Hazel and Obsidian

Hi all, I’m a new (and overly zealous) convert to Obsidian, meaning that among other things I am moving my 2600+ notes from Roam (not for the faint of heart).

I’m wondering if anyone has used Hazel at all for managing Obsidian files/workflows? (I’m also new to Hazel but I’ve purchased a license and @MacSparky field guide).

For instance, is it possible to rename daily note files from Roam into the Obsidian format?

Any other tricks or tips that folks might be using that might be helpful in sorting through so many files and managing workflow?

I am wary about using Hazel for working with files or folders in iCloud – especially if you ever you get to the point of using Obsidian on a mobile device, with uses CloudKit and thus a different aspect of the iCloud storage structure than Obsidian and the desktop. Plus, depending on the plugins, etc., that you might end up using in Obsidian, there can be a number of hidden files and folders that you don’t want Hazel messing with.

You mentioned in another thread you are migrating from Roam to Obsidian – so that’s a one-time event, isn’t it? Do you really need to configure Hazel to rename files just once? Remember, you can configure the daily note name in Obsidian to match what you use in Roam. Or, on the other hand, you can use Finder’s Rename feature which is more than adequate.

Other than that, what does “workflow” mean for you in this case? Give us more info to react to, maybe?


Interesting idea … but I’d be very careful about experimenting before doing anything on a big scale. If things aren’t where Obsidian expects them to be, things could go sideways quickly.

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Good luck with the transition!

If the other suggestions here don’t work, you could try A Better Finder Rename, which I use for large/complex rename situations. Caveat emptor, with great power…, etc. etc. etc.


Thank you, I may need that. I don’t think Hazel is exactly what I’m looking for.

Thanks for the tip on iCloud, I will consider this before proceeding. I think you’re right that I don’t need Hazel for the file renames (Which is just a one-time event). I should have asked a different question – what is best for renaming something like these daily notes (I’d like to have them in the Obsidian format long term).

Beyond that, I guess I was wondering if folks have files being automatically added to Obsidian from other parts of their system? PDFs, other attachments, etc. Basically just wondering what kinds of automations folks are finding useful.

If you decide to go with A Better Finder Rename, I found the preset I used to convert my Roam-ish files to YYYY-MM-DD.
It takes a filename like ‘July 5th, 2020’ and makes it into ‘2020-07-20’, but could be modified to produce other filename styles. Perhaps it will be a jumping off point if you decide to go with ABFR.
I was going to upload a link to a droplet, but was leery of linking to a .app file, and having that responsibility on my shoulders. Should be fairly easy to recreate what is shown below.
Caveat emptor, your mileage may vary, void where prohibited by law (sorry Tennessee).

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Fantastic. I downloaded ABFR after you linked to it (I remember @ismh mentioning it awhile back on the show but couldn’t remember the name). Thank you so much for the screenshot. I am happy to recreate and work on this later today!

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For what it’s worth, unless you’re using file paths in your Obsidian wikilinks, using Hazel with Obsidian should be fine. As long as you’re not renaming files outside of Obsidian that have been linked to in Obsidian already.

Basically, you want to avoid making link-breaking changes outside of Obsidian.

This advice is free from guarantees. Please test on your own before letting Hazel run amok on your production notes…!

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Thanks for this. Will give this a whirl myself today. I’m also moving from Roam to Obsidian. It’s been a rough few days to be honest, I keep reaching for the ‘/‘ key and the tab key but I think it’s finally starting to click.


I just had a thought – What about re-mapping the command palette shortcut to cmd+/?

My output was close but missed just a bit bc it kept the name of the month:

I believe I have it set the way you suggested. Any feedback on what I am doing wrong or need to change?

Thanks again,

Good progress!

This is what the other 12 rules are for :slightly_smiling_face:
For instance, replace all occurrences of ‘July’ with ‘07’ ignoring case.

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Did you manage to rename your daily notes? I’m having the same issue with it keeping the name of the month.

No, I haven’t been able to do it yet. I needed a little more time to tinker and haven’t had space. Hopefully in the next week.

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