September 17, 2008

shortcut to create a new email from anywhere from within os x (aka stupid shortcut hack #145)

It’s come to this, blogging stupid Mac desktop shortcut productivity hacks. But since “sharing is caring” and I really do care, here’s a quick little thing that I’m sharing with you.

Problem: Help! I’m in a random application and I need to send a quick email and I’m just too lazy to mouse or cmd-tab over to and find that new message button; I want to do it now! Right now! Because every second counts! (And oh – I’m one of the three people who care about stuff like this but don’t already run Quicksilver![1])

Solution: A “mailto:” webloc file and Spotlight.

  1. Go bookmark a site in Safari. Any site.
  2. Switch to the bookmark management view by clicking Bookmarks > Show All Bookmarks
  3. Edit the name of the bookmark you just created to “msg” (or “email” or “create an obligation to reply for someone you love”)
  4. Edit the address of the bookmark to “mailto:” (without the quotes, and don’t forget the colon).
  5. Drag that bookmark to your desktop, where it will create a msg.webloc file.
  6. Then go file it away somewhere in your Documents, since I’m sure you’re one of those people who care about what’s on your desktop.
  7. There is no step 7!

As long as you have Spotlight configured to index webloc files, all you need to do is hotkey your way to the spotlight window and type “msg” (or your trigger word of choice) and voila, instant access to a new email message from wherever you are.

So there, go enjoy your faster emailing.

[1] If you’re one of those three people, Hi! We should have lunch sometime.