See the potential but not getting the workflow

Honestly I will be content to wait for nvultra and bet it comes into Hook w all the bells and whistles even for a new and clueless user like me.

F & A

nvUltra site is up, not much content, but some hints. Also ability to sign up for the beta.

I’ve been on the beta list for months and heard nothing. Yes, I have seen the well-fleshed-out user guide, all the more ready for the release. I think this little project may actually make Brett some income!! Thanks fo the heads-up! I see a feeding frenzy when NVultra goes public.

There’s been nvALT support from the beginning of public beta.


I didn’t think to mention it — probably because in my own uses of nvALT, I would create notes with its “search or create field”, and link them with Hook the usual way. I’ve updated the page accordingly, and added entries for nvUltra and Quiver, and a future-oriented one for Spotify.

Over the years, several of my Cognitive Productivity readers have asked me about the successor of nvALT, and I’m not even the developer! So there must be a lot of pent up demand.

I really enjoyed nvALT and am enjoying nvUltra. It’s really interesting how some tools solve a “hidden” problem – a twist of the interface (“search and create” listing) can make such an interesting difference.

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I’m replying to give an example of how Hook has performed well for one user - me. I am a lawyer. I research case law, which means, I find cases in a legal database and I typically download them as PDFs. I read the cases in Preview.

As I’m reading the case, I want to take notes. With Hook, this process becomes extremely easy and fast. I invoke Hook, create a note, and begin typing my notes on the case. (I also tag the hook note using “#” and keywords so that I can find the Hook note with Spotlight. Of course, one can also use MacOS tags.) I pull up another case that was cited in the first case. I create another Hook note to take notes on that case. AND, I link the two cases together via Hook. I can even link the PDFs to their webpage counterparts in the legal database.

Now I’ve got a bunch of PDFs and text notes on the desktop. I’m moving from case to case, and I can immediately access my notes on each case using Hook, and I have linked cases together, using Hook, so that I can get to related material immediately by invoking Hook, rather than hunting through my pile of PDFs. Tags and keywords help me target a specific case or Hook note, which get me to the info I need extremely quickly. The overall effect is a fast, smooth, and unbroken workflow.


I’m not sure I understand exactly how to do this with a filename other than the one that Hook chooses. If I invoke Hook (Shift-Cmd-Spacebar) and choose Link To New and then choose BBEdit, I am presented with a blank BBEdit file with a name chosen by Hook. If I do a Save As with BBEdit, and choose a different name for that note, that note is saved, but it is not linked to the original place I was when I invoked Hook. What is linked is the file with the name I don’t want.

I think you have to be willing to let the filename be. But you can do stuff with the note to make it easily retrievable (beyond being permanently associated with the primary document). Like add tags within the text or MacOS tags to the note itself. To me, best use of the system is to let those Hook notes just sit in the Hook notes folder and forget about the names of the note files.

This is not a “one time” solution, since it’s fixed until you replace it, but in the “Notes” preferences in Hook you can assign a standard prefix / suffix to new notes.

A nice extension of this feature @LucB (if you’re listening) would be to train Hook to use placeholders in this configuration, so for example we could use


What I wish I could do is change the name as it appears in the list of linked notes. Right now those names are the actual filenames. It would be nice to be able to control the Displayed Name in that list. Sort of like treating Displayed Names as Aliases.

The only reason I now ask about Displayed Names is that it’s obvious Hook needs to control that Filename.

Take a look at this. Each note here has different text in it that was clipped from this thread, but I can’t tell what has what.

If those all link to the same context (this thread) they should all be in the same file shouldn’t they?

You can force a particular name by crafting a Markdown link to the context with the name you want then pasting that into the Hook window to connect it.

Why not just return to the same note and add text to it rather than generate new notes repeatedly? Keystrokes should be basically the same: you invoke Hook, then open the note. Then you add some text. If you use TextEdit as your default note reader, any edits save automatically.

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Sure that works. But I’d still like to change the filename that’s seen in the Displayed Notes image you see above, while making the note. Or be able to rename the Displayed Name to something more readable for future use, independent of the linked filename.

“Save as” is not actually changing the filename, but creating a new file with a different URI (address). That’s why the links don’t transpose.
Many apps, like OmniOutliner, have a “rename” function. This keeps the same filename, and so the Hook links still work.

BBEdit is my main text editor, and my default “Link to New” file type is .txt (which my main macOS account opens with BBEdit). When, while in BBEdit, I need to rename a file, I do this:

  1. invoke Hook
  2. ⇧⌘R (Reveal File in Finder).
  3. Rename in Finder (By hitting return key, and then editing)
  4. ⌘O (to open the file again in BBEdit)

That’s actually quite fast. And all Hook links are preserved.

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Yep, per my previous entry, rename is fully supported.

In some apps, it can happen that when you rename a file using their “rename” command, something happens in the background that causes aliases and Hook links to break. However, Hook uses heuristics and self-heals. So this rare occurrence is then patched.

renaming link entries may be particularly useful for links to read-only resources,i.e., where you can’t change their names (such as web pages and email). We are definitely considering allowing users to rename links (I’d go so far as to call that an intention of mine :slight_smile: ). In this case, we would provide a UI indicator that the link has been renamed, and we’d allow users to revert to the original name.

There are other features related to link names that will come up in the future.

Development-wise, like other companies, we’re balancing enhancements of various scales, from huge to minor, and any bug fixes that come up, along with, … summer vacations :slight_smile: . Also, we’re working behind the scenes on marketing initiatives, so we can reinvest in development. Given that it’s already extremely useful, we think there’s a lot of potential for growth. We appreciate the Hook community’s help in spreading the word about Hook productivity.

Since this forum topic deals with diverse (though related) topics, and given that the “rename” vs “save as” issue is worthy of attention (whether or not it was the issue underlying @ralvy 's question), I’ve created a knowledge base topic regarding : To keep your Hook links on a source file, instead of “Save As”, use “rename” (or use “Copy All Link” then “Link to Copied Addresses”) - Knowledge Base - Hook Productivity Forum

This works just the way I want it. Thanks.

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Wanted to chime in here and say I don’t understand why I can’t (maybe figure out???) how to link a newly invoked Hook (not copied, linked, etc…) TO AN EXISTING HOOK…OR…HOOK FILE.

Wouldn’t it make sense to be ale to invoke Hook and hit Tab to display either recently made hooks, or POSSIBLE Hook options based on the title of the hook? i.e. existing Hook files that have a common / shared word?

As a Launchbar user, these suggestions resonate strongly with me!
When reading the first one, I thought : “ha ha! that’s it, that’s what would help remove so much friction!”

Obviously you people at CogZest will know best if it’s really a good suggestion.
You might have even better plans for TAB…

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