A large part of your Mac experience probably involves dealing with files, whether you create them yourself, or get them from someone else. Sure, you can store files in their proper folder (Documents, Music, Movies, Pictures, and the like) but this can take time, and what good is your Mac if it can't help organize your data? Fortunately, Hazel deals with the problem of "An object at rest...will remain at rest..." in that it will help you keep your files in order, if you take the time to teach it.
Hazel resides in your System Preferences as a PrefPane. Once you activate it, you'll be shown the Folders tab, which lets you select a folder whose contents you want to work with. You then set up one or more rules to be applied to the folder. The rules can look at many different aspects of a file, such as the name, date, kind, size, and more. You can then select one or more actions to be taken when a file passes a rule, such as moving or deleting the file, moving into iTunes or iPhoto, running a script, or sending a Growl notification. For those that need some inspiration, you can load some Sample Rules, which give examples of how to deal with Movies, Music, Pictures, Newly Added Files, Old Files, and No Longer New Files.
Hazel with Sample Rules to Get You Started
Hazel is also smart when it comes to dealing with your Trash. You can remove files that have been in the trash for more than a certain period of time, and keep the trash size below a certain threshold. You can delete files normally, or do a secure (shred) deletion. There's also App Sweep, so if you do decide to get rid of an application you no longer use, it will delete the associated cruft, such as preferences and libraries, that you no longer need. This can really help avoid future problems by making sure you only have the files that you need.
So keep your files in order, and give Hazel a try today. Have any other Gadgets that help keep your system in order? Send an email to John, and he'll give it a try.