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Im looking for a quick way to bring up a compose mail message dialogue.

Either a keyboard shortcut, or even a little tool within mountain lion's new notification center would be cool.

Anyone got anything?

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Could I suggest some external software? – pasawaya Aug 1 '12 at 6:40
@qegal go for it – Jonah Katz Aug 1 '12 at 13:29

The easiest way out-of-the box is to use the "services menu". Just select some text anywhere (a single character will do), right click to open the context menu and select the bottom-most item "Email Selection":

Screenshot of Email Selection

If it is not present (should be) you need to enable it under System settings -> Keyboard -> Keyboard commands -> Services -> Text

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Mail Unread Menu is what you want. Free/donation-ware. Compose New Mail from the menubar.

Also custom alerts and more. Working well in Mountain Lion.

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One option would be to assign a shortcut to an AppleScript like this:

tell application "Mail"
    make new outgoing message with properties {visible:true}
end tell
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