Benefits of Using Hook

You have already experienced the revolutionary benefits of using links on the web. Hook extends this revolution: it enables you to instantly create and use links to precious information on your Mac, on the web and in the cloud.

Would you give up web links? Nor can you do without the links that Hook provides!

Hook links your (digital) life!

Here are some of the countless benefits Hook provides:

The pages linked above give you more than enough information to see the tremendous value of Hook. However, this documentation is incomplete. We will flesh out the last few pages, and provide more screencasts. We also invite the community to contribute the benefits they have experienced, and their favourite use cases, in the Hook Forum.

Hook complements other time-saving tools you already use!

You may be wondering: “Do I really need Hook?” Well, consider the tools listed below. Like Hook, they all have a major benefit: enabling you to quickly access information you need. Would you live without the web, SSD search, or search tools? Of course not.

  • The web is essentially a collection of information resources (web pages, etc.) that are connected by navigable links. By simply clicking on a link, you can quickly access desired information. This very simple IT concept completely revolutionized the world. Hook supplies the missing links in the best OS (macOS!): it enables you to robustly link and access local resources. (“robust” because unlike web links, if the target moves, the link generally still works.)
  • SSD storage enables you to rapidly access and write information. Hook delivers an analogous benefit in software. With it you can instantly create (with “Link to New”), name, tag, store and access information items!
  • By touching the Find my iPhone button on the Apple Watch, instead of searching for your iPhone, you can just retrieve it. Analogously, with one command, up comes the Hook window which lists linked items. Activate the link to instantly access the linked item.
  • With search tools like Duck Duck Go, Google, Spotlight and HoudahSpot you type your search query and they find matching resources. We love these tools and use them daily. Hook allows you to access related: given a resource, it tells you what is linked to them, and you can access them
  • Launchers (LaunchBar and Alfred) are the most popular productivity utilities for macOS. We love them too! In fact, Cognitive Productivity with macOS®: 7 Principles for Getting Smarter with Knowledge, CogSci Apps co-founder (Luc P. Beaudoin) extols their virtues. Launchers enable you to access random files and web pages even faster than with a search tool, by typing abbreviations. Whereas launchers allow you to access files randomly, Hook is focused on serving you contextually related files. Hook works very well with launchers (and we have further integration in store).

By being able to access information quickly, you can do better work faster.

Hook addresses a key set of information-access problems that other tools do not: It allows you instantly to link, create and access all kinds of information related to your current focus. Hook enables you to solve problems with that information.

Hook helps you get more out of your favorite apps and existing productivity tools (e.g., launchers, search tools and information managers).

The 2-s second “meta-access” rule

80% of the items you access in any given day should be retrievable within 2-seconds. That is the “2-second rule” described in Cognitive Productivity books.

To be sure, before Hook there existed other tools to help with this problem (as listed above, e.g., search tools and launchers). However, Hook specifically solves the “meta-access problem” (described in Cognitive Productivity), which is to access information that is related to your current focus.

Solving the meta-access problem is critically important, because most of our knowledge-intense work involves a small cluster of information items. The specific cluster changes, but information clustering properties are relatively stable. Typically, one focuses on a small set of key documents (often just one) around which there are related (ancillary) resources. Knowledge-intense work (creating, learning and solving problems) typically requires navigating within a cluster of related resources.

The brain’s working-memory has limited capacity. Moreover, information in working-memory decays rapidly. Searching for information wipes out your precious working memory taking you out of “flow”, ( a.k.a. “the zone”). So it’s important to be able to quickly navigate in information space.

Hook: A cognitive tool to optimize your executive functions

Our major overarching objective in developing Hook is to help you apply your full executive functions (your consciousness) to your current task. By enabling you to file less, search less and simply access related resources, Hook keeps you focused.

A distinctive characteristic of world-class experts is that they are capable of rapidly accessing and storing information in their domain. (This is known as long-term working memory, as discussed in Cognitive Productivity: Using Knowledge to Become Profoundly Effective). Hook extends your brain to enable rapid access to task-relevant information.

Whether your task is to write, learn, solve a problem or communicate, Hook enables you to do it better and faster — i.e., more expertly.

Hook is a CogSci Apps® invention for your cognitive productivity.

Are you ready to become more cognitively productive?

You’re a busy person who values knowledge and who is valued for your knowledge and expertise. When you want information, you want it fast.

You wouldn’t dream of giving up the web, SSD storage, search engines, Find my iPhone, or launchers.

So why not Download Hook today?. It’s free to try. (Currently in public beta).

Do you develop Mac apps for knowledge work?

If yes, then if you would like your Mac app to improve your users’ cognitive productivity, please make sure that it supports Hook’s minimal automation requirements, and send us an email. If you provide the API (and a trial license of your app), we’ll write the scripts to use it. Or you can do what world renown EagleFiler developer Michael Tsai did. He sent us some scripts to his app for inclusion in Hook. You can use Hook’s Script Editor Preferences tab to locally add your AppleScript to Hook.

CogSci Apps can promptly deploy script updates. For more information see the Hook Integration documentation.

We will be happy to include your app in our growing list of apps known by us to be compatible with Hook.

Get people talking about how to get more out of your app by using Hook: contribute to the Hook Discourse forum.