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 have some success using gmail inbox as my primary GTD inbox. One glitch however is that it takes a lot of steps to send email to myself, which I want to do to clear my head. Right now I do this in gmail:

      ce<tab><tab><tab>a note<tab><tab><enter>

This creates a new message, with 'a note' in subject and send it. Is there a better way - on OS X for example?


share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

What about using G-mail tasks? You can create a task list and e-mail it to yourself.


share|improve this answer
Both answers are valuable, but this one is a more direct solution to my quick entry problem. Nice trick! – Przemek Jan 22 '14 at 10:53
Glad I could help! – Gryphoenix Jan 23 '14 at 13:34

The most direct way would be to use mail or mailx to send a mail from the commandline - since the address is most likely always the same, you could write a brief wrapper script to handle that and only have to pass it the message as argument.

Example that can be tried from the commandline:

echo "here goes your text" | mail -s "GTD by mail"

If you're fancy and want individual subjects for each mail, you can give the wrapper script two arguments, subject and body.

A slightly more complicated but highly reliable setup would be what I'm preferring: set up the system logging daemon (syslogd) to file messages of one selected facility not only to logfile, but also to mail. I'm using that for everything from network-wide configuration change messages, working hour and activity logging, and an idea/todo log. This gives the added benefit that all machines on the network can be told to send those messages to one loghost, and use that loghost for reference.

See here for a description on how to reroute syslog messages to mail.

share|improve this answer

The fastest way is to use the command line (aka terminal, aka shell). Aiming a mouse is tolerable for a task you do once per month, but not for a task you do several times per day. That's where the keyboard rules, especially for touch typists. The time you invest in mastering that will pay dividends for decades.

(How a tablet can be considered a productivity tool perplexes this old codger...)

share|improve this answer

In OS X you can send e-mails from "everywhere" just by using the keyboard without touching the mouse e. g. with the free and very useful tool Quicksilver(

General approach with Quicksilver

Screenshot Quicksilver

1) You can open it (no matter which application is the frontmost) by a single keystroke (I chose "Cmd" for example).

2) Then you type "." for telling it that you will enter a text information and afterwards you type the text of your note

3) then with "tab" you jump to the second pane, type "e-" and it opens the "e-mail to (compose") action

4) with tab then you jump to the 3rd pane and chose the recipient from your OS X address book.

for more information about that see:

Using a trigger in Quicksilver for often used commands

The method described above lets you send a text message (or a file) to any recipient. As your question is about, how to most quickly send a note to a special recipient (=yourself), you could also define this with a Quicksilver "trigger" - a special keystroke which also triggers a special action.

share|improve this answer

I know you specifically asked for how to do this is OS X but I also thought I'd point you to an app for iOS that I find incredibly helpful for sending quick emails to myself from my phone.

The app is Squarespace Note and you add a to address and from address and when the app opens you just type your note, swipe up, and the note is sent. It will add a subject and optionally append GPS coordinates for you.

For my gmail account I specifically added a special email address using the allowed plus feature (e.g. to be able to filter the notes once they hit my inbox.

I know it's not exactly what you were asking for but I thought I would provide the info anyway for anyone else looking for a way to do this.

enter image description here

share|improve this answer

If you're on the go, and you have an iPhone, you might want to check out the Jotbox app. You configure your email in the app, and then anything you note down is automatically sent to you when you're done taking the note. You can note text, quick sketches, photographs from your camera, or photographs from your photo library.

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.