Creating groups and smart rules to file invoices

Hi there,

What I want to achieve is the following:

  1. Hazel copies anything tagged ‘accounts payable’ or ‘accounts receivable’ to the DEVONThink inbox (so far, so good).
  2. DEVONThink then sorts these files according to date, so I have groups sorted by year and then by month, so the hierarchy looks like this: Accounts Payable>2023>July

I’ve had a look around, and I’ve also worked my way through the MacSparky field guide, but he doesn’t really cover this scenario. I’m sure DEVONThink is powerful enough to achieve what I want, but I can’t quite seem to figure it out. I’d appreciate any help.

Thank you!

The File smart rule action should be able to handle this, additional/different placeholders can be inserted via the contextual menu.

Brilliant! Thanks. Works a charm. One slight fly in the ointment is that the file-naming results in 07 for July, and I can’t see a way to change it a la Hazel. Is that possible?

I’m also running this rule to file my household bills, as per the graphic, and would like to change this globally if possible. Thanks again for any help, much appreciated.


You have to use a different placeholder (actually Name of Month, not Month), see Insert Placeholder submenu of contextual menu of File action.

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Thank you, most helpful again. It seems as though smart rules don’t sync between machines (this is something of an inconvenience for me as I often work between machines and I’d like everything synced on both machines) but I’ll try this when I have access to my other computer.

Much appreciated.

That’s correct.

Thanks. That’s not ideal. Is there a relatively simple way to achieve this? Thanks for any tips.

As this has already been discussed here, you might find work around by searching for „sync smart group“

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There is no automatic sync of smart rules between machines. I would suggest exporting the rules you want to use on the other Mac as per this blog post…

You can manually copy and overwrite them between machines. However note, this is ideally done once a smart rule is built and tested on a machine. Changes aren’t goiong to propagate between Macs and you’d have to export and overwrite, then copy to the other machine again.


Yeah, thanks very much for this, I had seen that one. Tbh I don’t think the faff is worth it for me. Given that Hazel needs an ‘always on’ Mac I think that might be a better solution for me, more generally speaking.

Much appreciate the advice/guidance.

You’re welcome.

A better solution in what way?
You shouldn’t be overwriting such files while DEVONthink is running, if that’s what you’re thinking of doing.

No, I know that will cause issues. I’m talking about having an always on mac on which I create my smart rules (desktop) and then the laptop will just mirror the organisational structure of what’s been created by the smart rules on the desktop.

In the absence of a real syncing solution, this is as far as I want to go I think. I could set up something more elaborate, but I don’t think that’s necessary in my case.