In many ways, I’m really, really excited about the potential of Hook, and I’m already using it for several things, but it’s not the Swiss Army knife I was hoping for. Here are some thoughts on it, in the interest of generating some discussion among beta-users. I hope it’s useful! (BTW this connects to some earlier discussion with Luc here: Managing sets of linked items). And perhaps there are people who can point out how I’m missing the potential here.
- When I’m working in a document, I can link reference materials to it. But then I’m in the mode of being based in a “hub” document, and I go out and connect spokes. This is good for when I leave the document, in search of something, find it, and then want to connect it to what I just left, as I return. Maybe I should work more like that, but even when I don’t get lost down a rabbit hole, I’m constantly stumbling across materials that I know I’ll need for something else later, and I don’t want to forget about the connection or have to redo the search.
- Case in point: I’m working on a syllabus for a course; I go out looking for information about additional readings…on the web, in previous documents, in Bookends, etc. I can copy links and paste those when I return to the syllabus document.
- What most disappointing about the current (beta!) version of Hook is it’s not particularly useful as a tool for of gathering things for later.
- As I’ve been trying it out, I have considered making an anchor document, to which I could keep sending stuff. And then I realized, it would be much simpler just to make a Finder tag for that, which I could add to various files at any point, with autocompletion and available on iOS. Of course, this doesn’t work for some things (though MailTags helps), and Hook is very good at generating a link to pretty much anything – but at the cost of having to use Hook (and macOS) to access it.
- Moreover, the main problem is still with situations in which I often come across things and realize it would be useful to link it to something other than what I’m working on right now (or also for that other matter). For that, Hook is really awkward. Am I supposed to go looking for a file associated with that other project, and then use Hook to copy it, and then come back to the item that’s open so that I can link it? What I would actually like is a drop-down menu of recent “anchor” files that I could use for collecting things, and in addition to “Link to Copied Address” I get “Link to Recent Item” and “Link to Favorite Item” where I can pick a destination from a list.
- Unlike tags, none of this linking is available on iOS
- Hook is also frustrating when it comes to batching the creation of links; even if I didn’t find it so annoying to have to do so much with the mouse (dragging items to the little icon on the menu bar), it’s still quite difficult to add things in batches. For example, I’ve had difficulty dra
- It’s also pretty opaque how the “notes” folder works and what the status is of the files that live there.
- I just don’t get how the “meshing” is supposed to work, unless I can do it at a point when I’ve already got everything selected at one time. But I’ve discuss that elsewhere, and Luc has patiently explained his approach: Managing sets of linked items