Getting Hook productivity tool for macOS

@indy and I have been discussing Hook for macOS which is a productivity tool that you use to link together information in different files/URLs.

For example, you may be writing a document and research something on the web. Hook would allow you to link a URL that was useful to your document. Then again you could link to an outline, a presentation, or an email.

This screencast (6m58s):

shows Hook in action. I think it’s quite an interesting tool.

In practice Hook is based on using AppleScripts to drive various applications to get the name of the in-focus document, and to re-open different documents.

I think Hook is sufficiently interesting and sufficiently cheap that I’ve just bought a copy to play with.

Okay I have just found my first productivity boost with Hook. It makes sending URLs from the browser to trivially simple. The only downside is that the todo created in Things doesn’t actually have the URL of the page in it, only a name based on the page title, e.g.

Cognitive Productivity with… by Luc P. Beaudoin [PDF/iPad/Kindle]

This is not very useful. I’m looking into whether I can do something better by amending the Hook script.

I can get back to the URL by using Hook, of course, but somehow it seems a little counterintuitive that I don’t have the URL in the todo itself. I guess that is partly because I am not used to Hook yet and habitually using it. But then again I also use Things on other platforms where Hook won’t be present and I won’t be able to access the URL there. That seems bad.

I am going to watch the video and take a look tomorrow I think.

As an aside I’ve spent the evening looking at Bret Victor’s stuff ( and while it’s mostly not directly applicable to what we’re talking about here, it is interesting and tangentially connected. Worth a look if you haven’t already seen his stuff. One downside is that a lot of it is video’d talks which are quite time consuming, not easily skimmed.

I am somewhat familiar with some of the more programming related stuff (“Learnable programming” at a guess) he’s done as it was popular on Hacker News a couple of years ago. I believe the ill-fated LightTable IDE was part-inspired by some of his work.

I couldn’t figure out on my own how to link existing items together, here are the instructions:

So, for example, from MNIdentity.m I was able to link to two items on the Apple support site about creating public/private key pairs and looking them up in the KeyChain.

This is really quite neat.

Something else I like is that the guys behind this app have been working in this space for quite a while and are thinking quite deeply about it. Worth supporting.

As an aside, I am really enjoying the interactivity with the developers of Hook, who also have a discourse forum.

1 Like