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A dead mouse is my biggest work nightmare
I’ve been writing words on the Internet for a living for more than nine years now, and I’ve been typing things outside the Internet for much longer than that. It’s safe to say that you’d likely find my hands on a keyboard on any random Monday morning. While I do love my mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX red switches, my Logitech MX Master 3 is my work bestie, and I dread the days I have to work without it.
I have been a long-time mouse user, even during the phases when I used a laptop full-time for work. Yes, as a power user, I should know and learn my keyboard shortcuts. But using a mouse and keyboard combo is the best desktop navigation and productivity system for me. I get a ton of messages throughout the day, and there are always at least four app windows active on my multi-monitor setup. It’s just super convenient to get everything done with a good mouse. So when I don’t have a mouse for navigation, I feel rather lost.
A trackpad also counts as a mouse, you say. But a mouse isn’t just for navigation for me. It’s the physical avatar that I hold and cherish, one that provides a natural resting position for my right hand when I am not deep into typing. Trackpads on most laptops sit below the keyboard, and that vertical travel from the keyboard to the trackpad feels unnatural to me compared to the horizontal travel from the keyboard to a side mouse. I can make the keyboard-to-mouse transition with less shoulder and elbow movement, and when you do this for 40+ hours every week for a decade, it adds up.
Trackpads also lack another crucial mouse functionality for me: Buttons! I used cheap knockoff gaming mice early on, and they spoiled me with the extra buttons that they packed. I remapped these in games, but I could use the remaps for productivity tasks too.
For example, I’ve always purchased mice with at least three remappable buttons. I usually assign Ctrl + C (Copy) and Ctrl + V (Paste) functions to extra mouse buttons near my thumb, while the third button near my index finger would be assigned to the “Enter” key.
Without these remaps, my work as a writer (or a lawyer in my past life) would be significantly difficult. I easily hit these buttons 50-100 times in a day, maybe even more. Copy-pasting links and content across app windows happens multiple times across the hour as I work through browsers, chats, project management apps, notepads, and social media throughout the day.
I need my mouse and I need my mouse buttons.
With this mouse combination, I can breeze through tasks that would otherwise cost me a few seconds of swapping my right hand back and forth between my mouse and keyboard. It would also strain my left pinky finger with the numerous times I have to keep hitting Ctrl to parse text across apps. This button combination has become so ingrained in my work routine that I can’t imagine working without a mouse, even temporarily, as I fear it would massively slow down my daily work rhythm.
More recently, I have migrated to the Logitech MX Master series, and I instantly loved the transition on the work front. Quelle surprise, the productivity-focused mouse was better for my productivity than a gaming mouse!
I started off with the excellent MX Master 2S ($93 at Amazon). I loved using it on any surface, including clear glass, which is fantastic in hotels and while traveling. The smart-shifting free-flow scroll wheel is a boon for writing tasks, letting me precision scroll at slow speeds and fly around long web pages at high speeds. I even used the side scroll wheel more than I thought I would, mainly with Excel sheets.
The MX Master 2S cemented my absolute need to use a mouse day in and day out, and I’d feel helpless and lost whenever I would leave it behind.
The micro-USB port was the only Achilles heel for my usage, and migrating from wired gaming mice to the MX Master 2S gave me unnecessary battery anxiety. Even though a charge would last for over a month, I would still carry a micro-USB cable everywhere I went. I became so dependent on the mouse for work that I’ve practically forgotten how to work without one. It’s because of this that I would even connect my mouse when using Android tablets with keyboard cases — I just can’t work with that touchscreen!
My Logitech MX Master 3 is my work bestie, and I dread the days I have to work without it.
After about two years of use, the battery anxiety finally got to me. I’d unnecessarily worry about a dead mouse whenever I was traveling and constantly fear that the MX Master 2S or its now-rare micro-USB cable would die on me.
So I finally took the plunge and upgraded to the MX Master 3, which thankfully has a USB-C port. Thanks to USB-C-everything, my battery anxiety vanished overnight, as I know I can now plug in very conveniently no matter when or where my mouse dies.
Even after upgrading to a new mouse, I’ve still kept the older functional mice around. It may be a case of a mental block, but I can’t seem to shake the feeling of helplessness whenever I am out of a trusted mouse. I try to reassure myself that the worst-case scenario here is really not that bad, but a dead mouse remains my biggest work nightmare.