As of Hook 1.4, Hook sync capabilities are in public beta. Please be sure to backup your Hook library folder before proceeding. Please read How to Backup and Restore Hook Data.
In a nutshell
You know that Hook supplies the missing links in your favorite operating system. Now, Hook syncs them too!
Hook’s sync mechanism is extremely easy to use. It simply copies your links into a sync folder, and reads link information from the same folder. You can choose whatever mechanism you like to ensure the sync folder itself is available across your Macs. Whether that folder is in a cloud storage service, on a USB drive or elsewhere, does not matter. (See Choosing a folder in which to sync Hook links.)
That means your link data is under your control. It is never sent to CogSci Apps servers. And you need not, and indeed cannot, configure syncing accounts in Hook.
Benefits of Hook link syncing
After you configure and enable Hook syncing on two Macs,
- when you Hook-link two items together on one Mac, they will also be linked on the other Mac;
- when you delete a Hook-link on one Mac, the link will be deleted from the other.
This will happen so long as you ensure that the same sync folder is available on both Macs.
That is super handy for people who use more than one Mac. That means if you establish links between your files, emails, web pages, tasks, and more… those links will work on both Macs, as long, as what you linked is present on both Macs of course.
How to configure syncing
To enable syncing on a Mac:
- using Finder, create a new empty folder where Hook links will be synced. See Choosing a folder in which to sync hook links;
- in Hook’s Preferences > Sync tab, click on the folder icon, then choose a folder; and
- on the same (Sync) tab, click on the “Activate” button.
- Make sure your Mac is connected to a power source (other than battery).
Give Hook a bit of time to do some background processing. The link files will start appearing in the Hook sync folder.
Now, if you want another Mac to have access to those links, on that Mac
- make sure that same folder is accessible to it. Use whatever means you want, such as Dropbox, Resilio or a USB drive;
- in Hook’s Preferences > Sync tab, click on the folder icon, then choose the folder; and
- on the same (Sync) tab, click on the “Activate” button.
That’s it! Your two Macs will automatically synchronize, so long as they can both access the folder in which Hook syncs its links.
Both Macs do not need to be connected to that folder at the same time.
Choosing a folder in which to sync Hook links
To sync your Hook links, using the Preferences > Sync tab, you select a folder in the Finder in which Hook will store its sync data (links). You can choose an existing folder that is empty, or create a new one.
Choose a folder that is, or will, be accessible from the other Mac via its Finder. For example, you can choose a
- a cloud software synced folder that is available on your Macs (could be Dropbox, iCloud, Box, Google Drive, or any well behaved cloud syncing service),
- a Network Drive,
- peer to peer service like Resilio,
- rsyncOSX/RsyncOSX, an
- an external drive (e.g., a USB SSD drive that you take between computers),
- or other mechanisms.
If you choose to store your links in an external drive, you will typically then need to then connect that drive to the other Mac in order for the links to be used by the other Mac. That will be handy for some users who already carry an external drive between computers.
Of course, the user account on which you use Hook needs to have permission to read from, and write to, the folder you choose.
Issue: Your Macbook must be connected to a power to sync
There is a temporary issue with Hook 1.4, such that Hook will only sync your links if your Mac is connected to a power outlet. If your MacBook is running from battery, Hook will not sync its links. This will be fixed.
FAQ: what else can I do (or not do) with the sync folder
The sync folder should not be used for any other purpose than to store Hook links. And you should let Hook do that, which means you shouldn’t manually add or remove files from it.
However, you can delete the folder. If you plan to delete the folder, it’s a good idea first to deactivate Hook syncing (using the “Deactivate” button on the Sync tab in Hook Preferences.) However, Hook will remain functional even if you delete the folder while it is syncing. (Obviously, if you delete the folder before Hook has read the folder’s latest content, Hook will not be able to incorporate the latest content.)
FAQ: What does Hook sync?
When you enable Hook sync, Hook stores a copy of your link data in the selected folder. This includes all the Hook links that you see in the contextual Hook window. It also contains link information for any item in relation to which you have invoked the
Copy Link or
Copy Markdown Link, or dropped onto Hook’s menu bar icon.
This function does not sync any of the content (files, emails, tasks, calendar entries, address book entries, web pages, etc.) that you have linked. Hook only deals with links.
