Using BetterTouchTool and Mail on OS X

A short post today, but one that packs a productivity punch on OS X I'm sure you'll agree.

Last week, I wrote about three tools I purchased from Indev Software to help with my Mail workflow on OS X - Mail Tags, Mail Act-On and Mail Perspectives. I've been using these tools consistently, slowly developing my muscle memory to remember the shortcuts needed to assign keywords, projects, tickler dates etc. As I'm having to spend quite a lot of time in Mail for different projects, developing this workflow is crucial and fairly time sensitive.

One issue I have found, however, is that in order to leverage as many shortcuts as possible, my fingers are roaming all over the keyboard when invoking certain commands and actions. I use the heck out of the following shortcuts as an example:

Bringing up the Mail Tags window is (⌃⌘T), Reply All is ⬆⌘R Forward is ⬆⌘F*§* brings up the Mail Act On window and from there:

- 1 assigns a Project
- 2 assigns a Keyword
- 3 brings up the Rules window

In the Rules window, we have:

- ⌥1 defers the email for a day
- ⌥3 defers the email for three days
- ⌥4 removes all keywords from the message.

These shortcuts are going to grow as my system matures but already you can see there is quite a range of keystrokes that I need to commit to muscle memory and my fingers need to be quite dextrous. I need something to make this easier. As well as these MailTags and Act-On shortcuts, I also send messages to DEVONthink as well, which is ⌃⌘⌥M

Hello BetterTouch Tool

BetterTouch Tool is a free tool that allows you to assign trackpad gestures and keyboard shortcuts to specific applications, as well as globally. This helps solve my problem and is the perfect fit for an efficient OS X Mail workflow.

You can see from the screenshot below how I have remapped those shortcut commands with BetterTouch Tool gestures and now I will rarely need to take my fingers away from the trackpad.

I'm going to cover the use of BTT as one of my first screencasts here on MyProductiveMac as I think it's going to have a huge impact on you if you allow it in to your workflow.

I can't believe I haven't used BetterTouch Tool before now. There are so many possibilities for it, I'm going to have to restrain myself from diving into it too much! It's one of those tools that I know is going to be the answer to a problem at some point in the future.