Unless you’re a new to Mac, you’ve probably heard about Sparrow for Mac. This simple mail client has grown from a little app, supporting only Gmail, into a complete mail client while maintaining the nature of being “simple”.

Sparrow for Mac is a versatile mail client. It can be used in many ways, as a small widget, or as a complete mail client for serious tasks.

If you’re like me, someone with limited screen space. This setup might lessen the screen space required for email works.

Just “Inbox”

Enable Unified Inbox within app Preferences. It lets you check all the incoming items without having to check each account inbox manually.

You can hide the Sidebar and Message Panel from the Menu Bar under Window item. Don’t forget to hide everything in Message list as shown in the picture below.

Sparrow References

Keep the window size relatively small. I prefer to pin it at the top left of the screen and adjust the width to align with the Format menu item.

Sparrow Width Size

Custom Shortcuts

One problem with this setup is there are less visual elements for you to access each item. Items like Label, Drafts, Sent, must be accessed using default shortcuts which is ⌘+(1–5). Sparrow 1.4 doesn’t allow you to use these shortcuts in Unified Inbox unless you have Extended Sidebar enabled.

The workaround for this problem is to assign a shortcut using Keyboard Preferences. Each time you launch Sparrow, you can quickly show and hide Extended Sidebar using assigned shortcut.

One thing most people fail to notice is the feature to assign custom shortcuts on OS X without the need of 3rd party apps. You can do it within Keyboard Preferences by adding the app you wish to assign shortcuts for, with the exact name of Menu Item as shown in the picture below.

Keyboards Shortcuts

I don’t use label. I use ⌘+K to search for archived emails. Sparrow doesn’t provide shortcut for search feature. You’ve to manually assign it according to the picture above.

Use custom shortcuts for menu items you often use. It’ll reduce the time you spend on repetitive tasks.