Personal Productivity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people wanting to improve their personal productivity. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've been thinking of upgrading my input devices and I'm not sure whether buying the more expensive "gaming" devices with programmable keys justifies the investment. I'm looking in particular at Logitech's G-series products.

From one point, I can create macro commands to start applications or perform "hidden" functions. At the same time, software like AutoHotkey can do the same (and maybe even more) without additional investment.

Does anyone have experience with both or has seen some authoritative source on the subject?

share|improve this question
I would learn to use hotkeys first. One hand on the mouse, one on the keyboard. Better tools wil not help if you can't work with the simple tools. – Demian Kasier Mar 21 '12 at 10:33
@DemianKasier: I'm not talking about standard shortcuts. I can control a computer without a mouse as it is. I'm specifically interested in binding function keys to macros. – dnbrv Mar 21 '12 at 14:53
Thx, I understand your question now. I would go for Autohotkey. Since it's free, and does the same thing. Your keyboard allready comes with a lot of keys, so why should your mouse have them too :) – Demian Kasier Mar 21 '12 at 15:43
If you get a magic trackpad and the application magicprefs, you will never go back – flow Apr 20 '12 at 8:01

Yes, good hand-held devices make a huge difference to productivity

  1. They respond more quickly and require less hand movements.

  2. They fit better. I have a number of Microsoft mouse series 5000. I've tried 10 other mouse models and non of them fit my hand.

  3. I can type faster and with less pain on a curved keyboard. Helps me with rsi. I use Microsoft 2000 curved comfort keyboard.

  4. Wireless mice move better without the 'tail' to drag around.

  5. An optical mouse is easier to use (smoother, less material dependent) then a trackball mouse. It responds better and is more accurate, quicker and moves more evenly than wired mice. It doesn't have a trackball which collect dirt and dust over time.

  6. A good trackpad like the MacBook Air is also handy ;) for faster development with its "1 finger move, 2 fingers scroll, 3 and 4 finger swipe forward/back / select" options.

p.s. I am a Windows, linux and mac user and the above devices work well on them which is a requirement for me. As a linux user I'm not a Microsoft fan, but this is an area where their physical equipment is actually quite good.

A final note: I tend to avoid devices where I have to program Macro's or hot-keys as those mapping tend to be specific to the device and software and not repeatable in the same way on other device. Thus I try to focus on common keyboard, mouse and hot-keys. For instance the 'three fingered salute' (ctrl-alt-del on Windows/Linux and cmnd-alt-delete on Mac) is a 'universal' window switcher than is easy to use now and will probably be there for a while.

share|improve this answer
I've been of the same convictions until I started paying attention to the time it took me to move between my laptop's trackpad & the keyboard and then between shortcuts (especially those that require buttons on both ends). In short, now that I've been using G700 for a month, I definitely save second after a second. – dnbrv Apr 30 '12 at 23:13

Not with the G-series, but with a "simple" Logitech gaming mouse (Logitech MX 518). Together with SteerMouse Application (Mac) the 8 buttons of the mouse can be configured for tasks I frequently do when I have my hand on the mouse. Besides left, right, and double click (thumb button), I have buttons for Cmd + W (closes Window), Cmd + LEFT ARROW (Spaces Left), or Cmd + RIGHT ARROW (Spaces Right) (image in a blog posting of mine).

I can only recommend it. I would not put my hand on the mouse to use the "close window" or "spaces left/right" button (the keyboard shortcuts are way faster than switching when you have your hands on the keyboard), but when the hand is on the mouse anyway, it saves a lot of time/switching (which is why I choose these shortcuts). And the thumb button for double click alone saves a lot of stress on my index finger.

Regarding more complex products: I think it's a tradeoff between learning the new commands and the time/effort they save (taking into account what happens if you accidentally hit the wrong button and switching the interface from keyboard to mouse or vice versa). For me, the easy and simple solution of a gaming mouse did the trick, I am happy with my notebook keyboard (I'd probably use other ways like scripts if I had frequently repeating tasks and use Quicksilver or Spotlight to start them).

share|improve this answer
does it work in OS X Lion? – flow Mar 21 '12 at 18:28
@Wessel: or, since your post dates from 2009, I am sure there are better mice in the market (also compatible with OS X Lion), could you recommend any? – flow Mar 21 '12 at 18:29
I was more arguing for the principle with a proof of concept than for this mouse. I would test any mouse I buy in a store first (might be only me, but I need a mouse that fits my hand), then look whether you can configure it this way. Given Lion, (un)fortunately the Logitech Mouse still works and I am still using Snow Leopard (have to change soon), so I cannot recommend another mouse, sorry. As for Steer Mouse, according to their website it should run on 10.7 (i.e., Lion). – Daniel Wessel Mar 23 '12 at 17:16

In an ideal world, we would be able to navigate every bit of software from the keyboard and the increase in productivity and reduction in frustration would be glorious. In the real world, however and unfortunately, there are still quite a few applications (including the vast majority of the Web) that simply require a mouse^ to navigate.

Within those applications, any command that you execute frequently could potentially benefit from being bound to a mouse button. I used to have a Logitech MX1000, which had a bevy of buttons, and I bound all of them to browser shortcuts. My job involves spending a lot of time on internal websites and being able to do all the routine tasks of web browsing (open tab, close tab, open link in new tab, go forward, go back, etc.) with the same hand that already had to be on the mouse was very useful.

On the flip side, if you're on Windows and either spend most of your time with both hands firmly on the keyboard or want to add in the wondrous power of text-expansion, go with AutoHotKey.

^ mouse here means any pointing tool, including drawing tablets, trackpads, and joysticks

share|improve this answer

Not exactly a gaming device, but definitely a great enhancement is a programmable keypad such as or By the way even a general multimedia keyboard with plenty of additional keys can do wonders for productivity if you program the keys with an application such as MKey (

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.