Paperless folks: How do you manage the things that Hazel can't sort?

All my documents go to a digital Inbox for sorting. Many of them get auto-sorted by Hazel. These are the predictable things like utility bills, etc. But I tend to get a backlog of things I need to sort by hand because they’re not quite right for Hazel: one-off things like the bill from the anesthesiologist at the hospital that I’m never going to see again; or the membership papers from my kid’s chess club; etc.

They’re all things that could/should/do have a place to go, but sorting takes them so I let them get backed up until my digital inbox is starting to become a junk folder for everything Hazel doesn’t sort.

I’m curious how everyone here handles their non-automated sorting. Are you more disciplined than I am? When it comes to documents, are you a filer or a piler?

I use DEVONthink which has a niffy sorter that auto-hides like the Mac Dock. You can dump items in any of the in-boxes or databases you designate. You ca)n then tag and sort into databases or groups (folders) as you deem necessary. This is fast and always available. This is but of one the many reasons I use DEVONthink for my paperless lifestyle.

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Here is the folder where I keep receipts in DEVONthink.


Thanks for this. Are those “indexed” items in finder or are you importing the items into Devonthink? Not sure if there’s a difference or if that is an option for both. Thanks!

Indexing is great. Basically, you index folders rather than importing the content into the database. This keeps the database smaller and if a document or the contents of an indexed folder change, DT is still current. File replication is also a great feature of DT.

Honestly, it doesn’t really matter where the files end up as I will more than likely search for it in spotlight anyways. As long as the file has been OCRed or has a descriptive name I could care less where it ends up in my designated folder.

Sure, Hazel will move the common docs like the electric bill to the correct folder but the ones she can’t figure out go into a MISC folder. If I ever need any file ever again the number 1 thing I do is search spotlight for it. I could really have everything dump into one folder and then use smart folders if I need that folder organized. I only see Spotlight getting better years to come to so my solution should only get better.

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I use Hazel to rename (date within document & Category Name) and file into Devonthink Category folders based on identified keywords.

Files that can’t be categorised are sent by Hazel to the Devonthink Inbox for manual sorting, though the auto classify feature makes this a simple process in most cases.

This way all my files are accessible at all times on my Mac, iOS devices or the Web (Devonthink web server).

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I’ve got a large number of rules, so almost everything gets sorted by Hazel. For me, most of what doesn’t get sorted just wasn’t properly analyzed by Hazel (rule not matched even though it should have been, probably a problem sorting based on PDF file contents) so I just rename and move manually. One-off things I scan or download, typically users manuals, I put in the proper destination folder myself. This doesn’t bother me in the slightest.