Obviously, if you want to be able to use particular links between Macs, you need to ensure that the linked items are accessible between Macs. Fortunately, there are plenty of services you can use to sync your linked content. For example, iCloud can sync your email, calendars, contacts and more. Dropbox, Box, Resilio and other services can sync your files. Many apps , like OmniFocus, have their own sync services. If the linked items are files, make sure that the files are available on both machines (e.g., that the Dropbox folder containing the file is available, or that the USB drive containing the file is plugged in).
You might even have Hook-links between files that are in version control systems (Git, SVN, or any other system that stores its files on Finder). If you want the links to work, just make sure that the linked files are available on both Macs, and the links will normally work. (Hook attempts to re-anchor links to files between Macs based on the folder hierarchy and file name.)
Suppose that on Mac 1, you’ve linked a file, “File-1”, to another file, “File-2”. On Mac 2, you’ve synced your links and File 1, but not “File 2”. When you invoke Hook on Mac 2, “File 1”, you will not see a link to “File 2”. Hook knows that the file is missing. (It could however mistake a similarly stored and named file.) But if “File 2” later appears (because, say you plug in a drive that contains “File 2”), then the next time you invoke Hook on “File 1”, you will see the link to “File 2”.
FAQ: What does Hook not sync?
Hook only syncs its links. That means that it does not sync:
- Its preferences
- The Hook folder, which contains Hook templates, Hook files (by default) and Hook Notes.
Hook does not sync your note files and Hook files because they are regular files that you can move anywhere on your Mac. For instance, you can store your notes in EagleFiler, DEVONthink or elsewhere. In fact, some notes are objects in apps (e.g. in Evernote or Tinderbox).
FAQ: What about the Privacy of my links?
Hook never sends your link folder or links to CogSci Apps servers.
Syncing is as private as the mechanism you choose to store the Hook sync-folder in. For instance,
- if you store that folder in iCloud, then it’s as private as an iCloud folder is;
- if you store that folder in Dropbox folder, then it’s as private as the Dropbox folder is;
- if you store that folder in a mobile USB drive, then it’s as private as the USB drive is;
The link files themselves are plain text — regarding links with meta-data. You can have a look if you’re curious. They do not contain the content of that which the links point to. For example, if a link points to a file or web page, that file or web page is not stored by Hook.
FAQ: Can I delete the Sync folder?
Yes, you can delete the sync folder. It’s a good idea to deactivate syncing first, but even then Hook should be robust.
Hook does not directly utilize the Sync folder to resolve links. Instead, it merges information to and from its database via the Sync folder.
FAQ: Can I share my Sync folder with other users
You should not share your link folder with other users, unless you are all sharing the same macOS accounts.
FAQ: How many Macs can I sync ?
You can use Hook on as many Macs as you have have licensed for use with Hook. See the Buy page for details.
Having said that, you can sync your Hook sync folder with as many computers as you want. In other words, Hook reads and writes to a Sync folder; what you do with that folder is up to you.
FAQ: Is there a sync progress indicator?
When activated, Hook’s syncing runs in the background. The time depends on how many links Hook needs to process and the speed of your Mac.
Hook does not currently provide an indicator of sync progress. However, a progress indicator may be introduced in the Sync tab in the non-beta version of Hook syncing.
Please keep in mind that Hook sync merely reads and writes data from a folder. The progress of syncing between Macs also depends on the technology you use to transfer the data from this folder between Macs. Some of the underlying services you may use (e.g., Dropbox or Resilio) to synchronize your data between Macs do provide progress indicators; others (like iCloud) do not.
FAQ: Is Hook syncing a cloud service?
Hook’s Sync function, itself, is not a cloud service; however, you can use any cloud storage service to sync Hook links. That is to say that you can store your Hook Sync folder in the cloud, using a cloud service of your choice. The cloud service (Dropbox, iCloud, whatever) is not configured inside Hook. See Choosing a folder in which to sync Hook links, above.
Benefits of Hook’s sync design: Easy to use, integrative, value-added
CogSci Apps felt no need to reinvent the wheel. Instead of building a completely new syncing service, it lets you choose your own sync service and storage medium.
The design of Hook’s syncing mechanism is completely consistent with the design of Hook itself:
- syncing is very simple and easy to use,
- Hook does not replace your existing sync services but lets you use them,
- Hook does not take-in your sync account credentials,
- none of your link data are stored on CogSci Apps servers, and
- Hook adds value to your existing software (the software that creates, edits and syncs the info that Hook links).
Hook supplies the missing links between your precious information. Now, Hook syncs them too!