I have accumulated a couple of hundred keyboard shortcuts using Automator and System Preferences//Keyboard. Automator has a slight learning curve, but most of the keyboard shortcuts “services” or “workflows” are almost the same. My keyboard shortcuts:
Control-shift- A to Z are for files I use repeatedly (most, for me, Word & Excel files). Their names always start with “view” to keep them together in the Services folder in the Library, and always together in the listing in System Preferences//Keyboard. I assign shortcuts to them as follows (skipping the control-shift): D for doctor-med tests, P for passwords, M for music I want to buy, W for wants, F for financial transactions, etc.
Control-option- A to Z are for programs I use repeatedly. Their names always start with “launch” to keep them together in the Services folder & System Preferences. I assign shortcuts to them as follows (skipping the control-option): C for Contacts, D for Disk utility, E for Excel, H for Handbrake, I for Image capture, P for aPP store, U for aUtomator, W for Word, Y for activitY monitor, etc.
Control-shift-option- A to Z are for folders I open repeatedly. Note that those three keys form a sort of open folder shape. Their names always start with “open” to keep them together in the Services folder. I assign shortcuts tothem as follows (skipping the control-option-shift): B for Bills folder, C for pictures loaded from my Camera, F for family photos folder, I for In-scanned items folder, N for New downloads folder, O for orders I’ve made folder, S for System Preferences “folder”, etc.
I’ve made them easy to remember, even in quantity, at least for me. And I always have control-shift-K for the Keyboard shortcuts chart I can refer to.
I’ve built these up over the years, so it hasn’t been a big chore. And of course, I’ve changed some of them from time to time as my needs change. So now I can switch between up to 26 files, 26 programs, 26 folders just by hitting the right keyboard combination, without using command-tab or the dock. And when I switch, the Apple OS switches to the assigned desktop automatically. (I have 10 desktops.)
And just to be a bit more complete I use shortcuts control- option- 1 to 0 for web sites (in Safari for me). These names all start with “web”. The 1 is in line with A & Z and used for Amazon; the 2 is in line with W and is used for Wikipedia; the 5 is in line with T and is used for the New York Times site; the 7 is in line with M and is used for YouTube (Movies); the 8 for I-MDB; the 9 for New York Public Library (L); the 0 for google Pictures §. Control-option–~ has no mnemonic, but that the one I use the most often.
Doing all of this at one sitting would be exhausting, so I recommend doing a few at a time and always adding to a chart of the assignments.
These myriad assignments have survived several system upgrades, include the last one—to Catalina. And I don’t worry that Keyboard Maestro or iKey will disappear.