Use Gaming Mice to "GTD": The More Buttons, the Better

Use Gaming Mice to "GTD": The More Buttons, the Better

Range Govindan
Jun 20, 2011

Gaming mice can be pretty useful to people who want to get things done, even if you're not really a gamer. Gaming mice often come equipped armed with an arsenal of customizable buttons. So instead of executing spellcraft or quickly calling up the use of a weapon for your favorite PC title, these mice can be programmed with a plethora of shortcuts, accelerating your productivity in a single press. All in all, the sweet spot is about 10 programmable buttons to allow you to GTD ("Getting Things Done").

While we use mostly use our Xbox 360 for gaming purposes, it hasn't stopped us from being fans of gaming mice. The main reason is that these type of specialized mice also allow you to program many different shortcuts, making your interaction with a computer that much faster. In comparison, we've found that the acceleration is similar to using text expansion versus not using any; now that's fast, especially once you start to know the shortcuts by touch.

A typical modern mouse might have anywhere from 4 to 6 programmable buttons. Usually, they come programmed with default shortcuts, but most of them can be changed and customized via a small program provided by the manufacturer. Here are some of the most common used shortcuts that can be mapped onto the programmable buttons of a gaming mouse:

  • Select All -> CTRL+A -> ⌘+A
  • Copy -> CTRL+C -> ⌘+C
  • Delete -> DELETE Key
  • Paste -> CTRL+V -> ⌘+V
  • Quit -> ALT+F4 -> ⌘+Q
  • Close -> CTRL+W -> ⌘+W
  • Open Explorer -> Window Key+E
  • Open New Window -> CTRL+N -> ⌘+N

Some mice will allow you to map apps as well. You can use them to map your most common apps. These could include:

  • Browser: Firefox or Google Chrome
  • Word Processor: MS Word
  • Image Edition: Adobe Photoshop
  • Media Playback: WM Player or iTunes

The shortcuts listed above include ones for both Windows and OS X users. We tend to use a mouse for our PC but not for our Mac. If you share this preference, then we recommend trying using the Better Touch Tool app in order to program your touchpad with some additional shortcuts.

Here are some gaming mice:
1. Razer Gaming Mice and Keyboards
2. Cyborg R.A.T. Mouse
3. Razer Mamba Gaming Mouse
4. Logitech G500 Gaming Mouse
5. Belkin N52TE

Using Text Expansion to Make Computers Faster
Optimizing Your Mouse for Faster Computing
Keyboard Shortcuts for OS X
Apps That Get the Most Out of Your Touchpad

(Photos by Range and Flickr member Scanlime licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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