Revision History of Cognitive Productivity with macOS Book by Luc P. Beaudoin

The book Cognitive Productivity with macOS®: 7 Principles for Getting Smarter with Knowledge is officially complete. However, I have been making minor changes to it. This page contains the revision history of the book, from 2018-07-14 onwards. Dates/times are Pacific.

This book is only available as an ebook, which makes sense given that it’s about learning with technology. You can buy it from Leanpub, Amazon and on Apple’s iBookstore. The Leanpub version gives you access to the book in PDF, Kindle and e-pub (Apple iBooks) formats. I also revise the Leanpub version more frequently than the others. Leanpub also gives higher author royalties.


In Principle 2, “Manage Your Cognitive Life Mindfully”, I have revamped the section on “Manage Your Knowledge Sources”, which deals with Evernote, Leap, DEVONthink and now EagleFiler. I also added some text in the section on Quickly Accessing Sources describing a new CogSci Apps® invention called Hook. (Disclosure: I am co-founder of CogSci Apps). In Principle 5, “Delve Deeply”, I have also added a long section on “Note-taking in the app of your choice with Hook”.

Hook, which is now in public beta, is described here: . Three of its slogans are

  • “File less. Search less. Access.”
  • “Hook links your (digital) life.” And
    “One app, infinite applications.”

Here is a bit of context for this update to my book. In 2002, I identified one of the two most important and under-appreciated cognitive productivity problems afflicting knowledge workers and higher-ed students. Apart from readers of my first book, it seems that few people, even most experts in educational technology and personal information management, are, even today, crisply aware of this problem in its general form. Even the excellent recent (2016) scholarly treatment of personal information management, The Science of Managing Our Digital Stuff, published by The MIT Press, does not clearly identify this problem, let alone solve it. (I am not hereby criticizing that book. Just giving context.)

The problem I am talking about is the meta-access problem, or the problem of rapidly creating and accessing information related to your current focus.

The latest update to Cognitive Productivity with macOS describes the meta-access problem and presents Hook as a solution to the problem.

This is Leanpub book. As such, it is supposed to be updated based on reader fact. I will polish the new text based on reader feedback.

You may be wondering what I take to be the second “most important and under-appreciated cognitive productivity problems”. That is the challenge of understanding knowledge to the point of being able to apply it, which calls for productive practice. Productive practice is still not a well-known concept. (Those are the last two principles of my book.)

If you agree with me that the problems I identify in Cognitive Productivity books are very significant and under-appreciated, then I hope you will help spread the word about them. For to solve a societal problem, it is normally necessary for society to appreciate the problem, or at least to experiment with solutions.


Fixed all remaining cross-reference issues. Introduced new links. Other very minor changes.

Submitted the updated book to iBookstore. Some history here. Apple’s iTunes Producer choked on previous versions of the epub file I tried to upload to iBookstore. And yet the iBooks app itself was able to load the epub file. Its checks mustn’t be as strict. In June, I hired a contractor on upwork to fix these issues in the epub. The contractor worked on the Leanpub output, not the Markua source. I’m running many projects, so I was only able to spend a few hours per month here and there on the iBookstore side (and I always encourage my readers to buy from Leanpub rather than iBookstore or Amazon). This week, I finally rolled up my sleeves to address the issues. Leanpub worked late into the evening yesterday to find all the issues in the Markua source, and emailed me about them. I fixed them and was able to load the file to iBookstore.

Upshot: A new iBooks version of Cognitive Productivity with macOS®: 7 Principles for Getting Smarter with Knowledge is coming soon. And going forward, the iBookstore version of this book will only be a few days behind the Leanpub version. The lag is due to Apple’s review process.


Updated sections on OmniFocus and Evernote (Principle 2, Manage Your Cognitive Life Mindfully).


  • Added several hyperlinks and corrected others. Over 40 hyperlinks introduced or edited.
  • very minor changes in text


Fixed issues in Principle 3, “Assess”.

  • Corrected a typo
  • Fixed an image, “CUP’A in Relation to Forms of Value”, which had failed to appear. (Seems to be due to a Leanpub glitch: a replacing the image with a lower resolution image fixed the problem. The issue had not been noted as dramatic in the Leanpub book generation email to me. Just burried in with a bunch of other warnings “is too wide to fit on your page. We have made it a bit narrower for you. You don’t need to take any action. This image is used in these files:[…]”)


  • Added a couple of extras,
  • adapted the text referring to extras, and
  • corrected typos in frontmatter