Especially when using the tiny 13.3″ 1280×800 MacBook Air display, there is just not enough room in the dock. I typically like to have Mail, Safari, Yojimbo ($39) iKana (€12), iCal, iTunes, WriteRoom and TaskPaper.
By Using LaunchBar and Dock Doger, I’ve been able to remove Adium, Skype and Address Book from my Dock without slowing me down, in fact, it speeds me up! My MenuBar now has: Skype, Adium, Little Snitch 2, Shimo (VPN Tunnel), Plaxo, iStat CPU monitor, iStat Network Monitor, Default Airport Monitor, Default Battery Monitor, iStat World Time, and Input Method Selection window (Romanji, Hiragana, IMK-QIM)
Make Adium function well as a background only application by assigning a “Global Shortcut” via the input box at the bottom of the Preferences/General tab. I recommend: ⌘⎋ (cmd+esc), the shortcut used by Proteus. This feature was added in Adium 1.2.
Also on the Preferences/General tab, select “Show Adium status in menu bar” so that you’ll know if Adium is running and if it has a background notification.
Note that once you put Adium into background mode, you’ll no longer be able to access many items of the “View” menu, so you’ll want to memorize the shortcut keys for:
⇧⌘H: Show All Contacts (SHIFT+CMD+H)
⌃⌘I: Hide User Icons (CTRL+CMD+I)
⌃⌘S: Hide Status Messages (CTRL+CMD+S)
Unfortunately, there is no shortcut for “Hide Groups” so you’ll need to use “Dock Dodger” to enable the Dock (and Menu Bar) each time you want to Enable and Disable the Groups in your contacts view…
Other shortcuts include:
⌘/: Show/Hide the Contacts List
⇧⌘L: Transcript Log Window
⌥⌘L: File Transfers Window
⇧⌘H: Hide Offline Contacts
⌘I: Get Info on Contact
⌘L: Open Log Viewer on Contact
⌘Y: Set your Away Message
⇧⌘Y: Set your Available Message
The entire “View” menu includes:
Last, here is the Preferences/General Tab where you should both: a) Set the Global Shortcut Key and b) Show Adium Status in the Menu Bar.