Proactive Hook notification that Hooks exist in current context

I would benefit from having an optional operational mode for Hook, in which Hook would sense the context in which I am working (application and document) and automatically pop-up a message that "Hooks exist for this document … " and provide the details. The result would be similar to clicking the Hook menubar icon, but I would like the option to have Hook give me the information without asking.

As Hooks proliferate, it would be helpful if Hook were (optionally) more forthright. I realize there are CPU and other issues with this. But please consider.




Thank you, @Katie_v. We’ve experimented with variants of this (though not notification-based, that is a new idea). There’s work in progress in 2.3 that , I hope, will pave the way for this. Hook aims to help users stay in context and flow; so I agree it is imperative that it effortlessly provide such contextual information.


I really like that idea Katie! I often forget what is hooked and what isn’t.

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Let me put it another way: I’d hook much more if I felt I wouldn’t lose stuff. This idea would strongly contribute to that.


Off the top of my head, I think an ideal UX for me would be to see the menu bar item illuminate when the currently hookable thing is hooked to something else. That’s unobtrusive, but just visible enough for me to notice.

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Thank you, @peeja , and Welcome to the Hook Productivity Forum .

We ( CogSci Apps) experimented with that in the past but encountered issues. We will revisit.

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This is a good suggestion. The problem is: who watches the menu bar while they are using apps or visiting sites on their computer? It seems not much different than invoking Hook, an action that naturally shows that Hooks exist.

What I am suggesting is not a query (“Do I have a hook here…?”) but a notification (“You have a hook here, BTW…?”). I use “notification” guardedly – Hook should not put these alerts into macOS Notifications – it would fill up the Notification center with junk, become annoying, and thus be turned off and ignored.

Tough UI problem to solve, for sure.


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I’d notice something in the menu bar. I already look there for the system volume, my remaining battery, and the current time. The menu bar is something that’s always visible, which makes it a great place for a passive status indicator. Conversely, I’d be pretty annoyed if some sort of notification popped up every time I opened something I’d hooked.

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I think CogSci Apps needs to try to satisfy both preferences. Many don’t want notifications, some do.

It might be that for users of a small monitor, a menu bar icon animation can act as a notification which might satisfy both (or some of both). In this case, I would think it would need to be a double preference.
menu bar icon

  • hooked item status indication [ √ ]
    • with animation [ ]

On a big monitor, that might not satisfy those who want a bigger notification.

in any event, CogSci Apps is listening (and we have related ideas in mind).

[Speaking of which, I’m really looking forward to releasing Hook 2.3. Still a bit of dev and some QA to go.]


Menu Bar is problematic. For many years now - on a 15" MacBook Pro - my menu bar has been full to the extent of using Bar Tender to manage it. And some apps wipe out whole swathes of the menu bar real estate.

This seems to me to be a more general MacOS UI problem than just Hook. Maybe Notifications is there answer. I couldn’t say.


I would be satisfied with a small floating indicator – like a small stoplight button – that is always on top, and which I could move around the screen to suit me, and that lights up when the context I am looking at – browser, a document in an app, etc. – is involved in a hook linkage. Maybe then click the floater to open Hook to show the available links.

I don’t know of any app that does this – buy why not :smile: ?


Screenshot of Curio (2-22-21, 6-27-48 PM)


yep, and it’s made worse with Big Sur which adds spacing up there.


I’m assuming a window title bar is infeasible also.

Meanwhile, if visibility is key and one is dealing with Finder files, one can also create a subfolder t the current project folder for .hook files. (Or just let the .hook files accumulate in the given folder). I’ve added a section about that in Make Hook File – Hook.

That’s also quite useful when collaborating. We use them a lot here in our version control systems and locally synced shared cloud folders.

Also, as useful as the HOOKED section of the Hook window is, some people don’t like browsing popup windows. Locally stored .hook files are an alternative to that. .hook files can contain any URL or Markdown link.

My writing project template folder includes an empty Hook files folders. (Before Hook, i used aliases but of course aliases only deal with files, and they are limited in many other ways.) I think I mentioned in that in my TaskPaper blog post. (Speaking of folders, we’re finally looking at adding Hook to New > Folder, which was requested and I’ve also wanted from day 1.)


Dock icon.
With a badge counting the “hooks”, eg (3)

Edit: having a Dock icon would offer additional benefits: dragging a file to hook.


This is a great suggestion and I hope the developer can find some method of doing this. As a new user I find I waste time looking for links to files or notes by invoking Hook. I understand it is just a keystroke but it one more thing and one more distraction. Some method of letting you know on the fly that a link is present would be a great time saver.

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For files, I’d like to see an icon change (like a tiny badge) indicating a link exists. The inability to easily know when items are hooked made me stop using Hook when it was first released. I’m trying again because I see so many benefits to Hook, but we’ll see if this issue is still a deal breaker.

I have had a licence for Hook for a while (in fact, I have just renewed for another year) but in practice I never seem to use Hook (or only very rarely). In part this is probably due to the fact that I keep a lot of material in DEVONthink, which has its own links, but I think a large part of the problem is that with Hook I have no recollection of what I have linked and what I have not, and checking to find if there is a link on an item slows me down a lot more than one might think. Being of “a certain age” my short-term working memory has declined quite badly and if I do not complete certain operations quite promptly, I can actually forget what I was trying to do. (The effects of ageing came as quite a shock to me – I can think that I ought to do something, stand up, and realise when I am on my feet that I have forgotten what it was that I had intended to do. It can take minutes to recover the memory of the intention.)

Anyway, that is a long-winded way of saying that some sort of visual indicator that an item has a link would probably make the difference between me using Hook and not using it.



Whole-hearted agreement on this.


Totally agree

It is an immense shortcoming of Hook and always has been

At present Hook is great for Bookmarks, which I use in the context of outlines or notes that I write - in other words, in content where the existence of Hook links is implicitly documented.

It is indeed an extremely helpful app in that context - but not in the more general situations proposed by the developers.

The concept that one would routinely click on filenames in the hope that a link exists is nonsensical.

The app would be tremendously improved with an indicator as you suggest - this has been feedback to the developers going back to the earliest days of the app.