I’ve had Butler on my machine at work for a while but I really haven’t started using it until about a month ago and am I ever impressed. It has brought a whole new level of productivity to my day and I’m still learning the ins and outs.

Here is a screen shot of my Butler setup. Butler Screen Shot

The first big feature that brought me in was the ability to assign applications to function keys. I have a nice Mac keyboard but F1-F8 & F16 don’t do anything. So I opened up Butler and assigned the function keys to have the following purpose.

F1 iCal
F2 eMail (Thunderbird)
F3 IM (Adium)
F4 Web Browser (Firefox)
F5 Clients Folder
F6 Webmail
F7 FTP (Transmit)
F8 Dreamweaver
F9 Expose All Windows *
F10 Expose This Apps Windows *
F11 Expose Desktop *
F12 Eject
F13 ?? Don’t remember
F14 Screen Brightness + *
F15 Screen Brightness – *
F16 Task/To Do List

Now, getting to my most used applications are just a key press away.

* = Mac default that I decided not to change.

With Butler I also put iTunes controls in my menu bar. Quick and easy access to play, pause, next, previous, song info, ratings and playlists.

I also added a search script that acts like Spotlight, only for 10.3.9. I just found that feature so I have to remember to use it. It catalogs all my files and folders (I do have some limits set) and I now have a quick, convent search much like Spotlight.

Butler also lets you add any application to the menu bar. I have iCal up there at the moment. Just click on it and it opens.

Next to iCal is my multiple clipboards area. Butler allows you to setup more than one clipboard for convenience. I have five setup and it’s quite handy when I accidentally copy something and I had something saved on the clipboard previously that I still want.

There is also a search bar setup that I use to search MacUpdate or Google or whoever directly from the menu bar.

Butler pretty much lets you configure it in any way you want. There are so many possibilities and I think I’ve just scratched the surface. It’s definitely worth a look, especially since it’s free.

FYI: My setup is an iMac G5 with 10.3.9 incase you wanted to know.

Advertisements