Tag: hazel

Scanned Automation with Hazel, Revisited

You may recall I was scanning documents and using Applescript to extract a highlighted date from them. Since then, Hazel has started natively supported date matching in its rules, which has been great. Tell Hazel the date format and maybe some text just before or after it os it can tell start date from end date, and it gets it right. Most of the time. 

Sometimes, though, things go sideways. I can see the text in the document, but for whatever reason, Hazel isn’t matching. I ended up creating a service via Automator which extracts the text from the PDF and puts it up on the screen. Most times, I can then find the text I want and put it into the Hazel rule, and away we go. 

This project is why I hadn’t posted much the past few weeks – I’ve been running a backlog of scanned PDFs through a bunch of rules to make sure I’ve got enough of it covered. Right now, I’ve got about 40 rules to identify the company that sent me the bill, and another slightly-less than that to identify the dates. 450 items have gone through the process, so I’m fairly confident that it’s working. A few more tweaks – tagging for things like “bills that aren’t automatically paid online” and watching for social security numbers, and I should be in good shape. 

Banking

I’ve struggled with finding a good way to know my bank account balance on the go. Logging in to the bank’s app or website shows me what they know about, but future transactions don’t show up there, even if they’re in their own Bill Pay function. Mint has the same problem, but also gets flaky on pending transactions. I had been using Quicken Essentials for balancing, but Intuit has apparently decided there’s no need for an iOS version. 

So I’ve built my own structure. I wrote a script for Fake.app to log into my bank’s website, download the last few days of transactions and log out. I run this script every day. Hazel picks up the downloaded file and imports it into Moneywell, and then marks it as ok for deletion.

Moneywell has a number of interesting features, most of which I don’t use. What brought me to them was that their iPhone app syncs via Dropbox and is free for a single account… which is all I need to monitor. I had picked up a license for their Mac application a few years ago, so I upgraded to the current version and *poof* I now have up to date information on my current account balance and what upcoming expenses I have. 

Catching up.

Guess I should follow up with where I am with the projects from previous posts.

Grocery lists (here and here): I’ve stopped adding them to the Numbers spreadsheet. Took too long and had some fragility issues around the script that processed the data on the Mac. Instead, I use Drafts to post things to the list in Evernote.

Date recognition (here): Became a moot point when Hazel added a better implementation to its rules.

As for task management, I’m using a variation on The Secret Weapon which probably needs some more revision. (Future post, I’m sure.) At the time, I liked the idea of using Evernote and was headed towards it being Where I Lived. I still use it a lot, but I don’t live there. More of a vacation home, really.