With the “Hook to New Note” menu, you can simultaneously create, link, name and store a new file or object. Examples of objects are: tasks in OmniFocus or CulturedCode Things, and documents in Drafts or Bear.
The Preferences’ Notes tab is where you configure the behavior of the Hook to New menus. We refer to items created by
Hook to New as “notes”.
The Notes folder (for
Hook to New > files)
When you use the
Hook to New command to create a file (as opposed to an object), Hook stores the new file in its notes folder. By default, this folder is called “Notes” and is stored in ~/Documents/ (i.e., it is
~/Documents/Hook/Notes). However, you can use this tab to select any folder to which macOS grants you permission.
You can even store your Notes folder in shared storage, such as iCloud or Dropbox.
Once a note is created, you can rename it and move it wherever you want, and links to and from them will normally still be valid.
Default (⌘N) Preference
Default (⌘N) drop-down menu enables you to choose the app in which notes are created when you use the
Hook to New command (⌘N).
This menu contains
- one entry (file name) per file in Hook’s template folder,
- and one app per object based app that is installed on your system and supported by Hook’s
Hook to Newcommand, such as OmniFocus, CulturedCode Things, Agile Tortoise Drafts and Ulysses.
The note created by ⌘N (“Link to New”) can either be a copy of a template file or an item of an app with a “Link to New” Script (per Scripts tab). Use ⌘⌃N to override the default.
The Templates folder
The Notes Preferences tab contains a Templates folder button. Clicking on this button opens Hook’s templates folder. Hook creates two template folders for you in
- the “built-in templates” folder, whose content is created and managed by Hook, and
- the “custom templates” folder, which is empty by default. You can add entries here if your favorite app isn’t showing up in
Hook to Newmenus, or if you want to override a built-in template.
If you want the templates to be stored elsewhere than in
~/Documents/Hook/templates, just replace that templates folder by an alias or symbolic link pointing to its new home. You can also move the entire Hook folder if you create an alias or link from ~/Documents/Hook to its new home. (Later, we might add a template manager in the app. We like OmniGroup’s OmniOutliner solution. But the current setup is quite straightforward.)
Templates in a nutshell
Here’s a brief summary of how templates work in Hook.
- Hook has a template files folder (per previous section) which affects what is presented in
Hook to Newmenus,
- Hook populates the “built-in templates” folder with blank templates (empty files),
- you can add and remove templates from the custom template folder,
- if you want new notes (such as .txt notes) to have default text in them, just add a template in the custom folder, and
- if your favorite file-creating app is not listed in
Hook to Newmenus, try creating a blank file with the app and storing it in the custom template folder.
Hook currently does not provide a mechanism for users to configure templates in database-style apps (like OmniFocus and CulturedCode Things). However, this can be done by customizing the
Hook to New script.
More details on templates
To view your templates, just click the “Open Templates Folder in Finder” button in this preference pane.
Hook to New… command (with ellipses) lists one entry per file in the the ~/Documents/Hook/templates folder. It is your macOS account preferences, not Hook’s preferences, that determines the app that opens the file that you have chosen.
Here’s an example of custom templates:
- template 2.txt
- BBEDIT PROJECT– XXX Project — BBEdit PROJECT.bbprojectd
Hook ignores the text before the “.”. So if you have a template called
tap-.taskpaper it will be listed as “TaskPaper.taskpaper” (assuming that TaskPaper is installed and your default for such files).
Removing apps from
Hook to New menus
If you would like to prevent a particular file-based app from showing up in the
Hook to New menu, just make sure there is no file in the templates folder that has its extension. For example, if you want to prevent OmniGraffle from showing up in the
Hook to New menu, just delete template.graffle from the “built-in templates” and “custom templates” folder. However, from time to time CogSci Apps updates templates, which can cause built-in templates to re-appear.
If an app is not on your Mac, or some other app is the default app for its template files, then the app will not appear in
Hook to New menus.
Restore Built-in Notes Templates button
You can experiment with templates to your heart’s content. You can easily revert to the original state of affairs by using the “Restore Built-in Notes Templates” button, and emptying the “custom templates” folder. This button sneds the contents of the built-in templates folder to the trash, and copies all the built-in templates from the Hook application folder back into the “Built-in Notes Templates” folder.
Automatically adding a prefix and/or suffix to new notes
On the General preferences tab, you can also configure Hook to automatically add a prefix and/or a suffix to note files that it creates. This can make them easier to find with Spotlight or a launcher (such as Alfred or LaunchBar).
For example, you might configure Hook to prefix new note files with an opening square bracket:
[. Later, to quickly find this note without navigating links, just type
[ in a launcher, followed by part of the filename. Or use Spotlight.
For example, you might type
[Notes in spotlight to quickly find a file that you linked to this page via
Hook to New, because it would be called
[Notes Tab – Hook (possibly with some suffix such as
This strategy is explained in detail in the “Surf Strategically” chapter of Beaudoin’s ebook, Cognitive Productivity with macOS.
A related tip: On the General preferences tab, you can also configure Hook to automatically apply the “Hook” Finder tag to files it creates or simply links. That way you can easily find all your Hook linked files using Spotlight, using this search string :
tag:Hook. You can also use Spotlight to access a particular file you know you’ve tagged and which matches some other parameter (such as its date modified, name, or content).