I work best when my desk is a clear space, with just the project I’m working on in view. The trouble is, I’m really bad at keeping it that way. Until Hazel came into my life, my office desk was frequently a mess. Papers piled on papers, all getting in the way of thinking clearly.
Who is Hazel? Not some female assistant, but an application on my Mac that automatically does things according to rules I’ve created.
Now, when a document comes in the post, I drop it into the document scanner, press a button, and shred the document once it’s scanned. The PDF that’s created is handled by Hazel. It searches through the document to see whether it’s something it knows about and can handle appropriately. For example, a business invoice is mailed to the inbox of my online accounting system, Xero. Letters from my financial adviser are filed away in a folder. Hazel sends some other documents to Evernote, having changed their filename to include the date found within the document.
So paper never gets to my desk where it can be untidy.