I'd like to know if the following is possible with Automator.

I want to be able to move any files, but in my special case videos and photos, from any possible device ( iPhone, iPad, SD card, but perhaps also from other directories) to my NAS, ordered by date. Each file type should have a separate directory, eg.


What it should also do: within those separate directories, there should be a folder for each date a photo or video will be moved to(and it would also be important that you can customize the date format to yy-mm-dd , dd-mm-yy or the like, before you run the workflow )


Now every video made on november the 5th should be moved to NAS://imported/video/2014-11-05/video_file1.mp4

I know that it is no problem to move files by type into certain folders, but I dont know how to create date-specific folders for each file before the move-command....

I'm on MacOS 10.10 (Yosemite)

  • This will be difficult to achieve with only Automator actions. You will likely need some shell script or another scripting language embedded within a Run Script action. Are you comfortable with shell script, AppleScript, or another language? Nov 3, 2014 at 15:45
  • Oh what a pity... Well i know some (Korn-)Shell, but not enough to Code something for this use case. Depends on how much world be Automator and how much Shell. But what i reilly not Understand ist hat there is no native OS Solution for Mobbing files likes this (not even in a picture importer like Image Capture).
    – Chris
    Nov 3, 2014 at 17:56

1 Answer 1


This will be difficult with Automator but it is possible. You will need to augment your Automator workflow with Run Script steps involving some other scripting language. That language can be shell script, AppleScript, or another command line capable tool such as perl.

Alternatively, you may find a third party tool like Hazel is able to help:

Hazel watches whatever folders you tell it to, automatically organizing your files according to the rules you create. It features a rule interface similar to that of Apple Mail so you should feel right at home.

  • Thanks for the hint to try Hazel, that might be just what i was looking for.
    – Chris
    Nov 4, 2014 at 11:16

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .