Customizable mail app

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by dsnio, Feb 25, 2017.

  1. dsnio macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2016
    #1
    G'day everyone. Is there any Mac app/service which lets the email to be sent only to predefined contact. For instance if I click the compose button in email, the 'To' field should be autofilled with the contact I had preset OR frequently contacted OR at least my own email address?

    Basically just recently switched to Mac from Windows. I miss Pushbullet's integration with Windows menus and stuff. I didn't use Pushbullet for nothing else than to push stuff to my mobile device. But the frustrating thing about Pushbullet (regardless of OS) is the inability to attach notes/description with any pushes.

    Now in Mac miss Pushbullet in Safari since its where I spent most of the time in. Have no idea to switch to Chrome (my default Windows browser) since it's insanely power hungry. By using a mail service as an alternate to Pushbullet I would have the mail client's right-click entry natively in OS and also in Safari to push links. By having the 'To' field pre-filled I don't have to type it each time or mistype and send the mail to a different person.
     
  2. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #2
    Maybe an app to consider, maybe not, is set up a custom app that is installed with the stock OS - Automator. It's a pretty powerful app and can create all sorts of solutions. I have a couple of Automator Applications just for this kind of task. You should take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the app.

    Open Automator. Start a New file, choose "Application" from the options in the dialog. Click on the Mail option in the left column. Double-click on the "New Mail Message" option in the center column (or alternately click-drag that command icon to the right column). In the upper-right corner of the application workflow, click on the "Contacts" icon - you'll see your installed contacts plus their available email accounts; double-click on or click-drag each email address in the relevant addressee field. Optionally, choose which account you want to use to transmit the message and/or fill out any relevant field data (subject, message body) that you want to use as a template or you can leave these fields blank.

    You can add as many of these "New Mail Message" workflow items as you wish - I have one with five set up, to be sent from different accounts as templates for work and contract updates. Keep in mind that you can open these Automator Applications and edit them at any time to make changes. Save the Automator Application with a name and in a place that makes sense to you. All you'll need to do is open that Automator Application as you would any other app on your Mac - the Application will open or (if Mail is already open, switch to) Mail and create new email messages for each workflow item you've set it up to create. QED - it should take about 1-2 minutes or less to accomplish what you're looking for here. You can also use Siri or Spotlight to open that Automator Application.

    Alternately, you can use Siri to create and build the content of an email to be sent, by dictation alone (assuming you're on Sierra, of course). If you choose to use Siri, the email will be created within the Siri dialog - you can fully dictate a message, or build it to the degree you want then click on it to launch Mail so that you can continue editing it in Mail.

    Sadly, I don't know of any other app that works with Automator this way but there might be more Automator workflows or applications posted on the internet. The Mail app is extensible - search the web for "add-in" options. Cheers.
     
  3. dsnio thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2016
    #3
    Thanks. That seems like a good idea. Since I'm exporting this as an application from Automator, Will I be able to have it's entry in the native share menu of MacOS as you can seen in the image attached?
    Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 5.50.04 AM.png
     
  4. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #4
    Not as I've offered. The items that appear in the Share Menu originate from Extensions built directly into an application's "PlugIns" folder, sometimes called "add-ons". Mail is very extensible and many companies offer free and commercial plug-ins (https://www.lifewire.com/popular-mac-mail-add-ons-1172708) - plug-ins for Mail can make Mail a completely different beast, just like MS does with the Outlook app and its add-ins.

    The OS and some of its apps are far more intertwined than one would think at first glance. I use Windows every day, I'm an engineer, civil construction is my main bread and butter and I run a Win 10 Pro VM on my Mac so I've got some of my work with me any time I need it. But, I find OS X is as powerful as Windows, relevant to enabling a user like ourselves that are willing to explore the tools/apps supplied by great developers. Most Mac apps ship with built-in extensions, with commands and ties available in the Services Menu - System and app Services appear when data is to be transmitted - to the Clipboard (another very powerful tool in the right hands and with some forethought) and on to another app or destination. For instance - highlight this text and leave it highlighted - then, click on your browser's app Menu (e.g., Safari or Chrome), click on the Services Menu and you'll see "New Email With Selection" - click on that Service Command and you'll get a new email with the text formatted exactly as it's set up in this post.

    Alternately, go back to that Services Menu and click on Services Preferences, and you'll likely see dozens of available Services from the apps on your Mac. Additionally, you can enable/disable them through the adjacent checkbox. You can also add a keyboard shortcut or remove/change the shortcut just by clicking in a data field just to the left of that checkbox (it's not visible, but it's there…).

    There are options for customizing your workflow, more so than most Mac users are aware of. In the Keyboard>Shortcuts System Preferences Pane, you can really tweak your interface and workflow. For instance - I'm going somewhere with this - in the Shortcuts>App Shortcuts section, using the "+" button, I added a shortcut for "All Applications" and typed in "Zoom" and added the shortcut "Control-Z" by holding down those two keys. Now, I can Zoom an application Window just by holding down those two keys (except for a few apps, like MS Office apps that use "Zoom Window" instead - but I added one for Word and Excel in the same fashion). No more hunting for the mouse and navigating for that Menu Command or Option-Clicking on the Green Widget.

    Here's "somewhere" now - for my Automator Applications, I added them to that Preference Pane and created a custom Keyboard Shortcut so I can launch it just by holding down those keys. Again, no fumbling with the mouse.

    As to your specific need, AFAIK, and it's over my head here, you'd likely need to either luck out and find something on the web to fit your needs, learn how to build a custom Mail extension (extensions are located within the app's PlugIns folder, which is inside the app bundle), or live with the built-in Mail Service "New Email with Selection" and then address your new email message(s).

    One more option in Automator - you can also create your own Services, and you can also add Keyboard Shortcuts to them, including the "New Email With Selection" option. I've typed enough for now, my SO is on her way! here's a few links to get your started:
    http://www.macworld.com/article/1163996/software-utilities/how-to-use-services-in-mac-os-x.html
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/add-useful-options-mac-os-x-services-menu/
    https://www.howtogeek.com/205686/use-your-mac’s-services-menu-to-perform-quick-actions/
    http://www.macworld.com/article/1164704/four_great_os_x_services_you_dont_know_about.html
    Cheers!
     
  5. dsnio thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2016
    #5
    Thanks again. Really appreciate it. I'm doing this one through services. What I can't figure out is that to pre-define subject/message field with some text like I can pre-define emails. I guess nothing is available in Automator to do it, right?
    Screen Shot 2017-03-02 at 1.42.51 AM(1).jpg
     
  6. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #6
    Wrong! :p

    To pre-define text in that Service you have setup, all you need to do is type it in the Subject/Message data fields, save your Service, and the text you have typed in the Service will show up automatically in your new message. QED!

    As you have it set up right now in the attached screen shot, you could highlight text - within a web page, email, PDF file, Notes app note - and your Service will be available, because you have defined your Service to receive selected text (the topmost pulldown menu). There are other options available to you that may be more suitable to your intended usage.

    Keep in mind that you can then set a unique Keyboard Shortcut to that Service as well. I have one similar to yours for one of my attorneys, set to run when I hold down all three "command" keys plus the letter L (for "lawyer") - Control-Option-Command+L - I highlight the key passage or text, press those four keys and a new email to my attorney is started with the highlighted text quoted in the "Message" data field. I have another Service set up for my business partner, with those 3 command keys and a different letter.

    I hope this helps… Cheers!
     

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