Paperless workflow: Move a file based upon an expiry date?

I was wondering whether anyone has a solution for a paperless workflow improvement that came to my mind recently:

The goal is to scan or save a document to a PDF and store it somewhere (a notes app like Bear, DevonThink, file system etc.) and somehow have it moved into a (sub)folder in that app or file system location once its expiry date is reached. It should run automatically.

The only thing that came to my mind based on what I’ve heard in podcasts would be Hazel + Finder tags that contain the expiry date? But I feel that this would clutter my Finder tags in the long run. :thinking:

Thanks a lot in advance!

Instead of an expiry date in the tag, how about a tag with the delta days from file creation? I’m thinking document retention policies and having documents deleted after a certain amount of time. A tag of 2555 days could indicate to delete the file after 7 years. Depending on how many different periods you have that shouldn’t be too many different tags.


You could put the expiry date in the Finder comment instead of in a tag.

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I like @glenthompson 's idea. Hazel has many rules available related to types of dates “is not in the last” time period to then move to Trash or to a folder of choice. DEVONthink has same in “Smart Rules”.

To use Expiry date means you have to add it (and maintain) somewhere. That of course more complicated as I can’t think of a good place to put that info in the file system other than a Tag but … But if worth it to you find a place to put it and then write some sort of script (AppleScript, Python, etc.) to do the thing you want to do. Possible? yes. Work to figure out and maintain? Yes.

Thanks a lot! That was a very good hint. There wouldn’t even be a need for Hazel or alike. I totally forgot that you can activate the file’s comments as a column in the list view and even sort by it. Neat! :ok_hand:

I see you have an answer, but I’m answering anyway :slight_smile:
With DEVONthink, you can define your own metadata for files that it stores or indexes.