Built-in Templates

Hook contains a collection of built-in templates for use with the Hook to New… ⌃⌘N command. They are stored in ~/Documents/Hook/templates/built-in templates folder. Please have a look.

This enables you to quickly create new files that begin with a given template. Hook to New… will bidirectionally link (“hook”) the new file to the source/context in which you called Hook to New. When you use Hook to New…, Hook makes a copy of the template in the ~/Documents/Hook/Notes folder (you can change that default in the Notes Preferences tab).

Most of Hook’s built-in templates are empty. However, we’ve also provided some very useful templates including the following which are based on Cognitive Productivity books by CogSci Apps Corp. co-founder Luc P. Beaudoin.

1. Detailed single-file templates

Analytical Notes about.txt

This template is for taking detailed notes about something you’ve hooked (could be a web page, PDF, ebook, or anything). You’ll get a lot more from your deep readings if you use this template.
* todo-list.taskpaper. This is for writing action items. If you do not have TaskPaper, it will not be shown in the Hook to New… menu. However, you should check out TaskPaper or other linkable todo apps.. This template contains information you won’t get in traditional todo apps, but that are essential for managing your projects.

2. Folder templates.

By popular demand, as of Hook 3.0, Hook enables you to Hook to New folders. Hook’s built-in folder contains some awesome template folders, as follows:

2.1 Composition template folder with plain text files.

Great authors create systematically. Using a template folder will streamline your composition process.

That is for creative projects like authoring articles, blog posts, books, presentations and screencasts. It has the major components of most writing project. This can easily be adapted for creative writing, musical composition and writing legal documents.


  • draft-.txt : this is for writing the actual draft.
  • elements-.txt : this is for designing the conceptual elements of the creation: thesis, argument, counter-arguments to anticipate, rebuttal, misc content, related/model publications, lists of tables and figures, etc.
  • outline-.txt: an outline
  • plan-.txt: This is for you to specify the rationale, requirements, constraints of the creation, as well as your strategy and decisions, and even post-completion tasks.
  • **scratchpad-.txt: This is for random notes about the creation.
  • title-.txt: It is very helpful to separate the title in its own document, because it often drives the project, and you may wish to keep previous versions of the title.


  • Communications, reviews, comments, etc.. This is for storing correspondence, or links to the correspondence, regarding this project. Examples: PDFs of emails from the editor, co-authors, and reviewers. These can also contain .hook files that link to them. (Of course you could also just hook the correspondance to this folder.)
  • Figures: It’s handy to keep all your figures and images in one folder.
  • Hook (.hook) files: Often times you will want to keep a collection of .hook files, each one linking to a resource, such as the publisher’s style guide, key PDFs on your Mac, your task folders, project plans, etc. You can even link to content in DEVONthink, EagleFiler, Curio, iCloud, Dropbox or on the web.
  • Previous Drafts: Rather than allowing previous drafts to clutter the top level folder, it’s handy to store them in this sub-folder.
  • Resources and Research. Any substantial creative project has research. You can store raw PDFs here, or .hook links to them.

Tip! Customize the composition folder

Do customize this template folder to suite your needs.

For example, if you like to write in a different app, then replace these text files with those apps. For example you might

  • replace the draft-.txt file with a Pages, Word, or Nisus writer document.
  • add an outline, such as an OmniOutliner outline
  • add a Curio document for note-taking, research, brainstorming, sketching and more.
  • add digrams in the template folder (e.g., in Sketch , Diagrams.app or OmniGraffle)
  • add mind maps (e.g., in FreePlane, iThoughts, or MindNode) to the diagrams folder

Best to move the Composition template folder to the “custom templates” folder first, but you can also edit it in place.

2.2 Contact Info & Meetings Meetings templates (Plain text and OmniOutliner versions).

Hook’s Contact Info & Meetings Meetings template turns Hook into an indispensable tool for managing your contact information and meetings!

How to use this? Select the person’s profile on LinkedIn, Twitter or a contact management app, then do Hook to New > Contact Info & Meetings Meetings. Hook will replicate the contact folder template (creating an instance of it), and link it to the source, rename all of the files, hook them together!, etc.

The template folder contains the following files:

  • Contact info re : Don’t limit yourself to the awkward constraints of Apple’s contacts apps, or related ones. Use your favorite editor , outliner or other app to store relevant information about this contact here.
  • Agenda for meetings with : When ideas for things to discuss with this person, group or organization come to mind, just write them here. When the meeting starts, consult these notes to make sure you cover everything and stay on track.
  • Notes of meeting in progress with: While a meeting is in progress, write your notes here. By using this dedicated file, you can consult the agenda and meeting minutes while writing your notes. Take it from a cognitive scientist: contrary to pop-psychology, meetings are a place where multi-tasking is essential. Don’t take notes? Well, then you’re wasting everyone’s time. (You will forget).
  • Minutes of meetings with: After the meeting, transfer your notes into a more polished minutes document.

Here’s what Hook to New > Contact Info & Meetings Meetings on Jay Miller (@kjaymiller) / Twitter for OmniOutliner users yields:

A folder named Jay Miller (@kjaymiller) / Twitter, containing these files

  • Agenda for meeting with Jay Miller (@kjaymiller) / Twitter.ooutline
  • Contact info re Jay Miller (@kjaymiller) / Twitter.ooutline
  • Minutes of meetings with Jay Miller (@kjaymiller) / Twitter.ooutline
  • Notes of meeting in Progress with Jay Miller (@kjaymiller) / Twitter.ooutline

Notice that Hook has given the replicated folder the same name as the source. The names of the files in the replicated folde are based on the internal template name and the source name.

When you compare the template folder and replicated folder side by side you can clearly see the naming conventions.

If you don’t want / Twitter to appear in the names of folders and file created by Hook to New..., you can use Finder’s batch rename to get rid of it. Hook links will survive the renaming.

The upshot is that you can then

  1. navigate instantly from Jay Miller’s Twitter profile to his Contact folder. You can also randomly search for it using Hook.
  2. instantly navigate between the key items in the replicated folder.
  3. easily find these items with Hook’s search, Spotlight or a launcher — because they are predictably named. For instance just search for “agenda Jay” in Hook and you’ll find the entry point. You can then open it (⏎), navigate to hooked items (→) and/or reveal in Finder (⌘R).

3. Other built-in templates

Hook has many other built-in templates that are left blank, ready for you to customize.

Tip: Resetting the built-in template folder

If you want to revert to the default built-in templates, just delete the built-in templates folder. Hook will rebuild it automatically next time you invoke the Hook window.

Custom templates

If you’re using an app that also stores its files on Finder but is not showing up in Hook to New..., just put an empty file made by the app in the custom templates folder, and you’ll see an entry for it next time you use Hook to New... . For instance, if Hook did not have a Pages entry in Hook to New..., you could add a “.pages” document to your templates folder and next time it would show up in Hook to New. Of course, Hook does ship with a .pages template.

For a custom template example, which you can download for free, see How to Create Systematically and Stay “in the Zone” using OmniFocus, OmniOutliner, OmniGraffle and Hook – Hook

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