How to Create an Automatic Email Template To Use in Keyboard Maestro

“Bakari, can you share the KM workflow for creating an email template with select email addresses, etc.?”

Thanks for asking, Brian. Unfortuneately, KM alone doesn’t handle email templates as well as say Automator. But thankfully KM can trigger Automator workflows. So here’s the steps to do that.

Create New Workflow in Automator

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Add a New Message Action

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Set Up Your Email Template

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Note: if you want to add different information to the template each time you send it, be sure to check “Show this action when the workflow runs.” You enable the workflow to show only selected items.

Save the Workflow in a Permenant Location

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Note: KM Automator workflows, not Automator Applications. So be sure to save your workflow in a folder where KM can find it.

Create a New Macro in Keyboard Maestro

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Add the “Execute an Automator Workflow” action to the macro, and then attach the Automator workflow file you just created. Give your macro a name and trigger, and you’re good to go. You will probably only want your macro to run in Mail, so create add to your Mail macros folder.

Let me know how this setup works for you.

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How to Quickly Email Yourself Using Snow Leopard’s Automator Services Menu

I use an iPhone app called Note to Self on my iPhone. It’s useful for quickly emailing a note to yourself (or any designated recipient) without having to tap for a new email window, type an address and subject line and then hit the send button. With this app, you simply tap it open, write your note, and click send.

The app is similar to a Automator workflow I use on my desktop. Specifically, this workflow will take any text currently copied to the clipboard and email it directly to yourself or any specified email address you include in the address field.

The workflow is saved as a Service menu item, which makes it accessible when you’re working in an application which involves text. This service workflow won’t, for example, show up if you have an image document opened up in Preview. It works best when you have text selected and copied. You can access the workflow by selecting the Services menu of an application, or you can create a keyboard shortcut to execute the workflow. You can also assign a shortcut key to activate it.

Here’s how you set it up. The screencast version of this article is posted here: http://screenr.com/aL8

1. Open Automator and select Services and then Choose from the drop-down window.

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2. Leave the top two buttons of the Services action as is.

3. Select Text under the Actions panel and then drag the Get Specified Text into the main workflow window under the services action.

4.Click on Utilities in the Actions panel and select Get Contents from the Clipboard and drag it under the previous action in the workflow window.

5. Back to the Actions panel, click on Mail and select the New Mail Message action and drag it in the workflow. Fill in the text field for the email address or addresss where you want the mail sent by default. You can leave the Message window blank because it will be filled with the contents of what you copy to the clipboard. Or you can add text to the message that you want included each time you run the action. Also choose an account for outgoing mail.

6. Go back to the list of Mail actions and select and drag Send Outgoing Mail Message into the workflow window.

7. Select and copy some text, then click on Run in the Automator toolbar to test your workflow. It should automatically send an email to you consisting of the content you copied to the clipboard. You can leave off the last workflow action, Send Outgoing Mail Message if you prefer to see the new mail message before it’s sent.

8. Finally, click on Save As and title your workflow, e.g. “Note to me.”

If you open System Preferences>Keyboard>Keyboard Shortcuts>Services, you should find your saved workflow listed and checked. Double-click on the workflow and add a keyboard shortcut if you like.

Now when you select and copy text in say Safari, Mail, or TextEdit and then click and run your saved workflow in the Services menu of the application (or use your keyboard shortcut) to have the copied text sent directly to you, you are saving yourself the need to create a new email and send it.

Using QuicKeys Abbreviations to Activate Computer Tasks

One of the newest features in QuicKeys 4.0 is the ability to type assigned abbreviations that will automatically replace by assigned longer text. It works just like TypeExpander and Typinator.

With this feature, you can also set up abbreviations to activate shortcuts in your Shortcuts library. I use several shortcuts like this. Let me give you an example.

When I’m writing a quick email and I want to dash it off without using a shortcut keystroke or my mouse to click the send button, I simply type my assigned abbreviation, “dm” at the end of the email, and it instantly sends the email. The “dm” does not get typed in the email. It disappears right after I type it.

I have similar abbreviations, including muting and un-muting the audio on my computer, closing and opening particular folders in my Finder, and launching particular web pages while I’m typing.

Here’s how I set up the mail abbreviation shortcut.

Step 1

Start by setting up a new QuicKeys shortcut. Limit the scope to Mail. If you want, you can also assign a shortcut key, addition to the abbreviation trigger, or you can click the minus button and not use a shortcut key at all. In this example I assigned the “acute” key on the upper left of the keyboard.

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I assigned that key to a few limited scoped QuicKeys shortcuts. I never use the key for typing, so it’s a great for single-key trigger.

Step 2

Now add the Type Keystroke Shortcut Step. Type Shift+Command+D in the keystroke field. This keyboard shortcut sends an email message in Mail. Save the macro. You might title it, “Send Mail.”

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Step 3

In the QuicKeys menu, select File>New Abbreviation. This will bring up the Abbreviations editor. The editor should open with a New Abbreviations shortcut. If not, simply click the + button of the editor.

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1. Replace the “newabbr” abbreviation in the Abbreviation text field with the abbreviation you want to use.

2. Click the Shortcut button.

3. Locate and select your Send Mail shortcut.

4. Select the “Immediately when typed” in the Completes section.

5. Select Mail for the limited Scope.

6. Make sure the “Replace typed abbreviation“ is checked.

Close the editor and you’re ready to use to your abbreviation shortcut. When you have typed an email, type your assigned abbreviation at the end of the message and it will automatically send the email.

This automation works only when you’re using text-based applications.