I am Sang
How I use MacBook without a mouse

I used to use one of the most expensive mice on the market, Logitech MX Revolution. It was a mouse that I could map around ten buttons. I enjoyed using it.

Logitech MX Revolution

I found it from a Stack Overflow thread discussing the best mouse for developers. It was the second most popular answer, and the most popular answer was "No mouse is the best mouse."

As usual, the thread was deleted, being flagged as off-topic.

I moved from the second-best mouse to the best mouse after I started using Mac, and I rarely use Trackpad when I work.

Why no mouse?

I barely move my hands when I use my laptop, and I never had wrist pain after ditching the mouse. It's more productive and healthy.

I use these applications, tools, and tricks to avoid using the mouse.



Vimium is a Chrome extension that enables you to navigate using keyboard shortcuts.

If you're not a vim user, you could learn some key mappings with it.

Switching focus from the address bar to the page

With Vimium, you can avoid using the mouse when the focus is inside a page, but you usually have to click the page if you want to switch focus from the address bar to the page.

To avoid using the mouse, type in javascript: in the address bar and press enter.

If you think javascript: is too long, you can add a shortcut by following the description on this page.


Vimac is an open-source project that works similarly to Vimium.

It's a bit slow and flaky but useful.

vimac usage screenshot


Shortcat is similar to Vimac, but it behaves slightly differently. I stopped using Shortcat after I started using Vimac.

Keymou ($5)

Keymou is an application with which you can map keyboard shortcuts to mouse actions. I use it to click and scroll with my keyboard.

BetterTouchTool ($22)

BetterTouchTool (BTT) is a tool that allows you to customize various input devices.

With BTT, I open applications and run shell scripts and AppleScripts using keyboard shortcuts. MacBook feels broken to me without BTT.

You can find more use cases in this Reddit post:

Alfred (free / upgrade for £59)

Alfred is an application launcher and productivity application.

I use this to launch applications, search things, and run shell commands.

alfred usage screenshot


Using vim, you can avoid using the mouse while writing or coding.

vim is not an easy application since it requires lots of time investment, but it's worth the investment if you think you'll use your laptop for a long time.

If you couldn’t start vim due to its steep learning curve, using vim plugins in your editor or IDE can be a good start.

Once you get used to vim key mappings, you'll be surprised by the number of applications that support vim key mappings.

If you're already using vim and want to go to the next level, my previous article Learnings after 500 commits to my vimrc might be interesting to you.

iTerm2, shell, and command line tools

Once you get used to shell scripts and command line tools, you can ditch many applications that require you to use the mouse.

For example, you can replace Postman with Httpie, and SourceTree with tig.


Hammerspoon is an application that allows users to customize and automate their Mac using the Lua programming language.

I use Hammerspoon mainly for these purposes:

Hammerspoon is not always stable, and the documentation is often unclear, but it provides powerful features that can't be easily replaced.

You can find my Hammerspoon configuration on this GitHub repository.


I don't like AppleScripts and never learned to write proper AppleScripts, but it sometimes helps to automate things. The scripts I'll introduce here are written by someone else, and I tweaked them when it's needed.

I trigger these scripts with keyboard shortcuts using BetterTouchTool.

Managing notifications

I make heavy use of Reminders. I use Reminders not to forget to take vitamins, call parents, and write journals.

I wanted to close notifications without using a mouse.

To tackle this problem, I use two scripts:

Un-minimize windows

Un-minimizing a window takes a few steps, and there's no keyboard shortcut.

I use this script to un-minimize the lastly minimized window of the currently focused application (gist).

JXA (JavaScript for Automation)

JXA is a JavaScript replacement for AppleScript. Apple introduced it long ago, but the documentation is horrible, so it's not easy to write a decent script with it.

Thankfully, a JavaScript library, run-jxa, allows you to run JXA from a node application.

Reminders JXA

Reminders JXA is a script that I wrote to use with Alfred. It doesn't have many features, but it does one thing well.

Alfred Reminder JXA usage screenshot

I used to use an Alfred Reminders Workflow to add new items to Reminders, but it was too laggy, so I decided to write my own Workflow.

Active App Memory JXA

I use Active App Memory JXA to map a key combination to open an application dynamically.

If you open an application with keyboard shortcuts, this script might be handy.

I use BetterTouchTool and HammerSpoon to open applications with keyboard shortcuts.

In hindsight, I could do it more easily with HammerSpoon, but I didn't use HammerSpoon when I wrote it.

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