Good and Geeky

David Allen Wizardgold

David Allen Wizardgold

How to Be Good and Geeky One Step at a Time

Hook For Productivity

Table of Contents

Good and geeky

This morning I’ve been looking at the application Hook to get more understanding about how to use it. It works pretty good when using it with Drafts, but I can see a little bit of a problem when using it with Craft. I’ll spend a bit more time working it out and then make a video showing how I can use it. It’s an amazing tool for use with various projects where you need to link files together. This can be done to a certain extent by using tags. I could put the same tag on all the files for a project, then search for the tag to get everything I need. This would mean I could have files spread all across the computer and still get my hands on what I want. Where Hook is better is being able to connect individual emails and webpages to the project. Hook works well with Drafts and I can see that would be the good starting point for a project. Link everything within the project to one draft. It makes a lot of sense when you’ve got all sorts of different types of data.

What Can you Link ?

  • Web Pages – Various browsers
  • PDF Documents – Apps like PDF Pen Pro and Skim
  • Emails
  • Text documents
  • Mind Map – Tried it with iThoughts and it worked fine.
  • Files of any sort in Finder – audio or video included
  • Ebook Readers – Tried with Books app and it worked fine.
  • Diagramming Apps like OmniGraffle
  • Task Mangers – Not Reminders, OmniFocus, TaskPaper, Agenda and Things.
  • Outliners
  • Utilities – Trickster, PathFinder, Forklift
  • Information Managers like Evernote, Devonthink and Craft
  • Lots of Note taking apps
  • Journal App – Day One – Using Keyboard Maestro

So How Useful Is Hook

When you’re working on a project it’s possible that you want to bring in information from various sources. You might have information in emails, PDFs, various image files and text sources. You could probably get away with moving all that information into one folder on your Mac. If this is a temporary project you could have a folder on your desktop so it would be easy to remember where you need to save everything. You could copy and paste from an email into a separate document to save in this folder. It would be difficult to have just about everything all in one place, double-click on whatever item when you need to open it up and see it.

Tagging files is a solution to linking all this information together. The advantage of using Hook would be the possibility of deep linking. Instead of linking to a file you linked to a pertinent place within the file. You would still have to export out of some applications like email to get to the right information. I use MailMate for my email and I can tag the relevant email to make it easier to find. That tagging system doesn’t link in with the Apple tagging system. So it would be necessary to copy and paste the email into a separate file or app to get the full linking.

Another way to work on a project would be to use something like Craft. Do the copy and pasting to get everything into a project folder within the application. This would be better than using a folder in Finder as all the information would be more visible. You can do whatever linking you need to do from one snippet of data to any others. Craft has extremely good deep linking facilities and it might be all you would need.

On my Mac I like to have types of documents saved in specific places. I use the application Hazel to send files of certain types to specific folders as they arrive in places like the downloads folder or on the desktop. It’s a good way to keep everything neat and tidy! I wouldn’t be keen on having a folder where I’d have to move things at the beginning of a project and then relocates everything when the project was finished.

Advantages of Using Hook

Automate with StreamDeck

There are many more options of linking by using Hook. The links are robust so if a file is moved or has the name changed the link will still work. Using keyboard shortcuts to access Hook makes the process seamless. I also have a Hook button on my Stream Deck. Then I have a profile in stream deck which presents itself whenever I am hooking. This profile gives me access to the keyboard shortcuts to complete the hooking process.

Activate Hook from StreamDeck
StreamDeck and Hook
Streamdeck Hook Profile

Deep linking

It’s good when you can link to a specific place within a document and not just to the overall documents. If you’re working in a large PDF it would be a nuisance to have to do a search to get to the exact point in the document you need.

Project Hub – Links to Everything

Instead of taking the contents of an email to put somewhere else, use Hook to link it to where ever is your hub for the project. That could be in another app like Craft, Drafts, TextEdit or in a To Do app like Agenda or Omnifocus. I would go for Craft myself because I can add images and go beyond text alone. Also there is the Wiki style linking to further organise in Crafts. Still possible to link in the organisational aspects of a get things done application.

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