MailMate delivers the benefits of Markdown to your email workflows, and much more. (Check out the MailMate website). What’s more, MailMate works perfectly with Hook. Not only can you link Markdown messages to any resource using the Hook productivity window or menu bar icon. Because MailMate fully supports Markdown, you can also insert Markdown links obtained through Hook right into Markdown messages
Here are a few use cases using MailMate. We will later give more examples of using MailMate. And please share your experience of using MailMate and Hook on the Hook forum.
Bidirectionally link your emails with “Link to New”
Want to take notes about an email, just
- open or select an email
- invoke Hook
- type ⌘N
This will create a new note in the default app, store it in the default notes folder, name it, and bidirectionally link the email and the note. The “note” can be just about anything, a file (e.g., TextEdit rtf, Pages, Word, Excel spreadsheet, Numbers spreadsheet, LibreOffice document, a diagram in just about any app, etc.)
Afterwards , you can invoke Hook in the context of the email or note, and you will see a link back to the Note or email!
If you’d rather not use your default note-taking app, then use ⌃⌘N and choose from the note-taking apps. Questions? see our help or forum or contact support.
Save time with “Copy as Markdown Link”, pasting into a MailMate composer window
The Hook window has a “Copy as Markdown Link” menu entry. You can invoke this command in the context of any sufficiently scriptable app. Then you can paste these links in MailMate windows. For instance, you can use this process:
- load a web page in a supported web browser (Safari, Chrome or FireFox; more to come),
- invoke the Hook productivity window,
- select “Copy as Markdown Link”, and hit ENTER (or double-click)
- paste the link in a MailMate email message composer window.
Hook automatically formats the link in Markdown (setting the title and URL fields along the way). That saves you time.
Of course, you can also paste that link in your notes if need be.
Reference prior emails by pasting hook://links to emails in emails!
In the previous section, we discussed getting and sharing links to web resources. One of the unique advantages of Hook is that it creates and serves links to emails as well!
In MailMate, you can select any email and choose “Copy as Markdown Link”, and then you can paste that link in a MailMate message (or elsewhere), and email it to your recipient.
As long as your recipients (still) has a copy of the previous message, and has a copy of Hook (even the free Lite version), they will be able to click on the link you sent them, and Hook will open a copy of the referenced email message on their Mac.
Sending hook:// links to emails has many benefits for you and your recipients:
- It saves the recipient time. By clicking on the link s/he can access the specific email message you are referring to.
- It saves the recipient mental energy: it is very draining to try to find previous relevant messages.
- It means you don’t to quote an entire message, you can just send a link to the message, quoting if desired just the most important information. That saves everyone time, and it saves disk space.
- It saves you time too, because when you review a message, you will be able to use the links you’ve embedded. (And who knows, maybe they, too, will start sending you messages that have hook:// links .)
So, if you want to increase the odds that your recipients will act on the messages you send them, include hook:// links, and a note in the message:
hook:// links can be opened on macOS if you have Hook Productivity installed. Hook Lite is a free CogSci Apps Corp. invention. Hook is currently in beta.
(You can use an app like TextExpander to create such boiler plate, or add it to your signature.)
Paste links to emails in your notes and tasks
Very often (perhaps too often?!), you receive action items in emails. If the message is opened in MailMate (or another supported mail app), you can invoke Hook and select the “Copy as Markdown Link” (or “Copy as Link”) command. Then you can paste the link where you can use it:
- in your tasks ( OmniFocus, Things, TaskPaper, wherever etc). There are virtually no restrictions,
- in your notes (e.g., an outline),
- or anywhere else.
(There is no need to rely on a clip-o-tron like tool. Hook creates and serves links for you).
You can also use the Hook window to link email messages to anything, so you can navigate between the entire resource and the email message.
Send your recipients links to shared files
Another one of Hook’s innovations is that it enables you to send people links to files. When the user clicks on the link, the file is revealed or opened (depending on the user’s preferences) on their Macs.
- access the resource on Finder (or open it , if the app is supported),
- invoke the Hook productivity window and select, “Copy as Markdown Link” (or “Copy as Link”),
- email the recipient the link.
Here are some examples where you might want to do that. You can link to files that are on their system synchronized through
- Dropbox, or any other cloud share service that mounts files on Finder,
- Resilio, or
- Git, SVN, or any other version control system that makes files available on Finder.
Actually, the file can even be in a well-known location and not shared. E.g., if you want to refer to the ~/Documents folder, just send them a link to that.
Of course, you need to ensure that the email recipient will be able to open those links. That means the file needs to be on their computer (accessible via Finder). And they require Hook. The free version of Hook, Hook Lite, can be used to open Hook links, and to create a few Hook links per week. The license terms may change slightly. But we are intent on ensuring that people can open hook:// links for free. Hook is in Beta, during which access to Hook Pro features is widely available.)
There are a few other technical things which we explain in the documentation.
Link MailMate emails using the Hook menu bar icon
Above, we discussed linking MailMate email messages to each other, and to other resources, using the Hook productivity window. Well, you can also simply
- select a MailMate message and drag and drop it to the Hook menu bar icon,
- drag another MailMate message, a web location (from your browser’s address bar), or one or more files, to the menu bar icon.
Then, like Magic, Hook will link them all together. Next time you open the Hook productivity window on one of the items, you will see the items to which they are linked.
The Hook menubar icon supports one-to-one linking, one-to-many linking, full mesh linking for Finder items). We plan to enhance menu bar icon-based linking even further!
Tip: Set MailMate as your favorite email app in Hook
You know that in the Finder, you can choose the default app in which to open Files. Well, Hook extends this concept by allowing you to choose the default app in which to open emails too. Just expose the Hook window (or click on the menu bar icon) > Select Preferences > click on “Favorite Apps”.
Then, choose MailMate from the list of apps. Other supported apps are Apple’s Mail.app, and AirMail. We expect to add support for other email apps.
What have we done?
CogSci Apps and MailMate’s developer, Benny Kjær Nielsen, have enabled you to get even more out of MailMate, by supporting the use cases above, and more.
So check out MailMate to see for yourself how you and your recipients can “File less. Search less. Access.”
BBEdit, Marked 2 and other apps
I have written this blog post in BBEdit, and previewed it in Brett Terpstra’s Marked 2. Those are two other excellent Markdown-enabled apps that work super well with Hook. I will blog about them soon, and other apps too.
Developers who want their app featured here, please post your use cases on Hook’s forum, and we will quite likely follow up with a post of our own (or email us).
If you are an enthusiast of a particular Hook-enabled app, please post your experience on Hook’s forum too. If your fav app is not yet supported, see our web page on the matter. Hook has a Script Editor allowing developers to extend Hook to support arbitrary apps.