pictures organized from various events
- Organizing documents by their ministries.
Here is one practical example of how I utilize Hazel to improve my workflow during the week.
Rename Sermons and Automatically Upload Them
I chose this rule to highlight because no matter where your church tech is at, you probably upload your sermons online. This could very easily be implemented into your workflow to give you more time to focus on other projects you may be working on. Make sure you have Hazel installed and follow the instructions below.
- Create a folder on your Desktop where you want your sermons to reside.
- Open up Hazel and close the “+” icon to add your folder that you just created.
- Once it shows up in the left panel, click that folder to select it.
To the right you see the label “Rules”. This is where all of the rules that you set will run for that particular folder. Go ahead and click the “+” to add a new rule. You should see a window pop up with lots of conditions to choose from. You can see a visual representation below:
The next thing that we need to do is setup our folder with the correct if statements to launch our actions. You can see a visual representation below of what yours should look like. Lets break down what is happening here.
Setup the condition
- If the file is is of a music format, and the color label is not green, then it will run the condition.
- Rename the file. This will give us the desired result of something like this: 06-03-2014-SermonName.mp3
- Upload the file to your web server. Note: Make sure that you enter in your FTP details. \
- Set Color Label to green. This allows me to quickly and easily see that the particular file has been processed already. It also helps prevent any duplicate uploads from happening.
After you have this setup, all you have to do is add your sermon into the folder and it will automatically rename, upload, and set the tag to green. Now that wasn’t so hard was it?
What do you wish you could automate?
What automation tools do you use already?
Share your workflows in the comments below.
Giveaway! We’re giving away a free copy of Hazel. 😀 Here’s how you can enter: Share this post on your favorite social media channel. Leave a comment below telling us what you would like to use Hazel for. That’s it! We’ll pick a winner ad hook you up with Hazel for free in about a week.