Streamlining receipt processing with Hazel and PDF Expert

I need help with my workflow please. If anyone has ideas, I would appreciate input.

I scan all receipts with Scanbot from an iOS device. Then on my Mac I have multiple Hazel rules on the Dropbox folder to sort and rename the files depending on the store. The Hazel rules looks for the store and date printed on the receipt. The problem is Scanbot’s OCR on receipts isn’t great, and it doesn’t get readable info 70% of the time (I tried Scanner Pro as well, but the results weren’t any better).

Today I figured I would I would try entering a text box on receipts with the store name and date using PDF Expert on iOS, that way everything gets sorted without any more input from me. Hazel isn’t recognizing the typed in info though. To get Hazel to see the text I added in PDF Expert, I have to open the receipt with PDFpen on my Mac, force OCR, and then Hazel sees the text and sorts the receipts as needed.

How can I make this work with as little input from me? My idea was just scan it and everything goes where it needs to, but that doesn’t seem possible. I don’t mind a little bit of editing because I open the receipts and highlight totals, etc anyway.

Thanks for reading.

I’d set up actions with Scanbot to tag or file the pdf - you know at the time you’re scanning which store the receipt is from - this is how I handle my receipts (though not classified by store - I only have three basic categories).


I would also recommend adding date, store name, tags, etc. to the file when scanning the receipt. I use Scanbot which makes it easy but I believe Scanner Pro has similar capabilities.

Another idea, it has some cost to it.

PDFPenPro can do ocr triggered by AppleScript. I have hazel check all files and perform ocr automatically this way. It may be that PDFPenPro’s ocr is better for your purposes.

Also, perhaps PDF Expert on the Mac can also be scripted to do your ocr for you.

I believe the makers of PDFPen also make an iOS scanning and ocr app, it I’ve never tried it

I’ve had the same good results with PDFScanner from the mac app store and its only $15. They even have a Automator action you can use with Hazel to OCR a doc that has not been OCRed.

What I do is: I have some workflows within scanner pro, so when I sacanagem something, I touch on the share button and it renames the files into credit card receipt, store receipt, garage parking receipt and so on. This might help you