Universal, Effortless, Contextual, Linked Bookmarking

In traditional bookmark management apps, you need to add, remove, tag, and otherwise manipulate your bookmarks. And traditional bookmark manager apps tend to only bookmark web pages. And they don’t tend to maintain the context of or relationships between the items you bookmark.

Hook is a CogSci Apps invention, so it is different.

Hook is the world’s first (and still only) truly universal, effortless, contextual bookmarking software.

  1. Hook automatically bookmarks what you link.
  2. Hook can bookmark anything linkable (e.g., emails, files, DEVONthink, Craft, Drafts and of course web pages),
  3. Hook lets you navigate the network of bookmarks,
  4. Hook bookmarks are private.
  5. Hook lets you PIN your bookmarks.
  6. Hook shows you RECENT bookmarks,
  7. Hook shows you what you’ve hooked (bidirectionally linked) to the current item in any linkable app,
  8. Hook can automatically add bookmarks to

That means you can access Hook’s web bookmarks from either of those products, on any device, iPhone, iPad, and (except for GoodLinks) even Windows.

Truly universal bookmarking

The traditional definition of “universal bookmarking” is seriously limited. It means to be able to bookmark web pages from any web browser. Now that is a good start. And of course Hook can do that too. But Hook can bookmark much more than web pages! In fact, Hook can bookmark anything that is truly linkable. If the information has a URL, Hook can bookmark it.

And for many resources that don’t have a decent URL scheme, Hook has you covered too! Hook has introduced major new bookmarking schemes. So with Hook, you can also robustly bookmark files, for instance. Move or rename the files? No problem. You can even bookmark email messages; heck, you can even switch email apps at a later point and the bookmarks will still work.

Check out this partial list of apps whose data Hook can bookmark. But keep in mind, as long as the resource has a URL scheme (or Hook has added one for you), Hook can bookmark it!

Effort-free (automatic) bookmarking

Traditional bookmarking software is meant to help you find information later. But in fact, most of the information you want to find is not bookmarked by that software. Why? Because (a) traditional software only bookmarks web pages (not tasks, files, emails, etc.); and (b) you’re unlikely to remember to bookmark information! It’s not that you “forgot”, it’s that you were busy getting your task done, and not thinking about information management. Traditional bookmarking software punishes you for focusing!

In fact, manually adding bookmarks is a bad idea, because manually bookmarking interrupts your flow.

With traditional bookmarking software you need to remember to bookmark information. And you need to manually add bookmarks! That means (a) you will forget to bookmark stuff; (b) if you do manually bookmark something, you’ve consumed your brain’s precious “working memory” resources and interrupted your flow.

In contrast, Hook automatically bookmarks any link you copy or hook! That is the general philosophy of Hook, which also shines in it’s Hook to New feature: make it effort-free.

And guess what?

Contextual: Copying links and hooking them are the most discriminative bookmarking cues ever imagined !

Whenever you copy a link or hook it to something, Hook understands that amongst the googolplex of information, that link information is something you will likely want to retrieve later. So Hook bookmarks it for you. It does this automatically for you; you didn’t even need to think about it.

Technically, this means that Hook’s bookmark database is a focused goldmine! Hook’s bookmarks are extremely discriminative compared to, say, a search index. A traditional search index (like Spotlight) mostly contains junk that you will never, ever want to retrieve. That means no matter how sophisticated the search engine’s sorting algorithm is, it’s going to have difficulty presenting you with the information that is most relevant to you. Therefore, you —your brains, your eyes, your fingers— will need to do the work: you will scan through lots of irrelevant information. Search tools waste your time, tire you out, and interfere with your flow.

Hook is different. Here’s a typical scenario: with Hook’s Copy Link (⌘C) command, you instantly copy a fully formatted web link and send it to your friend. The odds of you needing that information again in the future is immeasurably high compared to a random bit of information indexed by a search tool (like Spotlight). Hook’s search algorithm is already pre-filtered. Plus, it’s got lots of other strategies that are only possible with Hook (because Hook is unique).

(The basis for Hook’s algorithm is related to the “heuristic relevance signalling hypothesis” , used by the brain, and described by CogSci Apps Corp. co-founder, Luc P. Beaudoin, in his Cognitive Productivity book.)

PINNED bookmarks

In addition to be able to search for bookmarks, Hook has a PINNED section, which enables you to put your most relevant bookmarks right in front of you. This enables you to resume working on a project at any point.

No need to bring up a separate app. The Hook popup window has you covered.

You can easily hide and show this window.

RECENT bookmarks

Every resourceful macOS app is supposed to have a RECENT File menu item. But those items just deal with the specific app’s content.

Hook is different. Hook is a truly universal information manager. It can contain links to anything !

The Hook window has a RECENT items section that contains one bookmark for anything you’ve recently accessed.

This too helps you regain flow. Suppose you were deep in thought, and got sidetracked by an urgent email. You’ve lost your train of thought. When you are ready to get back on track, just invoke Hook and check out the RECENT items section. If you’re a habitual Hook user, you will quickly be able to get back into flow. One of the RECENT items will right there. Double-click on it, and you’re back on track.

But manually adding bookmarks is also possible

Hook is super versatile. So of course it contains a manual Add Bookmark command, for rare cases where you want to manually add the bookmark without doing anything else.

Browse your bookmarks in Hook

Hook contains a powerful search tool to find just the right resource you need..

Having said that, most of the time, rather than search in Hook, you will simply invoke Hook’s contextual window to directly see the information that is ‘hooked’ to it, or that you have Pinned or Recently accessed.

Rename your bookmarks in context

When you access a bookmark in Hook (whether it is HOOKED, PINNED, RECENT and/or a search result), you can conveniently rename it in place with Hook’s Rename in Hook command. You don’t need to locate the bookmark in a search tool, and this does not affect the original. You can also Revert Name in Hook.

Navigate bookmarks, and do so much more…

Hook has all kinds of commands that work on all its bookmarks. See All Commands & Shortcuts – Hook.

Hook makes all linkable software work better for you, including bookmark managers

Although Hook has unique advantages over bookmark management software, we’re not here to replace them. We’re Canadian 🇨🇦 after all. We’re here to make your other software work better for you.

So, if you subscribe to Instapaper, GoodLinks , and/or Pinboard, then Hook can automatically add bookmarks to those products too! If enabled, then every time Hook adds a bookmark to its own database, it will add a bookmark to the other software too. If the other software supports caching of pages, then the software will cache the page too.

That makes your Hook web bookmark and webpages available on iPhone, iPad and other Macs too.

This is configured in Hook’s services Preferences tab.

If you’re using Pinboard, then Hook can also tag the page with “from:Hook”. (This functionality with GoodLinks is expected in Hook 3.2).

What’s more, if you invoke Hook in GoodLinks 3.1+, you will see everything you’ve hooked to it — whether you’ve hooked the page with a web browser or directly in GoodLinks. See Using Hook With Goodlinks.

Sync all Hook’s bookmarks to DEVONthink, see them on iPhone and iPad

Zsolt Benke has written a script to Archive Hook bookmarks with DEVONthink

Zsolt writes:

In conjunction with DEVONthink, we can archive our bookmarks from Hook and save them as Pinboard does. I made a script for this a while back and it’s really helpful. It runs once a week, archives all websites from my Hook database into DEVONthink.

This functionality is also discussed on the Hook Productivity Forum

This means that you can access Hook’s bookmarks on any iPhone or iPad if you also use DEVONthink and enable DEVONthink’s sync.