Beeminder Forum

Automatically put Downloads into Year-Month folders (macOS)

Do you have a Downloads folder with hundreds, thousands of files?
Does this make you loose sight of what’s in there?
But it feels like too much work to organise them by hand?

For months now I had great success with a lazy yet effective way to remedy that: Make a subfolder for each month. And now I automated it as a folder action:

And here’s the finished folder action:

Download and unzip it. And then probably load it in Automator? I never downloaded a folder action before, please tell me how it goes.

Anyway: Every time something is added to your Downloads folder it will make a subdirectory, e.g., 2021-07 and move the file there.

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This idea is great!

For my personal computer I’m usually pretty good about not letting my downloads get too out of hand. But on my old work machine, I would usually just let it grow till it was ridiculous then dump the entire folder into a subfolder with the date - ostensibly so that I could go back and recover something I really needed. That let me reset my cognitive load and actually find recent downloads but also not have to make decisions about whether or not I should delete something.

I never thought about automating it though, pretty neat :clap:

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After downloading, double clicking opens Automator. This gave me the impression that I would be able to enable it there. That didn’t work for me. The easiest way I’ve found was to right click the Downloads folder and check “Service Options.”

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For things like this, I use Hazel from noodlesoft. It can monitor folders and files according to complex rules and then take a wide variety of actions. This is one of the built-in actions

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