Recap: Hookmark 5.1(2) with Finder integration; Bike and OmniOutliner deep linking; Capacities integration; and the “Second Brain” Trope

Here’s an excerpt from the newsletter we sent out recently, minus information that was already published on the blog.

I’m delighted to draw attention to the recent release of Hookmark 5.1, which introduces a new Finder extension. We also recently released deep linking with Bike, deep linking with OmniOutliner, and Capacities integration. We also continue our discussion about the "Second Brain" marketing trope.

Hookmark 5.1.2

We recently released Hookmark 5.1 which introduces:

  • a Finder extension that allows you to apply Hookmark commands to multiple files you’ve selected: Copy Link, Copy As Markdown Link, Hook Selected Files Together, and Hook to Copied Link(s);
  • the new Copy As Path and Copy As File URL commands; and
  • several other core improvements and integration updates.

We quickly followed this up with 5.1.1 and 5.1.2, fixing issues and updating integrations.

Check out this morning’s post announcing that Bike Outliner for Mac is Hookmark’s Partner of the Month of May! – Hookmark. That post includes a temporary 30% discount coupon for Bike.

Capacities integration!

We at CogSci Apps are very impressed by Capacities, next-generation personal knowledge management software with Mac and Windows apps, and a web app. "Capacities is a studio to collect, connect and reflect – a place to make sense of the world and to create amazing things." Unlike its competitor, Notion, Capacities is a link-friendly app! The Capacities CEO is a signatory of the Manifesto for Ubiquitous Linking. Hookmark now enables you to link Capacities items to and from anything that is also link-friendly!

For example, you could link an item in Capacities to a specific row in a Bike document or to a PDF in Bookends. The sky’s the limit.

Is the "Second Brain" Trope helpful? 🤔

Thanks to everyone who answered on the forum my question from the previous newsletter, Is Something Wrong With My “Second Brain”?. That forum topic now contains many gems on the subject. As you may have guessed, I don’t like the "Second brain" trope. For starters, the trope confuses software and wetware. Moreover, as useful as software may be, not even ChatGPT resembles a brain. Also, why stop at two brains? You and I use Hookmark to connect information across many different, best-of-breed apps. Further, isn’t it a bit insulting for someone to suggest that today’s software is your second brain? What would that say about your brain?

Sure, one could reply, "The ‘second brain’ trope is just a trope". However, spreading an inapt meme gets in the way of using a helpful metaphor.

As for what to look for in an alternative, in my Cognitive Productivity books and at CogZest, I described in detail what it means for information (including tropes) to be helpful. I proposed the CUP’A schema:

  • C: Caliber is how well the information stacks up to objective standards (such as accuracy, generality and power).
  • U: Utility refers to how information may serve one’s motivators (projects, goals, etc.)
  • P: Potency refers to the extent to which the information in question can stretch one’s mind, enabling one to see the world in a significantly different way. For instance, in learning Newton’s laws of motion or Darwin’s concepts of random variation and natural selection one’s mind is "stretched".
  • A: Appeal is the extent to which one likes the information — that is, how the information relates to one’s preferences.

Appeal stands apart in the CUP’A schema because it is often a red herring! The "second brain" trope might be appealing partly because it is impotent (easy to understand, non-transformative). But what about its Caliber and Utility?

I invite you to think about the topic — and share your views on the forum if you like. I intend to publish my opinion on the matter on the forum, on Medium, and elsewhere 😉.

Roundup of recent integrations

  • version 274: enhanced Bike deep support
  • version 273: support Hook to New > NotePlan 3, OmniOutliner deep linking (Using Hookmark with OmniOutliner)
  • version 272: support for Capacities
  • version 271: more localizations
  • version 270: improved Apple Mail integration
  • version 269: localization of TheBrain integration; support Bookends’s new URL format

On the web

Check out PTPL 049: Better Project Management Using TaskPaper and Taskmator with Obsidian | by Ellane W | Produclivity | Apr, 2023 | Medium.

Tim Fallon on Mastodon writes:

Just want to give a big shoutout to @cogsciapps and #hookmark i.e.
I’ve been sharing #Onenote Notebooks with my undergraduate student, and the hookmark links (hook://file/ URI scheme) to PDFs stored in my @zotero library, exported and imported into my students brand new @zotero reference library… still work, despite being on a different filesystem, they just automagically work.


Please let us know what you think about these topics — on Mastodon, Twitter, or the Hookmark forum.

Yours truly,

Luc P. Beaudoin
CogSci Apps Corp., developer of Hookmark and mySleepButton® apps